Instagram Slang, Acronyms and Hashtags 2023

Instagram has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It’s now the third most used social media app by US teens after YouTube and TikTok.

However, there has been an associated rise in Instagram slang which some parents are struggling to decipher, including terms like Instagram addiction. So, we have compiled a list of commonly used words, phrases, acronyms and hashtags.

Why do teens use slang on Instagram?

teens social media

There are several reasons why slang is so popular on Instagram:

  • It gives teens a sense of identity and belonging by using a shared language that not everyone understands.
  • Slang, hashtags and acronyms are a great way to get more likes and followers on Instagram.
  • Gen Z have busy lives and want to save time by using shortcuts when communicating.

A-Z of popular Instagram slang

Are you baffled by all the latest slang? Do you feel excluded from your teen’s online world? This handy guide is not exhaustive because new acronyms and hashtags are emerging all the time. But it will help you decode the slang frequently used in Instagram posts and comments.

AFAIK – As far as I know

AMA – Ask me anything. Used to start up a conversation

BF – Boyfriend

Caught in 4K – Caught red handed, such as using an inappropriate app like OnlyFans

CSL – Can’t stop laughing

Deets – Details

DM – Direct message

DYK – Do you know

ELI5 – Explain like I’m 5. Used to request a simple explanation for something

FBF – Flashback Friday. Used to share photos from the past on Fridays

F4F – Follow for follow. Someone will follow you if you follow them

FF – Follow Friday. Hashtag used to recommend other accounts to your followers on Fridays

Foodporn – Hashtag used when sharing food pictures or to describe food that looks delicious

FWIW – For what it’s worth

Ghosting – Not responding to someone

GOAT – Greatest of all time

GOTD – Gram of the day. Used to highlight best photos of the day

Hundo P – One hundred percent

ICYMI – In case you missed it

IDC – I don’t care

IDK – I don’t know

IG – Abbreviation of Instagram

Igers – Instagrammers, people who use Instagram

IMO – In my opinion

Instamood – Hashtag used when the photo posted reflects your mood

Lit – Exciting or excellent

L4L – Like for like. Someone will like your photo if you like theirs

MCM – Man crush Monday

MFW – My face when. Posted with an image which shows how the user feels

MIRL – Meet in real life

NoFilter – Hashtag used when posting photos without an Instagram filter

OOTD – Outfit of the day

Petstagram – Hashtag used when posting photos of a pet

POTD – Photo of the day

Regram – Used when resharing something on Instagram

Repost – Used when posting someone else’s content

SelfieSunday – Popular hashtag used to share selfies on Sunday

SMH – Shaking my head

S4S – Shoutout for shoutout. When two people promote each other’s accounts

TBT – Throwback Thursday. Used to share photos from the past on Thursdays

TMW – That moment when. Used to describe an experience

WCW – Woman crush Wednesday

YOLO – You only live once

For greater insights into the slang and emojis used by teens on social media, understand the slang of unique platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok and Roblox. Slang used by Gen-Z can also extend to the way they use emojis, including for drug use.

Need help?

If you’re concerned about your child’s social media or gaming habits, we can support you. Our coaching programs are designed to help teens and parents set healthy boundaries:

Get in touch to book a Gameplan call and discuss your situation. Limited spots are available.

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