How to Make Your Hashtags More Reader-Friendly

How to Make Your Hashtags More Reader-Friendly
Photo: REDPIXEL.PL, Shutterstock
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, hacks and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Lifehacker Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a fix.

Communicating in the language of hashtags is an annoyingly universal aspect of social media. But if you’re using hashtags on your Instagram posts, tweets, or Facebook status updates, you should make sure they’re readable for people with visual and cognitive disabilities.

Capitalise the first letter in each word

Hashtags weren’t designed to be easily read. They’re basically a tool for cataloguing content on the internet, marketing, or making cheesy jokes. But when you create a monstrosity of a hashtag, squeezing words together without spaces or punctuation, you’re creating something that can be impossible to decipher.

If you really feel the need to create a long hashtag, capitalise the first letter of each word. A hashtag like #comeforlivemusicstayforbeer is easier to read when it’s written out like #ComeForLiveMusicStayForBeer. As The Bureau of Internet Accessibility points out, people who require screen readers — software programs that help visually impaired users read on-screen text — and those who have dyslexia will benefit from this easy fix.

If your hashtags are smashed together like some long-winded portmanteau, it’ll likely confuse a screen reading program so that it reads out your hashtag like one word — in other words, gibberish. Likewise for people with dyslexia. Capitalising each word makes your tags more readable for everyone who encounters your post.

You Can Now Restore Recently Deleted Instagram Posts

Instagram is adding a new “Recently deleted” folder to the app’s menu that temporarily stores posts after you remove them from your profile or archive, giving you the ability to restore deleted posts if you change your mind.

Read more

Use spaces if you’re using multiple hashtags

I cannot believe that I have to write this, but even in 2021, there are still a few straphangers prone to muddling together multiple hashtags without spaces. For example, refrain against all possible urges to post something like this calamity:

#instafun#instagood#regram#sundayfunday#brunch#besties.

Instead, if you must clog social media with inane hashtags like the example above, write them out like this:

#InstaFun #InstaGood #ReGram #SundayFunday #Brunch #Besties

If you’re failing to use spaces, your hashtag will essentially become one giant novel of a hashtag that doesn’t actually lead to anywhere. Tapping it will essentially lead a user to a 404 page. You really don’t want that to happen, do you?

Don’t overdo it

It was probably more likely in the nascent days of Instagram (2012 or 2013, anyone?) for users to be a little bit trigger happy with their tags. At that point, they were a novel and fun way to demonstrate understanding of the digital parlance. Now, however, they’re essentially the equivalent of wallpaper lining the walls of your social media experience — they aren’t notable.

So don’t riddle your post with hashtag after hashtag. On social media, it’s best to be tasteful, and the influencers and brands who use it in ways that are less annoying than others consistently demonstrate restraint with their tags. If you’re using hashtags for promote a brand or another initiative, maybe only use a two or three in the body of your post. If you’d like to make your post accessible to a variety of tags on Instagram, you can always add them in the comments of your post, so the main copy doesn’t look so cluttered.

Log in to comment on this story!