9 Instagram hashtags you should know
Thus far in the 21st century, social media has proven itself to be a hotbed of linguistic invention. This development of specialized vocabulary and slang – some of it often spreading into more mainstream usage – is certainly true of Instagram. The very name of this social media service offers some linguistic creativity, in the form of a portmanteau, or combination of two or more words or parts of words. According to Instagram’s FAQ page, the company’s name comes from the blending of ‘instant’ and ‘telegram’, playing with both the ‘instant’ nature of digital photography and the notion of users sending photos to one another similar to telegrams. Instagram wasn’t the first to recycle the –gram from telegram, however. By the 1970s, people were sending each other everything from Rambograms to Gorillagrams (trademarked in the US).
But more important than the recycled combining parts of Instagram is the way that the social network has expanded and enlarged cultural use of hashtags. Although the social media concept of the ‘hashtag’ originated on Twitter, it has become a crucial part of the Instagram experience. By affixing words and phrases (unbroken by spaces) with a hash mark (#), users can identify their posts with a specific topic and be a part of a larger conversation. Below are nine hashtags that Instagrammers (#igers) are almost certain to encounter, including a few that will likely spread beyond the realm of Instagram.
When Instagram users put up a post that reflects their mood, they will sometimes tag the post as #instamood.
This hashtag is used for posts that a user is particularly proud of, or for something that is, as you might guess, good. The second most popular hashtag on Instagram, #instagood suggests that users are proud of most of their posts.
Hashtag shorthand for the users of Instagram, #igers is shortened ‘Instagrammers’ or ‘Instagram users’. In hashtag parlance, #ig is often used as a prefix, as in #igshop and #igtravel, instead of spelling out ‘Instagram’.
According to the website Websta, which tracks Instagram data, #tbt is the fourth most-used hashtag of all time and has been used on over 300 million posts. (#throwback is currently 78th on the list, and the full #ThrowbackThursday even lower.) Although Instagram does not seem to be the origin of ‘Throwback Thursday’, it has certainly helped popularize the trend, which consists of posting an older photo (typically several years old) on Thursday.
A second opportunity every week for posting older photos, #fbf (#FlashbackFriday) has not demonstrated the staying power of #tbt.
For many users, Instagram offers the perfect opportunity to show off your food – whether of your own making or in a restaurant. The digital consumption of these photos, on Instagram and elsewhere on the Internet, is often referred to as ‘food porn’.
If you have ever posted a photo on Instagram, you know how important the filters are. The filters, which are designed to mimic old-school photographic techniques and processes, provide a professional gloss to the photos before users post them. The flip side to all the posts with pretty filters on Instagram is the posts hashtagged as #nofilter, which highlights photos that are uploaded without any filter.
Following on the success of #tbt, #wcw (#womencrushwednesday) and #mcm (#mancrushmonday) come next in the canon of weekly hashtags. As you could probably guess, users post their crushes on men and woman on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.