Instagram, the social media platform created to “capture and share the world’s moments,” has become a powerful visual playground.
If you want to get your audience’s attention, an alluring photo or video is a must — but the captions also count. Think of your visual content as the main course, while your captions are the dessert that encourages your followers to stick around for a nice chat.
So, how long can a caption be on Instagram, and what’s the ideal caption length?
Whether you use Instagram to stay in touch with friends and family or you hope to generate leads and drive sales as a small business owner, you’ll eventually get curious about the Instagram caption character limit and wonder how to write more effective captions.
After all, few things are more intimidating than an entirely blank page and a wide-open mind. Many people learned this lesson the hard way the first time a teacher invited them to have fun writing an essay about “anything you like.”
Psychologists have a term for that pit you feel in your stomach when you can go anywhere you want but you have no idea where that is. “Paralysis of choice.” It explains why people write haikus, why six-word memoirs exist, and why it’s easier to cook with the leftovers at the back of your fridge than pick a brand new meal.
It’s also why many social media lovers had so much fun during the early days of Twitter and TikTok. If necessity is the mother of invention, limits are freeing. If constraints unleash creativity, the long Instagram caption character limit is daunting.
Does this introduction read like an unnecessarily long ramble? It should, because it is. But there’s a point. This is what the maximum Instagram caption length looks like.
This intro should serve as a powerful reminder that filling the entire canvas is often a terrible idea. Write an Instagram caption this long, and you’re more likely to make your followers snooze than get them interested in your content.
Join us to explore Instagram’s caption length limits — but also to find that sweet spot. Because no matter who you are, taking your captions to new creative heights will help you spark conversations that energize, excite, and matter.
A Look at the Instagram Caption Limit: How Long Can Instagram Captions Be?
The caption limit Instagram has decided on is 2,200 characters — the precise length of the introduction above, which you may or may not have had the patience to read until the end.
This caption limit is extremely generous, especially when compared to many other social media platforms, but some users may still run into limitations, questions, or head-scratchingly confusing moments.
It’s important to note that there’s no Instagram caption word limit, as such, because some words are longer than others. Instagram users should also keep in mind that the social media platform counts characters differently than word processing programs like Word.
Here’s what counts toward the Instagram captions limit:
- All text characters, including letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and spaces, count toward the character limit Instagram has imposed for captions.
- The emojis that make your Instagram captions come to life also count toward the maximum character limit. In most cases, each emoji counts as a single character — making emojis a great way to shorten your caption a little. However, Instagram may count complex emojis as several characters.
And here’s what doesn’t count toward the Instagram captions length — get ready for some surprising plot twists!
- Paragraph breaks or line breaks visually alter your caption, but they’re not included in the caption character limit on Instagram. That means you can use them to structure your captions as you please, and it gives you a great way to make long Instagram captions more readable.
- Hashtags don’t count toward your maximum caption length on Instagram, either. The social media platform counts hashtags separately, and you can include a maximum of 30 in every post.
- Mentioning other Instagram users in your captions is also “free.” It doesn’t count toward your maximum caption length.
- Users who provide alt text to make their Instagram photos more accessible can also rest assured that this friendly step doesn’t impact how long your captions can be on Instagram.
- Finally, Instagrammers should feel free to include location tags in their posts without worrying that it will force them to write shorter captions.
How Long Can an Instagram Caption Be for Different Types of Posts?
You may wonder if all types of posts come with the same Instagram caption limits. Not quite!
Instagram Feed Posts
Instagram feed posts have a character limit of 2,200, regardless of whether you share a photo or video post. These permanent feed posts probably make up the “meat” of your Instagram page, and there’s a high chance that followers will continue to explore them long after you initially share them on Instagram.
Instagram Reels are short-form videos with a maximum length of 90 seconds. They have the same maximum caption length as feed posts — 2,200 characters.
Instagram Carousels are the ideal place for your photodumps. This handy feature allows you to mix and match up to 10 different photos and videos, giving you an easy way to share a collection of related posts in one go. While Instagram gives you the same Instagram caption count in this case, your captions should be much shorter.
Stories stay up for 24 hours, after which they disappear into cyberspace forever. You still have the chance to share up to 2,200 characters, but don’t do that. Your question shouldn’t be, “How long can Instagram caption be?” but how much you can write without scaring your followers off.
Instagram Bio Captions
Instagram Bio captions are a notable exception. The maximum caption length Instagram offers in this case is 150 characters. Bio captions should be catchy and concise — but, on the positive side, you can change them as often as you like!
Has the Instagram Caption Limit Changed?
Few things remain the same for very long in today’s fast-paced digital world, and it’s always good to stay up to date with the latest changes!
X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, recently announced that subscribers would be able to share a grand total of 4,000 characters with the world — quite an impressive expansion compared to its early days. Twitter users still seem very attached to short-form content that forces them to craft messages followers can digest in bite-sized chunks, but it now allows certain people to write entire blog posts.
