Sneaky Ways to Add Collaborators to Instagram Posts You Already Published

Instagram’s collab feature allows users to officially tag other accounts as co-creators of a post. Being able to properly credit collaborators provides transparency for your followers and can help build partnerships between brands and influencers or content creators.

However, a common question many users have is whether you can add new collaborators to an Instagram post after it has already been published. The official collab tagging tool is only available in the initial creation flow before posting. Once a post goes live, there is no edit screen option to add official collaborators.

This causes problems if you forget to tag your collaborators before publishing or decide to partner up with someone new after the fact. In this guide, we’ll cover if it’s possible to add Instagram collaborators after posting, plus some alternative workarounds. We’ll also provide tips for inviting collaborators when scheduling posts in advance or uploading from desktop.

By the end, you’ll understand the limitations of Instagram’s current collab features and learn the best methods for properly attributing partners on your posts even after publishing. This is key knowledge for brand marketers, influencers and anyone who frequently works with others to create Instagram content worth sharing.

Part 1: Inviting Official Collaborators After Posting

Instagram rolled out the ability to tag collaborators directly on posts in 2020. This official “collab” feature allows multiple content creators to get credit for the same post.

To add a collaborator after publishing:

  1. Tap the three dots in the top right corner of your post.
  2. Select “Edit”.
  3. Tap “Tag People”.
  4. Search for and select the account you want to collaborate with.
  5. Tap “Done”.

The collaborator will receive a notification that they’ve been tagged and have the option to add the post to their profile.

However, there are some limitations with Instagram’s collab tool:

  • Not all accounts have access – Instagram enables the feature slowly and it must be activated manually in settings before you can use it.
  • Business and creator accounts are more likely to have collabs enabled. Personal profiles may not see the option.
  • You can only tag accounts that follow you back. Attempting to add a non-follower as a collaborator will result in an error.

The reason some accounts don’t have access comes down to gradual rollout – Instagram wants to monitor potential abuse of the feature before enabling it universally. Restricting it to business/creator profiles and mutual followers also reduces spam risks.

Part 2: Workarounds for Adding Collaborators After Publishing

Even if you can’t officially invite a collaborator after publishing a post, there are a few workarounds you can use to still feature other creators and accounts:

Ask Your Collaborator to Repost Your Content

One easy solution is to simply ask your desired collaborator to repost your content to their own feed after you’ve published. This allows their followers to discover your post organically.

When asking someone to repost you, be sure to:

  • Give them proper photo credit and tag their handle in your original caption.
  • Send them a friendly DM request asking if they’d be open to a repost. Don’t demand it.
  • Offer to return the favor and repost their content in the future too.

Reposts work best when you already have an existing relationship with the other creator. Pitch people you genuinely admire and who would appreciate your work.

Tag Your Collaborator in The Post Caption

Another workaround is to go back and edit your published post to tag the collaborator’s handle in the caption.

While they won’t get an official notification, this allows you to:

  • Credit them for their contribution to the post.
  • Expose their profile to your audience when people click on their tag.
  • Let them know they inspired the content if it’s relevant.

Just be sure not to tag spammy or irrelevant accounts just for attention. Tag thoughtfully.

Feature Your Collaborator in Instagram Stories

Finally, you can create Instagram Stories featuring your collaborator and linking to the published post they helped inspire.

Some creative ways to do this include:

  • Sharing a screenshot of your DM conversation about the post.
  • Filming a reaction video together reacting to the final post.
  • Letting them take over your Story for a Q&A or AMA session.

Get creative with Instagram Stories to highlight your connection in an authentic way. Just be sure to clearly link or mention your original post so their audience can find it.

Part 3: How to Add Collaborators from Desktop

Adding collaborators directly from the Instagram desktop website or mobile browser provides more flexibility than the mobile app. Here’s how to leverage the desktop experience for inviting collaborators:

Uploading Posts from Web Browser

When uploading a new post from the Instagram website rather than the mobile app, you have the option to add collaborators before publishing.

  • Upload your photo/video as you normally would.
  • On the post options screen, click “Advanced Settings”.
  • Under “Collaborators”, start typing the Instagram username of the account you want to collaborate with.
  • Their account will auto-populate – select it to send them an official collaboration invitation.
  • You can add multiple collaborators this way before publishing your post.

Adding collaborators through the desktop upload flow means you don’t have to wait until after publishing to invite collaborators. The invitations will be sent as soon as you publish the post.

Inviting Collaborators from Share Screen

You can also invite collaborators from the post share options on the desktop website:

  • After uploading a post, click the share icon below your content.
  • Select “Invite Collaborators” from the dialog box.
  • Start typing the Instagram handle of the account you want to collaborate with.
  • Click their username when it populates to send a collaboration invitation.

