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What Does “Forward” Mean on Instagram

Published March 29, 2024

Have you ever seen the word ‘forward’ on Instagram and wondered what it meant? Typically, we only see that term in regards to email. If you’re using Instagram, forward is the term used to describe skipping through Instagram stories. Depending on what side of the term you’re on, it could be considered a good thing or a bad thing. So, let’s talk about what forward means on Instagram and how to use it properly.

Instagram Stories

First, we need to know a little bit about Instagram stories to understand what forward means. Instagram Stories are a format on Instagram that allows you to upload 15-second clips, or photos together and they will be posted for 14 hours. If someone has posted a lot of stories, the forward button gives you the option to move through them quickly instead of watching the entire thing.

What Does “Forward” Mean?

Simply put, ‘forward’ on Instagram is the act of someone tapping on the right side of their screen to skip to the next segment of your Instagram Story. Think of it like flipping the page in a book or skipping to the next song on a playlist. This feature is great if you’re trying to get through content quickly, or someone has posted a very long story.

Is “Forward” on Instagram a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

You may be wondering whether the forward feature is a good thing or a bad thing. For users posting Stories, it means others can flip through their content without actually watching it. This can feel personal, and it can lower engagement if users aren’t interacting with your content.

There could be various reasons why someone is forwarding through your Instagram story. They may not be interested in that specific content, it’s too long or they may be in a rush and will come back later. Having content that doesn’t work for everyone happens, and social media ebbs and flows.

Another thing to consider is that someone is forwarding through your content because it’s so engaging that they can’t stop. This can indicate that you’re creating great content that people want more of. Forwarding on Instagram also refers to when someone sends your content to someone else with the paper airplane icon, meaning your content was good enough to share with others.

Tips for Instagram Stories

So, how can you make Stories forwardable in a positive way? We’ve got some tips for you.

  • Keep it Quick: People have short attention spans these days, so make the first few seconds of your Story count.
  • Add Some Mystery: Leave your viewers wanting more, so they come back. This will tempt them into forwarding through your story.
  • Encourage Engagement: Polls, questions and interactive stickers are a great way to get users to engage with your story content.

Final Thoughts

The ‘forward’ feature on Instagram is a tool that can be used to measure engagement and content appeal. Understanding why and how content is forwarded can offer valuable insights into audience preferences and your content strategy.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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