Quick-Reference Guides - Instagram Glossary

Quick-Reference Guides - Instagram Glossary

What follows is a glossary from Social Media for Creatives: Instagram.



Account Types

A blueprint of how a user can interact on Instagram, each with different abilities. Includes Personal, Creator, and Business types.


A type of engagement metric that satisfies the algorithm. Bare-minimum interaction such as likes.


A type of engagement metric. Actions can include visiting a website, subscribing to a service, making a purchase, and downloading content.

Active Income

A type of income stream. Generated by participating in an act of service or production of a product

Ad (Creative)

The last step of the Ads Manager wherein the publisher sets their creative for an ad.

Ad Manager

An expanded version of the Business Suite. A tool that controls the settings of Ads to the fullest extent.

Ad Set

Controls behind the scenes aspects of an ad. Includes dynamic creative, budget and schedule, audience, placements, and optimization settings.


A type of metadata that describes technical information of the file or work itself.

Advocacy Stage

The last stage of the conversion funnel. wherein the audience publicly advocates for a brand.


Machine learning that sorts and display visuals across four platforms: the Main Feed, Stories, IGTV, and Reels.


An engagement metric that helps to spread your post, account, or Story. Includes "Share to My Story," sharing a url, and tagging a friend.


Account data that usually measures metrics and how they work together.


For published Main Feed content, a user can archive their content, which hides it from viewers without deleting it.


Algorithm-satisfying engagement metrics. Includes comments, replies, and sending a message to the creator.


An important appeal to make throughout all content wherein the publisher is human, relatable, and emotionally-available.


Conversion funnel stage wherein the audience is aware of a brand.



150 characters of space on an account's Instagram profile.


Instagram's secondary application that rapidly takes photos and stitches them together to make a short movie that plays on a loop, back-and-forth.

Branded Hashtags

When working with other brands, Instagram influencers often use branded hashtags to improve discoverability for the brand or product they're advertising.

Budget & Duration

Ads Manager space that sets the start date, duration and cost of the campaign.

Business Suite

The name of Facebook and Instagram's Ads manager.

Button Taps

When a user visits a profile via the Main Feed or Stories and taps an action button, which can include Call, Email, Get Direction, Text Buttons, and Website.


Call to Action (CTA)

A button or short phrase or sentence used to suggest or demand an action. Includes imperative sentences, friction works, and appeals to FOMO.


Denotes the overall theme or objective of an ad. On Facebook and Instagram, the name 'campaign' can be changed to quickly identify past campaigns.


Space across every upload platform wherein the author can write descriptive text, calls to action, and any other text-based content.


When a user uploads more than one piece of content on a Main Feed post, Instagram creates a Carousel. Enables the viewer to swipe between content in a single post.


Shobbales tool. Facebook and Instagram's suite for uploading and managing inventory.


Generally refers to off-platform conversions a user 'clicks' on. Most relevant to the website in a profile.

Consideration Stage

A stage of the conversion funnel wherein the audience is willing to interact with a brand and may consider purchasing.


An aspect of several funnels wherein the audience performs an action, such as clicks and purchases.

Conversion Funnel

The relationship and level of affinity for a brand at particular points. The stages are Awareness, Consideration, Preference, and Conversion.


The practice of writing text for the sake of advertising and marketing.

Creator Studio

Desktop version of Instagram that enables posting in the main feed and IGTV, a content library, and insights.



A grouping of a population of people according to socioeconomic data.


A type of metadata that describes content. Use adjectives and nouns to describe the visuals.

Descriptive Text

Builds a bridge to the CTA. Uses the PPP formula.

Digital Distributor

A type of sales channel. Includes platforms in which the manufacturer uploads or streams digital content & sells direct (Twitch, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Patreon, stock content, and crypto art).


A type of sales channel. Buys product from the manufacturer and sells to retail stores in bulk (book publishers, record labels, film and music producers).

DM/Direct Message

Private messages between users. Includes disappearing messages and creative message options similar to Stories.

Double Tap

Instagram users can easily double-tap their fingers on content to like it instead of having to click directly on the like button. Also a CTA.



An icon that represents objects and emotions. Can be used to direct and break up captions.

Emotional Appeal

Across all forms of content, refers to engaging with the emotions of the audience.

Emotional Narrative

Reflect the needs and values of the audience. Memorable, positive associations that appeal to emotion, often used in story-telling.


The way in which users interact with the content of another user. Types of engagements are likes, shares, comments, follows, and any action taken.

Engagement Metrics

Metrics which account for the rate of interactivity on an account. Includes the Acknowledgement, Association, Amplification, and Action metrics.

Engagement Rate

Measures an influencer's effectiveness on several engagement metrics. There are three formulas to calculate this.


A Stories metric. Measures when a viewer does the following on your content:

  • Swipes left to another creative's Stories.

  • Closes Instagram

  • Closes Stories (X)

  • Swipes down, taking them to the Main Feed

Explore Page

Clicking on the search icon brings you to the Explore tab, which displays a feed of content similar to content you usually interact with.


First Comment

Refers to the practice of hashtag placement in the first comment, published immediately after a Main Feed post goes live.

Follower Growth Rate

Within Insights and under Your Audience, the percentage of change in followers (positive or negative) compared to the previous period.

Followers Tab

Lists the followers of an account in the order of most recent follower.

Following Tab

On every profile, this tab lists accounts this account is following in order of most recently followed.

