What Is 'Tagging' on Facebook?

Learn How to Tag Photos and Configure Your Tagging Privacy Settings

Friends posing for group selfie
franckreporter/Getty Images

"Tagging" is a social feature that Facebook rolled out several years ago, and since then, lots of other social networks have integrated it into their own platforms. Here's how it works specifically on Facebook.

What Exactly Does It Mean to 'Tag' Someone on Facebook?

In the beginning, Facebook tagging could only be done with photos. Today, however, you can incorporate tagging into any type of Facebook post at all.

Tagging basically involves attaching a friend's name to one of your posts. This made a lot of sense back when it was exclusively meant for photos, because anyone who uploaded photos could tag their friends who appeared in them to put a name to each face.

When you tag someone in a post, you create a “special kind of link,” as Facebook puts it. It actually links a person’s profile to the post, and the person tagged in the photo is always notified about it.

If the tagged user's privacy settings are set to public, the post will show up on their own personal profile and in the news feed of their friends. It may show up on their timeline either automatically or upon approval from them, depending on how their tag settings are configured, which we'll discuss next.

Configuring Your Tag Settings

Facebook has a whole section dedicated to configuring settings for your timeline and tagging. At the top of your profile, look for the little down arrow icon besides the Home button on the top right and click on it.

Choose “Settings” and then click on “Timeline and Tagging" in the left sidebar. Select “Edit Settings.” You’ll see a number of tagging options here that you can configure.

Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?: Set this to “On” if you don’t want photos you've been tagged in to go live on your own timeline before you approve each of them.

You can reject the tag if you don’t want to be tagged. This can be a useful feature for avoiding unflattering photos from showing up on your profile suddenly for all your friends to see.

Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline?: If you set this to “Everyone,” then every user that views your profile will be able to see tagged photos of you, even if you’re not friends with them. Alternatively, you can choose the “Custom” option so that only close friends or even just you alone can see your tagged photos.

Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook?: Your friends can tag themselves or you in photos belonging to your own albums. If you want to be able to approve or reject them before they go live and appear on your timeline (as well as in the news feeds of your friends), you can do this by selecting “On.”

When you're tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren't already in it?: People who are tagged will be able to see the post, but other people who aren't tagged won't necessarily see it. If you'd like all your friends or a custom friends group to be able to see other friends' posts you're tagged in even though they haven't been tagged in them, you can set this up with this option.

Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?: This option is not yet available at time of writing, but we expect that that you’ll be able to choose the regular options like friends, friends of friends, everyone, or custom for setting privacy options.

How to Tag Someone in a Photo or Post

Tagging a photo is very easy. When you’re viewing a photo on Facebook, look for the “Tag Photo” option at the bottom. Click on the photo (such as a friend’s face) to start the tagging.

A dropdown box with your friend list should appear, so you can select the friend or type in their name to find them faster. Select “Done Tagging” when you’ve finished tagging all your friends in the photo. You can add an option location or edit whenever you want.

To tag someone in a regular Facebook post or even a post comment, all you have to do is type an "@" symbol and then start typing the user's name that you want to tag, directly beside the symbol without any spaces.

Similar to photo tagging, typing "@name" in a regular post will display a dropdown box with a list of suggestions of people to tag. You can also do this in comment sections of posts. It's worth noting that Facebook allows you to tag people you aren't friends with if you're having a conversation in the comments and want them to see your comment.

How to Remove a Photo Tag

You can remove a tag someone gave you by viewing the photo, selecting “Options” at the bottom and then selecting “Report/Remove Tag.” Now you have two options to choose from.

I want to remove the tag: Check this box to remove the tag from your profile and from the photo.

Ask to have the photo removed from Facebook: If you think this photo is inappropriate in any way, you can report it to Facebook so they can decide if it needs to be removed.

How to Remove a Post Tag

If you want to remove a tag from a post or from a post's comment that you left on it, you can simply do so by editing it. Just click on the downward arrow button in the top right corner of your post and select "Edit Post" beneath to edit it and take the tag out. If it's a comment you left on a post that you want to remove a tag from, you can do the same by clicking the downward arrow in the top right of your specific comment and selecting "Edit."

For more information about Facebook photo tagging, you can visit Facebook’s official Help page that may help you answer anymore of your questions about photo tagging.

Next recommended article: How to Create a Custom Facebook Friend List

More From Us