One of Instagrammers’ biggest questions: Do people actually read Instagram captions? Or do they just look at a photo, double-tap and scroll?

In our previous post we asked you what you thought was best: A good photo or a good caption?
If you missed the discussion, I 1,000% recommend you check out everyone’s preferences.

Here’s what’s interesting:

A few people said that most people don’t bother reading the caption – so why bother writing a good one?

Good point!

Do we always read captions?

Share with us in the comments:

1. Do you ALWAYS read people’s captions?

2. Or do you mainly pay attention to a photo, not necessarily read the caption, (maybe comment if you love the photo), and then you keep scrolling?

3. Or maybe you do read the caption depending on WHO is posting?


What do you usually do?

We did a poll on Instagram:
35% of people said always read captions
65% said they don’t always read captions

Uh oh. Interesting.

But wait, don’t think captions are useless!

Let’s go deeper because it gets even more interesting.

We asked you to share your thoughts. Your comments were very interesting.

Let’s get into it.

And at the end, I’m going to share what we can all learn from this.

Do you always read Instagram captions?

@naomikandrews: I read a lot of captions, but don’t have time to read them all. I’m more in the number 3 category (it depends on who posts). And if I’m tired I’m less likely to read.

@theshopfiles: usuallllly. But ALWAYS for certain people I really connect with!

@amelia_shares: I would only read caption if pic caught my attention.

@medleythink: If they catch my attention, I read the caption. I usually don’t like double tapping without reading at least part of the caption.

@mattengengroup: If I like the photo I read the caption. Always before liking or replying. To me it all goes hand in hand.

@rootingforyousocial: I allllways check out the captions. If it holds my interest, I keep reading.

@abbyberjes: It depends if the first line is catchy. Only if the first 3 words grab my attention. However, find a lot of the quotes so fake/trying too hard to be deep and meaningful. We all know they just copy it from pinterest, etc. Definitely a big NO for the long essay ones. I always give them a glance and if it draws me in, I read the whole thing. My captions are super long so it feels wrong not to read other ppl’s captions when I’m hoping they’ll read mine. Lol

@deegreene: I don’t always. It depends on the person. If I know it’s someone that tends to provide value I’ll take a look but unfortunately most posts are self centered so there’s no point in reading those. But I try to read when I can

@bellajmiura: Yes I read them if they are not super long.

@kinana_sager: Yes if it short caption.

@spacestoheal: Not if they’re tooooo long! I have a short attention span.

@thedevilandthedame: I rarely do. There’s particular accounts I know have information I want when I come across their posts, but I feel most people just have a generic fall back or something cute.

@miss.not.maam: It depends on the account and the picture for me! If the picture catches my eyes, I will at least glance at the caption. I don’t just read the first words, but I usually won’t have patience to read a long post either. I find that if it’s broken up into short paragraphs, or bullet points and has emojis I’m probably more likely to get through it

@thejennykline: To be honest, it depends on who’s posting!! For accounts such as this one that offer lots of advice, and I follow to hear from them, yes!! Always read!! Others that I follow for picture inspiration.. not so much!

@stephahuanlla: Depends on the account! I follow some of them only because they have good visual content and others because they have a story to tell or tips to give (like yours ). Also, if the caption is too long, I might just read only the first sentence and if it doesn’t sound interesting, I just continue scrolling.

@paperandaplan: Definitely 3. It depends on who posts.

@leoprince137: Sometimes, depending on who is posting.

@the_chic_iconic: I would choose 3 (it depends on who is posting).

@cheers_alexajean: I’m 3 all the way! I follow some accounts for purely the aesthetic or memes or whatever and that’s FINE if you’re that kind of account. But the ones I LOVE and always come back to I always read their comments and engage with as much as I can

@thisjustinne: 2 and a bit of 3. It’s usually the photo that makes me read the caption, if the photo looks like they’re telling a story, then I check the caption. But if I know the person who posts the photo and they just usually use quotes as caption, I skip it, might give it a like, but ignore the caption.

@connectioncollectiveco: Captions? Heck to the yes when people have shown that they provide a lot of value, authenticity or laughs in their captions. Combine photos & captions, I look forward to their content the most!

@dashia_aray: Usually I’ll read it if it’s good quality or want to know where they took the photo. Mostly to receive more information about the post not to read a random song lyric.

@rachelbarbara: If I see a long caption or a photo I’m interested, I’ll read the caption. Doesn’t mean I’ll read all of it! If I start reading a long one and I’m not interested. I’ll stop reading and keep on scrolling! I like writing long captions about destinations I’ve visited! Especially if there is cool history or fun facts about it!

@freespirit2211: 3! I follow a lot of animal profiles and the main point for me is to see the cute puppies or kittens or pandas, it doesn’t really matter what the caption says at that point. However, if it’s other accounts that I follow and the picture grasps my attention I might pay more attention to the caption and how it interacts with the picture.

@pomegranate_planet: Photo is important, but if there is a good image and no caption at all, I feel like the person doesn’t really care in connecting with the audience. Lots of fake accounts just post images without a word. I think no one authentic wants to look fake.

@debbiediscovers: I read depending on who’s posting! I like short witty pithy captions. But I also like longer captions where I’m asked to comment or feedback on a relevant issue that is not too user-egocentric (like which shoes should I buy) lol.

Interesting right?


Here is what we have learned:

  1. The majority of people will read captions, but it depends on a few things (keep reading).
  2. The photo is important: if it catches people’s attention, they are more likely to check out the caption.
  3. The first sentence in your caption is super important: it needs to be catchy.
  4. What you write about: it needs to be informational, helpful, inspirational or your personal story.
  5. People seem to prefer short captions, because their time is valuable.
  6. If your caption is long: it is fine as long as you are telling your story, your experience or sharing your tips.
  7. Captions = connections. People love to read captions to connect with you on a deeper level.
  8. Who posts is important: Which means that you (you, reading this right now) matter. People love to connect. They want to connect with you. To connect, you need to show up and be yourself. Embrace yourself and your passion to the absolute fullest. People will stick around if they feel like they can trust you, get to know you, get inspired or entertained by you, or learn from you.

Quick tip: The best way to connect through your caption is to write like you would speak to a friend. Because after all, you’re connecting with new friends from all around the world!

That’s it!

What about you?
What do you usually do?
Do you always read the caption, never or it depends?

Let’s continue the discussion here.