How To Soft Tag Your Friends In Your Instagram Posts

There are so many social media platforms nowadays, but the reason we keep all of them kind of revolves around the same concept; we want to share things. Whether with our friends or strangers, we put on a carefully curated persona to do so. With Instagram, that's definitely the case, whether you use it recreationally or with a purpose. And when Instagram stories came about in the summer of 2016, they changed the game on how users interacted with the platform. Users no longer had to wait for whenever the perfect time was to post on the grid. They could just constantly share things throughout the day without worrying about public likes.

Instagram stories then became a way for people to show off even more of what they're doing throughout the day by sharing funny memes or important content. And what is the fun of doing that if you can't also share it with your friends and have them share it on their stories too? However, sometimes a tag for your friend or a popular brand doesn't look great, or it makes the story cluttered. That's where soft tagging or invisible tags, per Plann, come in.

Soft tagging is all about subtlety and sharing

Okay, so what is soft tagging? It's a concept that's been around since 2008 and early Facebook days, according to Urban Dictionary when the first entry on the term was posted. At the time, soft tagging meant tagging someone's name in the comments. That efficiently tags them in the post, but it doesn't include a photo tag on the image so it doesn't post on their timeline. It's understated and still includes your friends in the fun without clogging up your photo with tags or their timeline with photos.

As Bustle points out, the concept on Instagram is when you tag a user in your story but hide it. Plann points out that users can do this by using the text tool to add a tag and making the tag the same color as the background. You can do this when selecting the color tool for your tagged word and using the dropper tool to choose the same color as the background. Make sure there isn't a background on the text and it should blend in. Another way, if you're down to learn a new trick, is completely pushing the tag off the screen so that other people can't see it. You can do this by just scooting the text off the screen until it's completely gone; sometimes a flick action helps. And because there is, in fact, a tag still there, your friend can reshare it to their Instagram story.

Why would you want to soft-tag, anyway?

You might be thinking that this seems like a lot of work to hide something you're so purposely putting in your story. And you'd be correct. So why bother with soft tagging? There are several reasons. One could be, as stated before, the tag or words just look bad. It could be a girl's night out, and you want to post a group picture and to add three or more tags just looks crowded and covers the amazing looks. The focus should be on the outfits, right? But of course, all of your girls want to repost it onto their stories too. So a soft tag is a win-win for the aesthetic and your friends.

Another reason could be a consideration for how your friends want to share something. Maybe they want to repost it and zoom in to make it seem like their original story, as Bustle pointed out. Or maybe you're tagging a brand in the image and don't want to be obvious about it for whatever reason. But with an invisible tag, the story still pops up in the brand's messages, and they can reshare you. It all really comes down to how you want to use Instagram, but it's a fun little IG hack that leaves things looking a little cleaner.