Do you ever wonder why you're randomly losing followers or not getting a deserving amount of likes on Instagram? Have you ever heard your Insta-savvy pal forewarn you that "it's not a good time to post"?

Little clues here and there have led many to wonder and believe that there are "rules" to Instagram. But where do these rules come from? Don't waste time scrolling through the Terms and Conditions you initially overlooked - you won't find them there. These "rules" stem from social trends, and outline what works and what doesn't based on how the general audience feels about particular behaviours.

So, I'm here to officially lay out some guidance for how to properly utilize Instagram. Behold - the 20 Unwritten Rules of Instagram, written:

1. Post at peak times.

This varies depending on your following. In essence, don't post at times when people are generally busy or asleep. So, good times to post are in the morning before work/school, following work/school hours, after dinner, and never past 10pm.


2. Comments > likes.

If they mean anything to you, you owe them a comment.


3. Don't post on Friday or Saturday night.

I mean, do you even want an audience? This goes hand in hand with point #1.  People aren't generally bored enough to monitor Instagram on Friday and Saturday nights.


4. Don't post too many people-less pictures.

Statistics show that pictures including faces get 38% more likes than those without. Just sayin'.


5. Post frequently, but not too frequently.

Don't spam or ghost your followers. No one wants to follow the person who posts ten pictures of the same old sh*t every single day. On the other side of the frequency spectrum there's those who never post at all, and there's no point in following that person. Find a balance.


6. Avoid the cliche.

Originality is key. Another "take me back" picture of a palm tree isn't going to optimize likes.


7. Exercise some selfie-control.

27 consecutive selfies later, you better believe we know what your face looks like, so mix it up.


8. Don't post too many pictures bragging about your boyfriend.

Try to remember that you're the one who loves him, not us. All of the gushing is a surefire way to lose followers.


9. Don't use the #nofilter hashtag.

Because it basically translates to "can you believe I'm this naturally beautiful???" and no one likes a bragger. You're also inadvertently shaming filter-users, and implying that filters dramatically improve appearance, which they don't. So congratulations- but relax.


10. Don't over edit your photos.

No one has teeth or eyes that white. Nooooo one.


11. Don't hashtag #followforfollow

You might as well hashtag #imdesperate.


12. If a person you know follows you, follow them back.

Don't be a snob.


13. Avoid cheesy quotes.

*3 hour eye roll*


14. If you've got it, flaunt it.

The gym is paying off, and its cool to let Instagram know. Everyone loves to see that you're looking good and feeling good, and you'll get plenty of validation for your effort in the comments section.


15. Avoid certain filters unconditionally.

Kelvin is at the end of the list for a reason. Same with Toaster. You might as well put the photograph in an actual toaster if burnt and blurry is the look you're going for.


16. If you meet a celebrity, please post unlimited pictures.

This is an exciting exception to the frequency cap, because we're excited for you and want to know everything.


17. Post food porn.

I definitely want to see your beautiful stack of pancakes from Mildred's Temple Kitchen so I can vicariously enjoy them with you. But please don't post a blurry picture of your #cleaneats. We don't really care that you're eating chicken and broccoli in a tupperware, again.


18. Post the occasional personality-picture

What's a personality picture? Something that showcases who you are, and not just what you look like or what you're doing. This could be something funny, goofy and self-deprecating, emotional, or inspiring. These will remind everyone that you're down-to-earth and human, not just a beautiful, glamorous, perfect angel.


19. Limit yourself to one baby/puppy post per week.

Yes, your dog is adorable. But the ratio of pictures of you versus him is starting to make me wonder if Rover is running this page. If so, let me know and I'll keep following because that's amazing.


20. Don't post inside jokes.

They're meaningless to everyone except for said friend. Which means that you should probably just send it directly to them.


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