Woman shrugging with an unsure expression.
Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.com
In SMS and instant messaging, IG commonly stands for "I Guess." It is used to agree with a statement or message while also displaying uncertainty or a lack of enthusiasm.

Have ever wondered what “IG” means or what it stands for in a text message? There’s no need to guess at the meaning—we have all the answers you need for this inline initialism.

I Guess

IG commonly stands for “I Guess” when seen in online messaging and texts. It shows uncertainty or a lack of enthusiasm about a statement or question. For example, “That would be ok, ig,” or “IG you can borrow my favorite heels if you’re careful.”

It can have a slightly passive-aggressive undertone and is sometimes used instead of an outright statement of disbelief. Replying to a message with “IG” is similar to someone using “Whatever” or “W/E” to answer a question.

IG can also be used as a shortened form of “Instagram.” As with several other Internet abbreviations, context helps work out the meaning of IG in a sentence. If someone types “Check out my IG,” it should be obvious they are referring to the social media platform and not using it to mean “I guess.”

The History of IG

The initialism IG has been in use since at least the early 2000s when the popularity of SMS and instant messaging really took hold. This period is a hotbed of SMS and Internet slang and gave rise to many of the most well-known abbreviations and initialisms still in use today. The use of IG to mean “I Guess” remained consistent until social media came along.

It started to also be used to mean Instagram shortly after the launch of the social media app in 2010. Similarly, Facebook is often shortened to “fb” in online chats. Strangely, you rarely see any other social media sites initialized like this. Snapchat, for example, will more likely be abbreviated to “Snap” than “SC.”

There are a few other known uses for IG, aside from meaning Instagram. They aren’t widespread and are, in some cases, specific to a particular activity. For example, IG can mean “In Game” when discussing video games or gaming. It can also occasionally be used by some people to mean “Ignore” or “ignore that.”

How Do You Use IG in Text?

As mentioned above, IG can be used as an affirmative response, mixed with a degree of uncertainty. It is most often typed as “ig”, but can also appear in uppercase. It can be used at the end of a preceding sentence/message or as a stand-alone reply.

Here are a few examples:

  • “If you are desperate you can borrow mine, ig”
  • Q: “Do you want to hang tonight?” A: “IG”
  • “IG that could work”
  • “I don’t have any other option ig”

The use of IG might not be as common as LOL or IDK, but that doesn’t mean it won’t pop up in online conversations. Having a better grasp of internet abbreviations can help improve communication in a tech-savvy world.

Profile Photo for Russ Ware Russ Ware
Russ is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about technology. He loves exploring and figuring out how complex things work, and sharing that knowledge with others, something he has been doing online and in print for more than 15 years. When not writing for How-To Geek, Russ can usually be found planning his first novel or taking something apart to see how it works.
Read Full Bio »