Honestly, much of Instagram bemuses and befuddles me. I don’t think in pictures, so as far as social media outlets go, using it has never really been a priority for me. This means that I often have a lot of questions about it — including, but not limited to, the following: What does “LB” mean on Instagram? And why the heck are people always commenting with it on Kylie Jenner’s photos? I mean, seriously — it’s all over the place. What gives? Inquiring minds want to know!
But that, my friends, is why the internet exists: So we can dig up whatever information our little hearts desire, at any time and pretty much in any place. I mean, yes, the internet exists for other reasons, too… but having ready access to all the information you could ever want is a biggie. So here — I did some research, because, well, someone had to do it. For anyone else out there who is as Instagam illiterate as I am, let’s take a deep dive into what this wacky little acronym means, shall we? It may look deceptively simple… but there’s more to it than you might think.
First Things First: What Does “LB” Mean, Exactly?
This is the simple bit: The acronym stands for “like back” or “likeback.” It’s a request from one user to another for a “like”; the idea is that it will make you look more popular on Instagram, and therefore potentially boost your number of followers.
What’s The Proper “LB” Etiquette?
Here's where it starts to get a little more complicated. Generally, it works like this: To make the request, first “like” someone’s photo, then post “LB” as a comment on it. Then just wait. The person whose photo you “liked” and commented on might go ahead and return the favor... or they might not. And if they don't, then you just kind of have to deal with it and move on with your life.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Asking for a likeback doesn’t mean the person is required to give you one. It’s a request, not a guarantee. The other person is perfectly within their rights not to grant your request — you’re asking a favor of them, after all.
- Don’t ask for a likeback without liking a photo posted by the person you’re requesting one from first. It’s an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of transaction, so don’t ask for something without offering something. A) That’s rude, and B) you’re much more likely to get what you want if you give something in return — that’s basic negotiating.
- Don’t spam people with requests for likebacks. No one likes being spammed. It's annoying. Incidentally, this point also brings us to our final question:
What’s The Deal With Kylie Jenner?
People post “LB” on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram photos all the dang time. However, this is a perfect example of how not to use “LB”: People are not only spamming her with it, but moreover, they’re using it either as a demand on her time, or as a way to use her account to give themselves more visibility. All of these things are really, really rude — and moreover, we know she doesn’t like it. Back in 2012, she tweeted the following:
People seem not to have gotten the memo, though, as it’s still all over her photos; this one, for example, was posted just yesterday:
Go ahead and open the photo in a new tab. Take a look at the comments. It's full of "LB." Yep: Four years later, people are still at it, even though she has clearly stated she wants them to stop. I believe the acronym I’m looking for now is “SMH.”
“LB” can be a fun way to build camaraderie with your fellow Insta users, but as a wise man once said, with great power comes great responsibility — so if you're going to "LB," do it mindfully. Happy Instagramming!