Instagram is easily one of the most popular social media platforms. But even those who use it regularly may not know how many people they can tag on Instagram in one post, or other limitations Instagram has in place. I know I've never tried to tag more than a couple people, but there are in fact limits to the number of friends you can tag in that photo you posted of your group enjoying the perfect boozy brunch.
You can use up to 30 tags on a post on Instagram, according to the Instagram help center. Many have interpreted this to mean that you can also tag up to 30 people on the social media app. The exact wording of the limit on the Instagram help page reads, "You can use up to 30 tags on a post. If you include more than 30 tags on a single photo/video, your comment won't post."
However, one blog called Social PR Chat reported in Feb. 2018 that only 20 people can be tagged in a single Instagram post. And a different part of the Instagram help center reported that you can't include more than 5 "@ mentions" in a single comment on the site, so it seems to matter whether you're tagging people in a post or a reply when it comes to the overall number of people you can mention.
One Reddit post from mid-June also reported the 20 person limit for tagging people on Instagram. Additionally, Social Media Examiner reported in May 2018 that "You can tag up to 20 people in an Instagram post," and that on an Instagram story post, "up to 10 people" can be tagged. Obviously, there's some degree of confusion at play here.
Instagram did not immediately respond to Romper's request for comment on how many people can be tagged in one Instagram post. Facebook, which owns Instagram, also did not immediately respond before publication.
The key seems to be whether you are "tagging" people in an Instagram post by mentioning them by using the "@" sign, or whether you're clicking on "tag people" before you share the post and clicking on the photo to tag people in it.
When I tested the number of people I could tag in a single Instagram post by actually using the "tag people" function, I could only get to 20 before Instagram stopped me. However, when I used the "@" sign to tag people in the caption of the post, I got past 20 and Instagram let me keep tagging. Even after posting a photo with 22 people tagged, all of the tags showed up.
So the official limit for tagging people using the function that is meant to do that on the social media platform appears to be 20 people. But you can still get the attention of people to let them know there's something about your post on Instagram you'd like them to see, whether it's because they're in the image you've posted or not, by tagging more people than that in the caption of the post itself.
While this may seem like a trick that can be easily exploited, you've also got to be careful not to make Instagram mad enough to end up with a shadowban, or otherwise have your account limited on the site.
Instagram is the third most popular social media platform in the United States, according to a Forbes article from March 2018. That statistic is based off of a survey the Pew Research Center did on social media use in 2018, which found that 35 percent of U.S. adults say they use Instagram. And it's particularly popular with young people: 71 percent of American 18- to 24-year-olds reportedly use the social media platform.
Since Instagram is and will probably continue to be so popular, it's a good thing for people to learn all that they can on how to use it effectively.