May 28, 2022

Journal Article: “Effectively Organizing Hashtags on Instagram: A Study of Library-Related Captions”

The following article (preprint) was recently published by Information Research.


Effectively Organizing Hashtags on Instagram: A Study of Library-Related Captions


Ming Zhan
Åbo Akademi, Turku, Finland

Qin Yu
Ericsson AB, Stockholm, Sweden

Ji Wang
Liaoning University, Shenyang, China


Information Research
Vol. 25 No. 2, June, 2020


Introduction. Little scientific attention has been paid to outlining the communicating function of hashtags on Instagram. The present study aims to fill this gap by analysing hashtag organization. Practical insights into user engagement, community building, and big data utilisation in the context of libraries are discussed.

Method. To achieve a valid result, 2.5 million captions on Instagram with library-related content were collected.

Analysis. Quantitative analyses were carried out with the statistical add-in packages in Python 3.0.

Results. For captions with one hashtag included, putting it in the middle results in more likes and comments; for captions composed of more than 80% of hashtags, it is advisable to use more words than having a caption full of hashtags; for captions composed of less than 80% of hashtags, placing all hashtags consecutively at the beginning is not recommended as this is more likely to result in zero comments.

Conclusion. It is concluded that placing hashtag(s) in the front of the caption should be avoided; it is not wise to use as many hashtags as possible. More effort should be made to better organize hashtags in captions because their location has an influence on attracting comments and likes.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.