Friction Words

A callword that implies a trade or need for exchange. "Buy, Subscribe, Order, Donate" are all examples.

Fulfillment Center

A type of sales channel. A company that fulfills the creation of items after a sale from the customer (Patreon, Art Station, Redbubble, and TeeSpring).



A type of market segmentation that considers location. Includes local, national, international, and regional.


In Main Feed posts and Stories, content can contain location data, often used to reference where content was made.

Ghost Followers

Accounts (bot or real) that do not engage with content - they only exist to satisfy the follower vanity metric.

The Grid

The 3x3 grid on all profile pages. It includes single photos, slideshows, and short videos. Any content uploaded to the Main Feed becomes part of it.



The handle is the taggable (@) link of the account. Note that it can differ from display names.


Used across all upload platforms, hashtags are searchable keywords that improve discoverability.


On a profile with a Creator or Business account, saved Stories become Highlights that remain until taken down.


125 characters before the "More" button to convince the reader to read further.


Impact Marketing

A new title for "influencer marketing;" the author has attempted to rename and redefine the phrase.

Imperative Sentence

A sentence written as a command. "Follow, win, help, be" are examples.


Total amount of times content was displayed on a feed wether or not it was interacted with.

Income Stream

Sources of income. Includes active, passive, and impact income.


An individual or entity which has a branded platform in which their audience has loyalty.

Influencer Rate

The rate an influencer can charge based on their engagement rating.


Available to Business and Creator accounts, Insights displays analytics that can be used to track your past engagement and structure new Main Feed posts, Stories, and IGTV.

Instagram Ads

Facebook and Instagram's name for their exhaustive advertising platform.

Instagram Promotions

Facebook and Instagram's name for their expedited advertising platform that boosts profile visits, web traffic, and messages.


Within Insights, this is the total amount of likes, comments, Story interactions, and IGTV interactions on a post or over a period of time.


Management Suites

Vary greatly in their abilities. In general, they are a scheduling platform that Business accounts can use and usually offer in-depth analytics.


A manufacturer is you, the creative. They design and make finished products and directly distribute to a customer.

Media Kit

A document influencers send to brands for impact marketing.


A series of data that describes other data, used to categorize work, improve discoverability, and prove ownership. Types include Administrative, Descriptive, and Technical.



A scannable QR code that sends the recipient straight to an Instagram profile.


Octopus Income

A visual way to represent income sources. It can also help inform future income sources and content.

One-Page Site

Sites that effortlessly link to other platforms and feature custom options like forms, widgets and embeds, and Google Analytics hookups.

Organic Reach

An account's ability to reach an audience without paying Instagram to promote their content.


Paid Reach

Promoted posts through Instagram that inorganically boosts the reach of the promoted content. This is the only way to bypass the algorithm.

Preference Stage

A stage of the conversion funnel wherein the audience has been convinced that a product or service is beneficial for their specific lifestyle and needs.

Product Tags

On Business accounts with Instagram Shopping Enabled, the author of a post can tag products and perform transactions on Instagram's platform.


A type of market segmentation that narrrows down the psychology of your audience. It includes what they enjoy doing, how they feel about particular issues, and their moral values.

Purchase Stage

A stage of the conversion funnel wherein the audience is willing to exchange monetary value for a product or service.



Resharing the content of another account on your own page. Ask permission and always tag the original creator.

Repost Accounts

A type of Instagram account or profile that uses content from other accounts.


A type of sales channel. Sells content in which the manufacturer takes a cut of from each sale (Amazon, Etsy, Galleries, iTunes, Udemy, concert venue, and book stores).


Sales Channels

Refers to the path from the creator to the final user of the product or service.

Saved Posts

From Instagram's menu on your profile, locate "Saved" as notated by a bookmark icon. This is a private list of Main Feed posts, Reels, and IGTV content that is saved until the author deletes it.


Algorithm-satisfying engagement metric that Includes sharing content in DM's, in Stories, and using the url copy option.


A platform in which an account can sell physical product. The account can choose to sell directly with Instagram and Instagram Checkout or refer the customer to their website.

Social Capital

The relationship between the audience and assets. Helps to clarify market demographics and content value.

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored content is tagged as "Sponsored" across each upload platform. This content is paid reach, or content with inorganic reach as they've paid Instagram to promote the content.

Stock Imagery

Images bought from a creator or Distributor. Depending on the contract, the buyer can use these images for marketing, posting, and editing purposes.


A tab on other profiles that displays a carousel of similar content to the account the user is currently viewing. Also, it automatically pops up after hitting "follow." You can use a secondary account to see your primary account's Suggested.


Swiping is a method used across Instagram. Each platform has its own swipe structure from up, down, left, and right and interacts with tapping commands for expediency.



Using the @ symbol and typing an account name links that profile. This link is tappable and takes the user to the profile.

Target Audience

Creates a profile using demographic knowledge in order to target a particular audience, either current or new.


A type of metadata that reflects technicalities of the work rather than descriptive language.

Third-Party Apps

Refers to off-platform programs not made by Instagram or (sometimes) their affiliates. Note that Business accounts are the only ones that can directly link to third-party apps.

Trending Hashtags

Hashtags that are currently popular across Instagram.


Upload Platforms

Content can be uploaded on specific areas across Instagram. They include the Main Feed, Stories, IGTV, Live Video, and Reels.



The only clickable URL on IG (besides Shoppables) is on the profile. It should be updated often with new content.