Tagging Users

Another classic strategy to increase Instagram engagement is to tag other users. You might aim to share a post with friends, to tell another user you've featured them, or to get the attention of an influencer.

So does this work? Does tagging others increase engagement? Download full report (32 pages)

  • —Amount

    72% of posts tag no users.

  • —Likes

    The more users tagged, the more likes a post receives.

  • —Comments

    More tagged users also leads to more comments.

  • —Limit

    Posts can contain up to 20 tagged users, although some have gone beyond this.


Number of Users Tagged

72% of Instagram posts contain no tagged users. This is not surprising, perhaps, but it may be a mistake. As we're about to see, tagging users directly increases engagement.

Number of users tagged in Instagram posts

  • Number of posts
Tagging_graph_01 75B 50B 25B 0 100B 0 5 10 15 Users tagged Number of posts 20

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Median Likes Per User Tagged

With every user tagged, the number of likes go up. This increase is basically linear; every user tagged brings 0.5-1 new like.

We used the median number rather than average in this analysis to minimize the impact of the enormously popular posts from users like Beyoncé and Neymar.

How likes increase with more users tagged

  • Median likes
Tagging_graph_02 400 200 0 600 0 5 10 15 Users tagged Median likes 20

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Average Likes Per User Tagged

As stated above, the median number is more reliable for tagged users. On average, the best number of tagged users is only 1 (1,675 likes per post). But this is likely affected by a small number of incredibly popular posts.

After 20 users tagged, the numbers fluctuate wildly. This is because the volume of posts plummets, and we see more variance.

There is a limit of 20 users tagged per Instagram post. Of course, a few people have found their way around this limit, and we can see the unpredictable spikes on the map.

Average likes VS Users tagged

  • Average likes per post
Tagging_graph_03 3000 2000 1000 0 4000 0 10 20 30 Users tagged Average likes 40

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Median Comments Per User Tagged

Just as we saw for likes, the more users a person tags in their posts, the more comments the post receives. This is probably obvious - when you tag other users, they're likely to respond. This analysis confirms this suspicion.

Again, we've used the median to remove any noise from posts with unusually high numbers of comments. But the average showed a very similar (although slightly less linear) pattern. Download full report (32 pages)

Median comments per post VS Users tagged

  • Median comments per posts
Tagging_graph_04 15 10 5 0 20 0 5 10 15 Users tagged Number of posts 20

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Tagging Users