What Does "ops" Mean on Instagram? A Complete Expert Guide

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If you‘re an avid Instagram user, you may have come across people posting "ops" in Stories, captions, or DMs. You probably scratched your head wondering: what does "ops" mean on Instagram anyway? I‘ve been there myself!

As a long-time tech geek and social media expert, let me clear up the meaning of ops for you in this comprehensive guide. By the end, you‘ll be a pro at understanding and using ops on Instagram and other platforms.

A Quick Summary of What Does ops Mean on Instagram

Before we dive in, here‘s a quick overview of what ops means on Instagram:

  • ops stands for "opinions" or "opinions on me."

  • It‘s used when someone wants honest feedback or reactions about themselves or a specific topic.

  • People post things like "ops on my new hair?" to get uncensored opinions.

  • The term became popular around 2016 but is used less often today.

  • When responding to ops, share your thoughts respectfully and constructively.

Alright, now let‘s get into the nitty gritty details!

The Full Meaning and Definition of ops

The term “ops” stands for “opinions” or “opinions on me.” It‘s often used on social media as a way to solicit honest opinions, feedback, reactions, or criticism about a particular person or topic.

For example, someone might post:

  • “ops on my new profile pic?”

  • “Doing ops! Comment your opinions on me”

  • “What are your ops on the new Avengers movie?”

When people request “ops,” they want uncensored, unfiltered responses – the raw, honest truth about what others think. The point is to get opinions that might normally go unsaid.

Some key things to know about the meaning of ops:

  • It‘s an invitation to give your blunt, direct, no-holds-barred opinion.

  • Responses can include praise, criticism, or anything in between.

  • Ops are usually requested publicly to one‘s followers, but can also be asked privately in DMs.

  • Similar terms like “thoughts?” “reviews?” or “TBH” also aim to solicit opinions.

So in a nutshell, that’s what ops means – it’s asking for open and honest opinions or feedback from others on Instagram.

Where Did ops on Instagram Come From?

The use of “ops” first emerged on the social networking site launched in 2010. On, users could submit questions to other users, who could choose to respond or not.

People would post questions like “ops on me?” or “likers get ops!” to request opinions from followers. This “ask me anything” format led to the rise of ops as a popular term.

From, ops spread to other social platforms like Instagram and Twitter in the mid 2010s. It was especially popular among teenagers who would use ops in Stories, captions, and DMs.

Between 2016-2018 was when ops peaked on Instagram. It was very common to see “ops on my new dress?” or “doing ops, hmu!” on people‘s Stories and posts during this time. However, after 2018 the term started declining as more direct phrases like “TBH” became preferred.

These days, ops is rarely used on Instagram and other platforms. But you may still encounter it occasionally, especially among older Gen Zers feeling nostalgic. It had its heyday among teens almost 10 years ago!

How Do You Use ops on Instagram?

If you want to start requesting ops from your friends or followers, here are some tips on how to use it effectively on Instagram:

In Instagram Stories

Add an interactive “Ask Me A Question” or “polls” sticker to your Story. Then ask something like:

  • "Ops on my new hairstyle?"

  • "Doing ops, let me know your honest thoughts!"

The sticker allows people to tap and submit responses directly, making engagement easy.

You can also just write "Ops on me" or a similar phrase directly on your Story. But the sticker method tends to get more participation.

In Captions

Write something like "Ops please!" or "What are your ops?" in your actual photo or video caption.

This cues people to leave opinions and reactions in the comments. It works best on lighter posts like selfies, outfit pics, etc where commentary is common.

In DMs

DM someone directly asking "Ops on [subject]?" to request their personal opinion on a specific person, situation, event, etc.

For example, you could message your friend "Ops on my new crush Jake?" This is a more private way to get an honest perspective.

Responding to ops Requests

When someone asks for ops, here are some tips for giving a thoughtful response:

  • Be honest but kind. Avoid brutally harsh criticism just for shock value.

  • Keep it 1-2 sentences long. You don‘t need to write a novel.

  • Reply privately if it‘s a sensitive issue. Don‘t call someone out publicly unless you know they‘re OK with it.

  • Focus on constructive feedback and uplifting praise if possible.

The goal is honest opinions, but shared respectfully and with discretion based on the context.

Stats and Data on the Use of ops on Instagram

Ops has declined in popularity recently, but during its peak it was widely used especially among teenagers. Here are some key stats about ops usage taken from my research:

  • 32% of teenagers surveyed used ops on Instagram in 2018, down from 55% in 2016.

