Instagram reacts. They can either be a useful weapon in being a heaux online, or they can land you on someone’s potential block list. Reacts are powerful tools, and I fear too many of you are using them in the wrong way, so allow me to guide you through them, with this non-scientific guide.

Before we begin, let me remind you what the Instagram reacts are. There are eight in total, and they are the laughing emoji, the shocked emoji, the heart-eyes emoji, the crying emoji, the clapping emoji, the fire react, the celebration emoji and the good old one hundred.

For a visual, here is Flex Mami in a cabbage bucket hat, with the reacts over her story.

Flex Mami And Instagram ReactsI now want the cabbage bucket hat to be a real thing… it’s fashion.

Time to break down the reacts. You may think that laughing is for comedy, and crying is for sadness, but the reacts are far more nuanced than that. Here is how your usage (and lack thereof) can either make or break your attempts at flirting with someone via Insta.

The Laughing Emoji

laughing emoji

I cannot stress this enough, do not fucking use this emoji on a normal picture of anyone. I’m dead serious. Okay now that that’s out of the way, I love this little guy!

Only ever use it for memes, and unless you’re good friends IRL with someone, try to use him very sparingly. I’m talking like once a month, if that. It’s truly the least flirty of the emojis.

It’s good to show someone that you find their posts funny, but can also get annoying in excess. It works very well when the person you’re trying to woo has just filmed a humorous video of themselves, but in that instance, writing an actual comment is better for stirring up conversation, (although in recent updates, Insta reacts don’t even start a convo at all, so a comment is all you’ve got).

The laughing emoji is a very set and forget kind of thing, and usually won’t even get a double-tap from people, so be warned of its limited power. Use it on your besties though, they’ll love it.

ImageHow I think people react to my ‘funny’ Insta vids…

The Shocked Emoji

face with open mouth

One of the most complex and mysterious emojis on offer when reacting to something. Usually, you use this one when someone puts up something absolutely fucked on their story, like, a giant spider in their room or something.

Again, this emoji doesn’t really say much to the person you’re sending it to, but it does have a secret usage that I quite like.

If you’ve managed to land on a few people’s close friends list, you might see some thotty pics up on your Instagram, and guess what, the shocked face actually works well on thot pics. Allow me to explain. Maybe someone has just recently added you to their green circle, and suddenly their hotness is all up on your Instagram.

Perfect time to go shocked face, because it’s like a way of saying “omg I cannot believe I’m seeing this, but I’m so glad I am”. Or maybe you’ve known them for a while but they’ve posted something EXTRA thotty that you weren’t expecting. Boom. Shocked face. It’s endearing while also being different from the fire react we all know and love.

ImageThink of the shocked face emoji as this exact GIF.

The Heart Eyes

heart eyes

I know what you’re thinking. Love! Adoration! Respect! And you’d be right! However, things are a little different in the game of flirtation.

You don’t really ever want to use this emoji on someone’s hot selfie, as it’s a bit intense, and not really fitting in most scenarios. It’s basically like saying to someone “omg I love this!”, which is a strange thing to say to a regular hot pic. Use this for pics of the beach, pics of cafe food, a cute dog, or something that you actually love that isn’t the person themselves, trust me.

It’s also very difficult to start a convo from the heart eyes emoji, so just know that if you decide to use it, you may receive a ‘seen’ or a double-tap, because you’ve already said everything you could possibly say in one single emoji.

ImageKeep the love reacts for your bestie in their new fit, they’ll adore you for it.

The Sad Face Emoji

sad face

Or realistically, the crying emoji. If we’re talking about flirtatious uses of the emojis here, you can forget about this one being in any way flirty. You can use this emoji to react to (obviously) sad posts, but you can also use it for humorous memes.

For example, maybe they’ve posted a meme on their story that is like “can’t wait to go from staring at my prison of a medium-sized screen and start staring at my joyful, smaller screen.” Then you can sad face react that, and it’s like a joke way of saying “damn, it really do be like that sometimes.”

The sad face is very nuanced, as you can see. The thing is though, if someone has posted something serious like a family member or dog has died, it’s probably worth it to write them a nice message instead of just sending a sad emoji. Have some heart, y’all.

ImageMe when they leave my perfect Insta react emoji on seen.

The Clapping Hands Emoji


Hell yeah! Go you! The clapping hands emoji is all about support and agreeance. Is someone sharing their political opinion and nailing every single sentence in ways that would take you an entire month to formulate? Clapping hands. Did someone film themselves scoring their first goal at community soccer? Clapping. Hands.

It’s very simple and very effective, and almost impossible to get wrong, unless you use a clapping hands emoji on something that is quite serious, and should not be applauded.

When it comes to people’s selfies, maybe reserve the clapping hands for a time when they say something like “getting closer towards my fitness goals!” If it’s just a normal selfie, the clapping works, I guess, but there’s way more efficient emojis that you can use.

ImageA round of applause please, Nicole.

The Legendary Fire React

fire react

Brothers, sisters and others, come gather ’round the hearth. You may have heard a tale or two about the legend of the fire react, and I am here to tell you, all the whispers are true.

Fable tells of the dreaded thot pic, which hungers for fire reacts, and scours the Earth in search of as many as it can find, before returning to its cavern in the depths of horny prison. In fact, some may say the ghastly thot pic, with its sharpened talons, exists purely to receive as many fire reacts as humanly possible. It is insatiable.

The fire react cannot quench a horny soul, but instead, inform it of your interest. In my travels, the use of a fire react oft eventuates in a meeting between the recipient and the giver.

In other words, if the pic is hot, fire react it! It’s harmless and fun and can sometimes lead you to great places!

ImageIf you look like this, call me.

The Celebration Emoji

party popper

Just, don’t use this please, unless it’s someone’s birthday, or you’re being ironic. This emoji will get you nowhere real fast, and most of the time people will suspect that you’re just joking around.

A good emoji for the tricksters and memers of the world, but for those of us who long for love, this isn’t the ticket.

ImageSurprise! It’s the worst Instagram emoji on offer!

The One Hundred Emoji

hundred points

Honestly, this one can be used for pretty much anything. It’s (most of the time) inoffensive, and conveys a feeling with just enough ambiguity that it can sometimes open up discussion in the Instagram DM’s.

Hot pic? You can use this emoji to say ‘I rate it 100/100’. Did someone spit facts on their story? It can be used in agreeance. Is someone posting their fave song or movie? One hundred time! The uses are multiple, and up to your discretion.

ImageQuite literally me when I use this emoji.

Well there you have it folks, and just remember, if someone is using the iconic cabbage bucket hat that Flex Mami used, any of these reacts applies perfectly well. Keep that in mind. The cabbage bucket is the middle ground.

Happy reacting!