Instagram Issues

What is an Instagram Handle? (Complete Explaination)

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How would you respond if someone asked you what your Instagram handle is?

If you’re new to the social media space and hearing the term “Instagram handle” for the first time, your first response would be, what is an Instagram handle?

Instagram handle is a term that most Instagram users use quite frequently. No matter whether you’re a Genz or you’re in your mid-40s, everyone uses this term.

It’s not like some social media acronyms like CFS or POV that only a certain group of people use.

Instead, it’s a beneficial feature of the platform that can help you in many ways.

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In this post, we’ll explain what is an Instagram handle, why it’s important, and some essential information that you would have to know.

So, without wasting any further time, let’s dive right in.

What is an Instagram Handle?

Instagram handle is basically a unique identifier that helps people to navigate through your profile easily without getting confused.

In simple terms, the Instagram handle is the name that comes after the “@” mark.

Instagram is like an ocean filled with billions of fish. If you want people to find you easily in this huge ocean without searching for hours, the Instagram handle can be your savior.

But don’t get confused between Instagram handles and account names. Both of these things are different and fulfill different aspects.

When you visit your profile, the very first name you can see at the top of the screen is your Instagram handle or username.

And the name that comes after your profile picture is the account name that you have set.

You can have similar account names as other accounts, but you can’t have similar usernames or Instagram handles. Your username should be unique at any cost.

Why Choosing an Instagram Handle is Important?

Now that you have understood what an Instagram handle actually is and how it works, you should also know why it’s an essential aspect of your Instagram account.

You see, no matter what social media platform you use, every platform allows you to choose a unique username to make it easier for people to find you.

There might be thousands of users available with your exact name, and if someone searches for you, they will never find out which one is your account.

To eliminate this confusion and differentiate you from other users, Instagram handles play a vital role.

Now, you can’t just pick up any random username for your Instagram handle if you’re really serious about growing your account.

You have to carefully choose a username that represents your personality or your brand’s identity.

Later in this post, we’ll give you some actionable and practical tips that you can apply to make your username or Instagram handle more catchy, attention-grabbing, and recognizable.

How to Change Your Instagram Handle

If you have already chosen a username while setting up the account and now you want to change it, don’t worry.

You can always change your Instagram handle or username and rename it the way you want.

And you know the best part?

This whole process of changing your Instagram handle takes less than a minute.

Here’s how you can do that:

Step 1. Open your Instagram app and go to your profile.

Step 2. Now, click on “Edit Profile”.

Step 3. Here, click on “Username” and enter any username you wish.

Step 4. Click on “Done” to save the changes.

And that’s how easily you can change your Instagram handle or username within a minute.

Remember, you can change your username back to the older version within 14 days. After that, that username will be usable again by other users.

Instagram Username Rules

You can’t just use any username for your Instagram handle. You would also have to follow certain rules that Instagram has set themselves.

And yes, you can’t bypass this anyhow.

Let’s have a look at some of the Instagram username rules that every user needs to follow

1. Instagram Username Should Not Exceed 30 Characters

While choosing the name for your Instagram handle, you have to ensure it should not exceed 30 characters.

It’s the maximum limit Instagram allows for now.

And it’s not just Instagram.

To make usernames easily rememberable and scannable, most platforms restrict their users to keep the username as short as possible.

Still, it’s far better than other platforms like Reddit and Twitter, which only allow up to 15 and 20 characters, respectively.

2. You Can’t Include Space or Special Characters

Another thing you must ensure while choosing your Instagram username is that it should not have any special characters. Special characters or spaces in between the characters are not allowed within the username.

You can only use letters, numbers, periods, or underscores.

3. No Other Username Should Use That Username

No one should be already using the username that you have chosen. Only one person can use the same username once.

If someone has already taken the username you have chosen, try out some different variations. You can also add underscores and numbers or shuffle some letters to find a somewhat similar username to what you had already chosen originally.

4. 14 Days Waiting Time If You Change Your Username Twice

If you change your username twice, you will have to wait for 14 days to change it again.

You can change your Instagram handle unlimited times without any restrictions, but the 14-day waiting time is mandatory.

Tips for Choosing The Best Instagram Handle

1. Keep it Short And Simple

Keep your username or Instagram handle as short and simple as possible.

Your username is like the nameplate of your house. If you keep it confusing and long, people won’t be able to remember it well enough.

If you’re running a business Instagram account, you can shorten your business name and use it as your username.

And if your business name is short itself, you can use it as a username if it’s available. This same tip applies to personal accounts as well.

2. Include Keyword

If you want your account to rank higher on the Instagram search for a particular keyword, you can add that keyword to your username.

For example, if you’re a bakery shop, you can include the keyword “bakery” within your username to make it more visible and search-friendly.

But remember, you should only include the keywords that are related to your niche or audience. If you just randomly add any keywords without any context, it would destroy your reputation.

3. Make Sure The Username Reflects Yourself or What Your Brand is About

This is the most crucial thing you have to keep in mind while choosing a username for your Instagram handle.

You have to make sure the username you’re choosing reflects who you are or what your brand is about.

If you’ve chosen to use your own name variations or brand name, that’s all good.

But if you’re using some keyword-focused username, you must keep this in mind.

4. Don’t Use Numbers, Periods, And Underscores If Possible

If possible, don’t use any sort of numbers, underscores, or periods within your username, even if it’s permittable. Adding these things makes your Instagram handle look unprofessional.

But if you have no choice or if your brand name is simply unavailable, you can use it.


We hope now you have a clear understanding of what is an Instagram handle.

Often, people have similar names, and it makes it confusing for anyone to find your profile on a huge platform like Instagram.

And that’s where Instagram handles come to the rescue.

Instagram handle (also known as username) works as a unique identifier to help people find your profile easily on the platform.

But if you’re serious about your Instagram profile, you can’t just use any random username.

You have to follow certain tips and guidelines to make your username or Instagram handle look professional.


  • Jennifer Smith

    Jennifer Smith is a writer at specializing in social media and digital marketing. She likes to make complicated things easily understandable for everyone. Her writing expertise includes how-to guides, social media tips and tricks, and digital marketing. When she's not writing, she is either traveling in some part of the world or painting in her house. She has been writing for the past 7 years and has written dozens of blog posts and articles around various digital marketing and social media topics.

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