Update: How to Add Paragraph Spacing to Your Instagram Caption Copy

How to Add Paragraph Spacing to Your Instagram Posts

20 May Update: How to Add Paragraph Spacing to Your Instagram Caption Copy

NOTE: As of May 2016, when Instagram updated its logo and UX, it is no longer possible for IOS users to add paragraph spacing. We have a semi-workaround, described below.

An Instagram contest is an easy way to capitalize on the user-generated content (UGC) trend. Instagram contests require minimal effort from participants, which is one reason they’re so popular. To host an Instagram contest using this template, just ask people to post a photo to Instagram, include your unique hashtag in the caption, and fill out a simple form.

The best “new” way to create space in the lines of Instagram caption text is to add a period between lines of text – which is to say, we’re back to the old way.

You can either write your caption right in Instagram, or you can write the caption in “Notes” or a similar app, and then copy and paste into Instagram. (Tip: Working in Notes is easier.)

The key is to make sure there are no spaces at the end of the lines:  If there’s a space, whatever is on the line below will pop up.

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You know what’s a bummer?

When I scroll through my Instagram feed and come across a post that has long, unbroken caption copy.

When this happens, I usually wince, read the first couple of sentences, then move on.

Why do I wince?

Because long caption copy — especially when it’s not broken up — can be a major turnoff when I’m leisurely scrolling through my Instagram feed of gorgeous images. I am, after all, on Instagram to consume beautiful and/or entertaining content — not to read a story.

I get it though. Sometimes you have to have an Instagram post with long caption copy.

A perfect example of this is when you use an Instagram post to promote your contest/giveaway. The caption copy of an Instagram post promoting a giveaway often includes rules, terms and a lot of other mumbo jumbo.

I come across a lot of these kinds of Instagram posts. This is largely because many of our ShortStack users use our platform to create Instagram giveaways, contests and landing page Campaigns. Then, when they go to promote their efforts on their Instagram accounts with a post, they do so with long caption copy.

So here’s the big question:

What do you do if you have a lot of information you need to share, but you don’t want to turn people off with your long caption copy?

You add paragraph spacing to make your caption copy a lot more skimmable, i.e., a heck of a lot more appealing to readers!  

If you’ve ever tried to add paragraph spacing to your caption copy in Instagram before, you’ll know that it’s a tricky thing to do.  For a long time, I actually didn’t know what the “secret” was!

Then, finally, I figured it out.

Here are the three rules you must follow to create paragraph spacing in your Instagram caption copy:

Rule #1: Don’t write your caption copy in Instagram.

Within the Instagram app, if you try to edit your caption copy to add paragraph spacing, it will just revert back to zero-spaced formatting when you press “done.”

Instead, write your caption copy in your smartphone’s notes app and then cut and paste your caption copy into Instagram. You can also try writing your caption copy in an email draft on your phone or in a Facebook status update draft.

Rule #2: Don’t include emojis before or after break points.

If you want to include emojis in your Instagram post’s caption copy, do so within your sentences — not before or after them.

Another thing you can try is adding emojis in between your paragraph spacing.

To do this, write out your caption copy in your notes app (or wherever you decide), add your paragraph spacing using by hitting your “return” button a couple of times, then, after the caption copy looks good, go in and add your emojis in the spaces between your new paragraphs.

A hashtag contest is the simplest way to gather user-generated content (UGC), increase brand awareness and reach a new audience. And people who participate in UGC campaigns are more likely to become customers. It’s easier than ever to feature moderated UGC on your website, and anyone can use a hashtag to participate in your contest.

Rule #3: Always take out the extra spaces where you want to add your paragraph spacing (this is the most important rule!).

If there is a space before the word and/or punctuation mark where you want to add paragraph spacing, you will not get the spaced-out caption caption you’re looking for (see proof of this below).

Okay, that’s it! Follow these three rules and you should be golden.

(Here’s something I discovered after we uploaded our video to YouTube. You’ll notice at around 1:19 I miss taking out the space before the “3.” As a result, I didn’t have paragraph spacing between my “2” and “3” points. Just goes to show how important rule #3 is!) 

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BONUS: Earlier we talked about using Instagram to run contests and giveaways. Here’s how you can do just that and measure your traffic, leads and sales, all using ShortStack!

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Ryan Walker
ryan@shortstacklab.com


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