How To Use Shadow Tags On Instagram
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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

How To Use Shadow Tags On Instagram

Zoe Kramer March 7, 2023

Hashtags are a big part of the Instagram algorithm. They play a big part in how others discover your posts, so if you want your photos to reach a wider audience, using hashtags is advisable. However, fully optimising a post means using lots and lots of hashtags. That can be a little much for anyone who happens upon your post to read. Plus, if you want the focus to be on your caption, having dozens of tags can distract from the main text of your post. Luckily, there’s a way to get the best of both worlds. Here is how to use shadow tags on Instagram to get all of the algorithmic benefits without the visual clutter.

Photo by Keila Hötzel on Unsplash

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What Are Shadow Tags?

Also known as hidden tags or invisible tags, shadow tags are a way to improve the performance of your Instagram post. These tags can link your photo to a variety of different popular topics that users are searching. This allows them to find and like your post more easily. However, unlike regular tags, they don’t show up underneath your post. This allows you to use as many tags as you like without others having to scroll or read through them when they look at your post.

How To Use Shadow Tags On Instagram

Using shadow tags is pretty straightforward and quick to do, so here is how you can try it for yourself. To use them on a story, open the app to the homepage and select the plus button on the top left to create a new story. You can either take a photo or select one from your camera roll to feature. Then, type in any hashtag you want to use. Simply start with a # and continue with any relevant word. Then, select the pen button at the top of the screen. Choose the colour of the image’s background, and then colour over the hashtag until it disappears. It’s easiest to do with plain white or black backgrounds. Now your hashtag will apply without being visible.

To use shadow tags on a regular post, open the app and tap the play button icon at the bottom centre. Select the photo you would like to share, and then write your caption and post like you normally would. Then, write up your list of hashtags and post them as a comment underneath your photo. This applies the tags to the post without including them directly.

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.