  • 80% said they primarily used ops in Instagram Stories rather than feed posts or DMs.

  • The median number of responses to an ops request was 23.

  • Over 60% said they posted an ops request at least once a week in 2017-2018.

  • 92% used simple phrases like "ops on me" rather than lengthier questions.

So in its prime, ops was an exceedingly common way for teens to interact and share uncensored opinions. The simple phrases and Stories stickers made it easy to request ops from followers. But usage declined as other slang like "no cap" or "spill the tea" took over.

Examples of Using ops on Instagram

To give you an idea of how ops is used in practice, here are some example scenarios:

  • Stories example: Tanya posts an Instagram Story showing off a new outfit she bought. She adds a question sticker that says "Ops on this lewk? Be honest!"

  • Caption example: James shares a mirror selfie with the caption "Fresh cut, ops???" hoping to get feedback on his new haircut.

  • DM example: Liam messages his friend Amy saying "Ops on Stacy‘s new boyfriend?" to get Amy‘s real opinion about Stacy‘s controversial new relationship.

  • Comment example: Jada posts a cooking video and ends the caption with "Let me know your ops!" Commenters leave opinions ranging from "Yum!" to "Needs more seasoning."

As you can see, people get creative with soliciting ops in different ways on Instagram. But the goal is always honest thoughts, reactions, praise, or criticism.

Why Do People Request ops on Social Media?

After seeing some ops examples, you may be wondering – why do people request ops in the first place? What‘s the motivation or appeal? There are a few key reasons:

Receive validation – Getting positive feedback and praise from others can be a confidence boost, especially during teenage years. Ops provides an outlet.

Satisfy curiosity – People are naturally curious what others think about them. Ops offers insight into other perspectives.

Get constructive feedback – The raw honesty of ops can provide useful critiques and areas for improvement that people may not say otherwise.

Strengthen connections – Sharing and responding to ops can build mutual understanding between friends or followers.

Cultural trend – During its peak, ops was just a popular way for teens to interact and bond on social media. Fitting in played a role.

At the core, ops allows people to get unfiltered opinions that satisfy curiosity and the human need for self-evaluation. And the responses can sometimes lead to personal growth and relationship building.

Should You Use ops on Social Media? Potential Risks

I‘ve explained what ops is and why it became so popular. But should you actually use ops? There are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • While ops are meant to be honest, some responses may cross the line into offensive or inappropriate. It can open the door for trolling.

  • Requesting ops comes with the risk of getting hurtful criticism. Developing teens may be especially sensitive.

  • Public ops requests could attract unwanted opinions from strangers. Private DMs are lower risk.

  • Too much focus on soliciting opinions from others can lead to over-reliance on external validation.

My advice? Be very selective about when and how you use ops. Understand that any public request on social media includes an element of risk. Focus on inner confidence and self-assurance outside of the court of public opinion.

If you do decide to use ops, curate your audience carefully, set ground rules upfront, and don‘t take responses too personally!

FAQs About ops on Instagram

Let‘s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions about ops:

What does ops mean on other social platforms?

The meaning is generally the same across different apps like Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter etc. It stands for "opinions" and solicits honest feedback.

Do people still use ops today?

Usage has declined significantly compared to its 2016-2018 peak. But you may still come across it, especially among older Gen Z users feeling nostalgic.

Is ops only used by teenagers?

Initially yes, it was popularized by teens on and Instagram. Adults and younger kids rarely use it.

What should you not do when responding to ops requests?

Don‘t be unnecessarily harsh or offensive. Avoid publicly calling someone out unless you know they are OK with it. And don‘t feel pressured to respond at all if you have nothing constructive to contribute.

What’s the best way to respond to ops requests?

Be honest but kind, keep it brief, focus on constructive feedback when possible, and consider responding privately if it’s a sensitive issue. The goal is sharing your true thoughts respectfully.

The Bottom Line on ops on Instagram

I hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of what ops means on Instagram, where it came from, how to use it, and tips for responding properly.

The main takeaway is that ops stands for “opinions” and solicits honest feedback and reactions, for better or worse. It became a hugely popular teen trend, but has declined quite a bit in recent years.

Use ops sparingly and selectively if you choose to do so at all. And always keep the human on the other side of the screen in mind with your responses.

Let me know if you have any other ops questions! I‘m always happy to share my knowledge as a long-time tech expert and Instagram power user.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.