Instagram allows people to share glimpses of the more photogenic parts of their everyday lives, offering up some quality interaction between friends, family, and even a few celebrities. This is all enjoyable when the app works properly — but sometimes, everything does not go according to plan — especially when it comes to tagging people in posts. So what can you do if Instagram won't let you tag someone in a photo or mention them in the caption?
Unfortunately, there's not always a surefire, simple solution, given that the reason for the "faulty" tags may vary depending on the user. On Dec. 12, Instagram began rolling out the Instagram Live feature onto everyone's app — allowing users to broadcast live video to their followers for up to an hour. One week later, Instagram updated the app to allow users to post stickers on their own Instagram story posts. While all of these updates are both needed and enjoyable new features, some users are still having trouble with tagging friends on Instagram in photos posted to their account, and likely wishing that that was part of the next patch or update rollout. As it turns out though, the tagging issue seems to hinge somewhat on a few human errors that are easily remedied — and if that's the case, you should be able to fix it yourself.
Here are two things to try before giving up on tagging your friends — and the app — completely.
When you go to tag someone, make sure you know their full username — and not just their given name. Unlike Facebook, your friend Jen can go by a crazy, unique Instagram username that might not show up, even if you've typed in her first and last name into the search bar. Before heading into a photo to make edits and begin tagging your friends, consider finding their usernames before posting the photo. It can be tough keeping track of eight usernames to tag eight different people — but will ultimately make the process easier if Instagram is not producing the names of your friends when you type the names into the search bar. If you know you have the right name and spelling, then you won't need to rely on the autofill feature.
You can always tag the person you're trying to tag in the photo in the caption later, too. Just because Instagram won't pull up their username to tag doesn't mean that you can't get the users attention by tagging them in your caption. This can be done by typing the "@" symbol into the caption following the username of your friend.
Go Back & Edit Later
One of the best features about Instagram is the ability to go back and edit the photo's caption, location, and tags. This can come in handy — especially if Instagram is not complying and providing the tags right away. Instead of losing the photo of your family members from the holiday altogether, post the photo to your account — restart your phone or make sure the spelling of your family's Instagram usernames is correct — and come back into the app to tag it at any time. Users can edit their tags by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of their photo, click edit, and then click on the person icon on the photo to edit tags. Just because it might not have worked the first time, it doesn't mean it won't work the second.
Report The Problem
If none of these helpful tips work, there could be an actual problem with the app. If you can't tag people on the app, don't worry — you're not the first person to have trouble with this feature. Users who are concerned about the lack of tagging can contact Instagram directly with their issues, and tech support may be able to figure something out. Reporting the problem might not immediately fix the problem but it will let the people at Instagram know that something is not right — and allow for them to potentially create a patch for it down the line.
Before giving up on tagging family members in holiday photos or giving on Instagram altogether, consider trying any of these suggestions — and maybe get yourself an extra mug of mulled cider while you're at it.