This allows you to invite collaborators even if you didn’t initially add them when first posting from desktop. The invite will still be sent as an official collaboration request.

Leveraging the Instagram desktop website for adding collaborators makes it easy to plan out and manage your collaborations in advance.

Part 4: Scheduling Posts With Collaborator Tags in Advance

Scheduling posts in advance is a popular way to plan and organize your Instagram content calendar. Whether you use the native Instagram scheduling features or a third-party app, you can set up collaborator tags and invitations when planning your posts.

Overview of Scheduling Instagram Posts

Instagram launched post scheduling directly within the app in 2020. To access it, create a new post like normal then tap “Advanced Settings” at the bottom. Here you’ll see the option to schedule your post for a future date and time.

Many social media managers and influencers also use third-party apps like Planoly, Later, or Hootsuite to schedule Instagram posts further in advance. These tools connect to your Instagram account and allow you to upload content and organize an editorial calendar.

Setting Up Collab Invitations When Planning Content

When using Instagram’s built-in scheduling or a third-party app, you can add your collaborator’s handle when creating the post. For example, if you’re planning a post for next Tuesday you can draft the caption and include “@collabpartner” just like you normally would.

The key is to ensure you’re inviting any collaborators when first setting up and scheduling the post – not after the content is already live. This allows you to get the collaboration locked in advance as part of your content planning process.

Some social media scheduling apps even have specific collab fields when setting up a post. You can enter multiple collaborators which will then automatically be tagged when the content publishes on the scheduled date.

Getting your collaborations into your editorial calendar is a smart way to stay organized and effectively grow your account. Just be sure you’re inviting any partners early on so that the tags and credits are in place as soon as the post goes live.

Why Can’t I Add a Collaborator on Some Instagram Accounts?

The ability to officially invite collaborators on Instagram posts is still relatively new and rolling out gradually. As of now, it’s only available to select Instagram accounts based on criteria like:

  • Account standing – Instagram wants to prevent abuse by restricting official collabs on accounts that violate rules or have activity restrictions. Collab access is limited if you’ve had violations or restrictions recently.
  • Verification status – Verified accounts tend to get early access to new features. The collab tool may only be enabled for verified accounts right now.
  • Follower count – Accounts with a substantial following and high reach often get features first. Instagram may be testing with larger accounts before a full rollout.
  • Post frequency – Active accounts that regularly share content seem to be among the first to get new post options. If your posting volume is low, collabs may not be enabled yet.
  • Account type – Personal profiles may get broader feature access compared to business accounts. The business settings may override collab availability.
  • Location – Instagram sometimes staggers feature rollouts regionally. Based on your country/region, collabs may not have reached your geo yet.

Essentially, collab access is gradually expanding but still limited as Instagram tests the new tool. If your account doesn’t have the option yet, try growing your audience and posting more consistently. With time, Instagram should enable the collab feature more universally.

Can I Add Collaborators to Facebook or Instagram Reels After Posting?

Adding collaborators directly to Facebook or Instagram Reels isn’t currently supported the same way it is for regular Instagram feed posts.

However, there are a couple potential workarounds:

  • Ask the collaborator to duet your original reel. This allows them to record their own reel playing side-by-side with yours.
  • Tag the collaborator in the caption of your existing reel. This gives them credit but doesn’t officially add them as a collab partner.
  • Create a new reel that incorporates both of your content. For example, you could react to their reel or stitch it together with yours.
  • Feature the collaborator in Reels or Stories and direct people to the post you want them credited on.

Overall, the best option is to plan collabs in advance rather than trying to add them after publishing. Make sure to agree upon the partnership ahead of time and have assets/content ready from both creators when first posting the Reel.


Adding collaborators is a great way to co-create Instagram content, increase reach, and tag team with influencers in your niche. This guide covered the main ways to incorporate collaborations into your Instagram strategy – even after hitting publish.

Here are some of the key tips to keep in mind:

  • Use the official collaboration feature in the Instagram app whenever possible. This lets you seamlessly invite and tag collaborators.
  • If the account you’re posting from doesn’t have access to collabs, get creative with post-publishing workarounds. Mentioning your partner in the caption or asking them to repost is an easy alternative.
  • Don’t forget you can add collaborators right from the desktop uploading flow. The invite collab partners option is there when sharing a post.
  • Thinking ahead and scheduling collabs is a smart way to plan content and ensure your partners are tagged. Just be sure to give them a heads up!

The main takeaway is that Instagram wants to encourage collaborations. While the feature has some limitations, there are plenty of ways to team up with other creators both before and after publishing your posts. Focus on providing value to your audience by partnering with relevant influencers in your space.