TikTok also opened its doors to long-winded users when it decided to match the Instagram caption word count. TikTokers can now write video descriptions as long as 2,200 characters, though the question remains whether they should.
Instagram remains surprisingly consistent and dependent amid all these changes. While rumor has it that the caption limit was significantly shorter before its official launch — when the platform was still called Burbn — Instagram’s caption limits are set to stay the same for now.
Having said that, it still helps to stay aware of the fact that social media platforms can update their policies and features frighteningly quickly. If you’re looking for the latest information about caption length limits, Google search terms like “Instagram caption length 2022” or “Instagram caption limit 2022” tend to give you the most accurate results.
However, unless you decide to pen your caption off-platform, you really don’t need to Google the Instagram caption character limit 2022. Instagram will definitely let you know if your caption is too long — but you’d have to turn your captions into mini-blogs for that to happen.
So, How Long Should Your Instagram Caption Be?
That’s another excellent question, and definitely a step up from “How long can Instagram captions be?”
Instagram might give you a generous character limit, but that doesn’t mean any regular Instagram user, small business owner, or aspiring social media influencer should go out of their way to fill up all that space.
So, let’s get back to that question — the ideal length for your Instagram captions depends on a number of factors. They include:
- Your goals.
- The type of post you’re sharing.
- Your Instagram audience.
Here are some things to consider when you decide how much space you want your next Instagram caption to take up.
1. The ‘More’ Button
Would you like your entire Instagram caption to be visible to your viewers and followers from their feeds? In that case, you’ll benefit from knowing that users will be invited to tap the “More” button to read your full Instagram caption if it exceeds 140 characters.
Keep your captions short and sweet, and everyone who’s interested in your content will get your whole message without any additional effort. On the other hand, a compelling hook could encourage your readers to engage more deeply, which may help you gain likes and views on Instagram.
2. Personal vs Business Instagram Accounts
Instagram has emerged as an incredibly powerful marketing platform for businesses of all sizes — and many businesses definitely appreciate the opportunity to write longer captions.
If you run a business Instagram account, that generous 2,200-character caption length allows you to give your followers more than a snapshot. You’ll be able to:
- Kick your Instagram captions off with a compelling hook that keeps followers interested and hungry for more.
- Connect with your audience through personal stories.
- Share exciting developments in your business.
- Talk about special offers.
- End with a call to action your Instagram followers can’t ignore.
In short, that generous caption length allows you to put all your copywriting skills to work on Instagram. That translates to more leads, improved sales, and better brand awareness.
People with personal Instagram accounts are usually better off not filling all that space — but there are exceptions.
3. The Type of Content You Post on Instagram
You can do a lot with 2,200 characters! Our introduction, which was exactly 2,200 characters long, contained a grand total of 374 words.
If you want to share more than photos, Instagram gives you the opportunity to write travel diaries, short stories, or mini-blogs that may become part of your brand identity on the platform. Have you already attracted the kinds of followers who are excited to hear all about your latest adventures? Don’t limit yourself to photos and videos — and feel free to get wordy in the captions!
How to Craft Effective Captions on Instagram
Let’s face it — Instagram has a reputation for being the world’s most visual social media platform, and most of your followers primarily add your page to their feeds to enjoy your stunning pictures and creative videos.
To drag up an old, tired expression, pictures don’t actually paint a thousand words. As beautiful as they may be, they often lack context and emotion. That’s what the captions are for.
Instagram posts with captions (any captions, not just beautifully crafted ones!) garner more attention. They have a higher reach, get more likes, and attract many more comments when compared to Instagram posts that don’t have captions at all.
If you’ve ever encountered that dreaded “Instagram caption too long” message, you might not need more characters. You might just need a better approach to caption writing.
- Keeping your Instagram captions between 75 and 150 characters — because the most powerful messages are often the shortest.
- Saying the most important things first. Your hook will help you hold onto your followers’ attention.
- Write several draft captions, and actively think about ways to convey the same message more briefly or with more “oomph.” Remember, the thesaurus is your friend.
- Replacing long, boring words with emojis wherever possible. You’ll add character to your Instagram posts while keeping your captions concise.
- Ask questions to spark conversations and invite people to comment on your Instagram posts.
- Include a call to action. Nope, that doesn’t just work for businesses — inviting people to double-tap or add their thoughts works wonders for people with personal Instagram accounts, too!
Final Thoughts on the Instagram Caption Limit
Instagram has a very generous caption limit of 2,200 characters. That’s not just enough to say what you want to, but more than enough.
Long story short? If you’re looking for an Instagram caption counter, you’re doing it wrong. The Instagram caption Goldilocks Zone (not too short, not too long, but just right) is generally no more than 220 characters. If you don’t want your followers to have to tap that “More” button, you’ll stick to 140 characters or less.
Remember, you can always add more context in the comments!