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Here’s a comprehensive look at the tags, terms, and photos that dominate Instagram.
Hashtags have long been the filing system of the internet—a way to make sense of the ephemera of the web.
Instagram categorizes photos and videos through hashtags, which allow users to get the most out of their feed and expose their work to a larger, more targeted audience. With the help of Websta, a third-party website, we took a look at what the world has been taking pictures and videos of. Note, the bolded numbers represent the total posts since Instagram went live in 2010. These are some of the most popular hashtags for Instagram pics.
The 25 most popular Instagram tags of all time
1) #love // 1,227,618,885
Photos of babies, spouses, delicious-looking food, and selfies with your buds: There is no better descriptor for these things than love. The most popular hashtag for years has finally surpassed 1 billion posts. Hard to find another word as deserving.
2) #instagood // 709,055,122
This one is pretty self-explanatory. They’re photos on Instagram, and they’re good (at least, they claim to be). A quick search through the hashtag will show you a bunch of random images. Throw #instagood on the end of your posts to get maximum viewing potential.
3) #photooftheday // 486,961,561
Worded for success this hashtag presumably receives 365 posts per year per person. It is a good time saver, summing up the feelings and adventures of your day with one single image.
4) #fashion // 462,301,948
Fashion and photography go hand-in-hand, so it’s no surprise that so many people want to show off their attire to the rest of the world.
5) #beautiful // 447,564,779
Landscapes, people, animals, just about everything in our world is beautiful in one way or another, making this tag a classic for throwing on the end of an Instagram post.
6) #happy // 415,478,708
A feeling more than one-third of a billion posts share. Though probably not as strongly as this person paddle boarding.
7) #cute // 406,545,673
No need for explaining this one. As you might imagine, this is the place for animal photos, like this cuddly cat.
8) #tbt // 403,127,575
An acronym for Throw Back Thursday, though a search for the hashtag will come up with photos from throughout the week. This one is a great tag for those lazy days when there just isn’t anything visually appealing going on. Just stay in bed and repost one of your old photos, tacking on the Throwback Thursday hashtag.
9) #like4like // 397,752,055
This tag is all about feeding your ego and gaining traction on Instagram, mostly in your likes count. It’s a short way of saying, “if you like this, I can guarantee you’ll get a like in return.”
10) #followme // 378,529,891
Well, you’re not posting these photos without reason. This no-nonsense call-to-action to remind those who stumble upon your wonderful images and videos to give you credit by following you. Now all you have to do is keep up the good work.
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11) #picoftheday // 365,573,329
Because “photo” is sometimes a little too long to spell out.
12) #follow // 359,582,778
This is like #followme, but obviously a little less descriptive.
13) #me // 342,451,131
Face it, it’s one of the main reasons you have a social media profile in the first place: Showing yourself off to everyone else. #me is the prime destination for selfies, haircuts, jewelry—as long as it’s about you.
14) #selfie // 330,422,603
Though this legendary hashtag is somehow outside of the top 10, it’s still one of the most universal hashtags.
15) #summer // 321,251,495
There is a good chance it is summer somewhere. And there is no better time to let your camera shine than when the sun is out. #summer is all about being outside and soaking up the fresh air.
16) #instadaily // 313,292,996
Another redundancy, #instadaily is like #photooftheday for people who just aren’t ready for the big time.
17) #friends // 300,405,668
Nothing more social than hanging out with your friends. Break out the wide-angle lens and show your buddies off to the world.
18) #girl // 283,695,834
Girls like to post pictures. In fact, according to 2016 data from comScore and analysis from the Atlantic, 58 percent of Instagram users were female compared to 42 percent who were male.
19) #fun // 278,754,449
Because who wants to take pictures in a bad mood? Just ask these thrill seekers.
20) #style // 271,056,662
Expect lots of pictures from models, everyday people wanting to be models, and people just wanting to show off their outfit of the day.
21) #food // 254,399,308
Expect to head to the nearest trendy restaurant after scrolling through these delicious tagged photos.
22) #instalike // 253,628,157
There isn’t a common theme with this tag, except showing off your latest adventures for the day.
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23) #family // 248,008,769
A heartfelt tag to brag about the loved ones that you hold dear in your life.
24) #igers // 221,293,709
Short for “Instagrammers,” this tag is reserved for the professionals.
25) #tagsforlikes // 216,782,627
This tag follows the same formatting as others on this list, but watch out: You’ll have to spell out “for” to get your images on this tag’s page. It’s a pretty versatile add-on—even a Parisian building qualifies.
Need more help? Here’s how to lock down your Facebook privacy settings, see who unfriended you, and delete a Facebook page. You can also unfriend someone on Facebook or block someone if it comes to that, and we can help you change your name on Facebook or disconnect Facebook from Instagram.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.
Kristen Hubby is a tech and lifestyle reporter. Her writing focuses on sex, pop culture, streaming entertainment, and social media, with an emphasis on major platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and Spotify. Her work has also appeared in Austin Monthly and the Austin American-Statesman, where she covered local news and the dining scene in Austin, Texas.