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How long should Captions be on Instagram 2023?

With the algorithms on Instagram constantly changing, it's hard to know what does and doesn't work on the app right now. From how long captions should be, to how long the best reels are, or even just knowing the type of content you should be content. It can be a struggle.


Luckily for us, this year the brilliant researchers at Social Insider conducted a complete Instagram Captions Analysis, to reveal some of the best strategies for enhancing engagement though captions this year might be.


So while many Instagram questions may still be up in the air, at least we can rest happily knowing that our captions are sorted!

how long should an Instagram caption be?
Instagram Caption Length

*(Study info: 9,117,401 Instagram posts posted between January and July 2023, sourced from 82,952 Business Pages.)


So let's get into it!


Shorter Instagram captions = Higher engagement

One revelation from the study, was that shorter captions (less that 30 words), generally did better in terms of engagement. Suggesting that when caption length increases, the potential for engagement on Instagram may diminish.


Are shorter Instagram captions better than longer ones? This infographic shows that shorter Instagram captions are better than longer ones.
Engagement rate for Instagram Captions

CTAs = more interactions

Beyond the length of captions, Social Insider also looked into the impat of Call-to-Actions (CTAs) on IG.


Research found that including CTAs in your captions can significantly increase conversions and the effectiveness of your post.


Unlike Facebook, when it comes to Instagram, you can't post clickable links within captions. As a result, in order to drive traffic to your webpages or LinkTree, many accounts rely on CTAs within captions to drive more leads.


A Call-to-Action, or 'CTA' - is a quick, snappy sentence (such as 'tap the link in bio to learn more', that drives a reader to make a decision, or, as the phrase suggests, take an 'action'.


To identify the most effective CTAs within captions, Social Insider analysed the average engagement rates for posts featuring the following commonly used phrases:

  • “Read more”

  • “Let us know in the comments”

  • “Like if you…”

  • “Check the link in bio”

  • “Available now”

By studying the engagement rates of posts that used these CTAs, they found the following data on CTA vs. engagement:

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This infographic shows Instagram engagement rate by expressions aka call to actions used in the caption
What CTAs should you use on Instagram Captions 2023

Now it's important to take this data with a pinch of salt - although the data pool was substancial, you still can't rule out the possibility of some results being simply correlation or coincidense, rather than matter-of-fact causation.


That being said, it's still a very interesting study to look at, and definitely one to keep in mind when writing out those IG posts!


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