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Instagram’s competition rules are (unsurprisingly) very similar to Facebook’s competition rules – but with one very important exception… tagging is permitted on Instagram.

OK, calm down… tagging may be permitted, but there are still some other Instagram rules you need to stick to when running a competition. Here’s how to obey Instagram competition rules.

What are Instagram’s competition rules?


Instagram’s official contest rules can be found in their help centre, under ‘Promotion Guidelines’:

screenshot of the official rules for running a competition on Instagram updated September 2018

TIP: we have a super handy quick reference guide to social media competition rules which covers all of the major social media platforms including Instagram, in case you’re ever in doubt!

Let’s break down the rules to make sure we fully understand them.

Running a legal competition on Instagram.


Instagram’s promotion guidelines start off in exactly the same way Facebook’s do – by putting the responsibility on you for for the lawful running of a competition. This includes ensuring that you…

  • have official rules in place for your Instagram competition
  • clearly state the terms and eligibility requirements
  • comply with any regulatory requirements from applicable states/territories/countries

What does this actually mean? It means have a set of terms and conditions where your entrants can find them, communicate key conditions to your audience and make sure you apply for all of the necessary licences and permits to run a legal competition on Instagram. Don’t worry, we’ll show you exactly how to do this now!


Terms and conditions are an essential part of running any social media competition – not only to comply with Instagram’s promotion guidelines, but also to protect your business.

Your terms and conditions should cover who the competition is open to, key competition dates, detailed instructions for entering, prize inclusions and the prize draw as well as how and when the winner will be notified.

We’ve paid the lawyer big bucks to create a comprehensive competition terms and conditions template which you can grab for a fraction of the cost here.


Whether or not you will need a licence will depend on whether you’re running a game of skill or a game of chance, as well as how much your prize is worth and who your competition is open to (regardless of where your business in based). In Australia, for example, a game of chance will require a licence if your prize is over $3,000… whereas a game of skill currently does not require one.

Each state, territory and country is different, so check your own licence and permit requirements here.

Release Instagram from liability…


Instagram rules require you to release them from liability and acknowledge they are in no way involved in the running of your competition. The good news is they tell you exactly what to write in their competition rules, so make sure you include this sentence in your competition post and your terms and conditions:

“This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.”

Our T&Cs template covers this as well as including a specific clause Instagram from liability and stating that they are not associated with the competition.

Enjoying our guide to Instagram rules?

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To tag or not to tag?!


Unlike Facebook’s competition rules, Instagram’s contest and giveaway rules do not expressly forbid you from tag to enter competitions. They do, however, state that you must NOT ask people to tag themselves in pictures they are not in. That also goes for you NOT tagging people who may like to enter your competition in your competition post photos – save your tags for the comments instead.

“You must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content (example: don’t encourage people to tag themselves in photos if they aren’t in the photo).”

What about consent to use material or posts?


Instagram’s competition rules specifically state that they…

“… cannot advise you on whether consent is required for use of user content or on how to obtain any necessary consent.”

Luckily though, our T&Cs template directly covers this (and you) with a clause relating to use of material constituting a competition entry. Basically, if it’s not yours, you haven’t legally stated you’ll be using it or you haven’t received written permission – don’t use it!

What happens if I break the rules?


Just like on other social media platforms, there is not a dedicated team that looks for naughty, rule-breaking competitions. It would be far too time consuming.

Instead, Instagram relies on the community to report competitions that don’t follow the rules. That means that pretty much anyone can report your post/competition if they’re aware of the rules, feel your competition is unfair, have beef your brand (think grumpy customers, ex-employees or even competitors) or just people who flat out want to be mean.

Learn from people who have experienced this and had their competitions and accounts shut down and don’t let it happen to you.

See how easy it is when you a) know where to look for the rules and b) you break them down into easy-to-understand chunks? As long as you have a set of terms and conditions, including releasing Instagram from liability, apply for your licences and do not ask entrants to tag themselves in pictures they’re not in; you’re ready to run a competition on Instagram!

Want to make sure your competition won’t land you in Instagram jail or need a hand with your T&Cs? Get in touch with our team of Instagram-loving competition experts!