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What IYKYK Meaning and How Are You Using It?

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You may not know what “IYKYK” is if you’re not up to speed with the latest internet acronyms. Find out more about this enigmatic term and what it stands for. 


The acronym IYKYK indicates that a message or post will make sense to some people and not make any sense to others. We often refer to “In the Know” experiences in our posts. It can be written in both uppercase and lowercase letters.

TikTok and Instagram are popular platforms for uploading pictures and videos with the hashtag IYKYK. People might post a video of themselves at a party with a caption like “Last night was crazy!” “What a crazy night!” etc. There’s something specific that happened there, something only those present can understand. #iykyk.

As with an “inside joke,” this is a joke that only a few people will understand. The two statements imply that something amusing can be derived from inside knowledge.

IYKYK Meaning: Where it came from

The internet slang term “IYKYK” is a recent creation, unlike many of the terms, we cover here. As early as December of 2016, Urban Dictionary published the acronym and phrase. In 2008, social media posts about the acronym began to appear, before it became an acronym a few years later.

lIn 2018 the acronym was introduction into the mainstream by the song “If You Know You Know” by the American rapper Pusha T. In 2020, IYKYK became even more popular with a rapidly growing hashtag on TikTok. Early in 2020, Google Trends reached its peak for the term.

I am referring to… Something I think you should know about

Is there a way for someone who is in the know to know exactly what he or she is suppose to know? The answer depends on the person posting the message. It’s likely that if the content is on an open platform like TikTok or Twitter that it’s trying to appeal to a large group of people at the same time.

There is a possibility that a post would make more sense if you were involved in a specific type of activity or hobby. If someone posts a video caption “Music production woes #iykyk” and you are also involve in producing music. It might make sense to you if you also take part in this business. In addition to fan bases for a piece of media, it also applies to the fan bases of a TV show or video game.

Typically, an IYKYK scenario occurs when a group of people shares an experience or an upbringing that they have shared. Suppose someone posts, “When you’re in virtual class without access to your camera, you tweet @iykyk.” The post might make perfect sense to someone who went to school using virtual classrooms but not to a person who is not familiar with virtual classes.

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Not for everybody

If you see IYKYK on a more private feed, such as Instagram stories, then you should assume that you are teasing a specific group of your friends and acquaintances with it. It is normal for these posts to be connect with an experience that you have shared with others. If you were there, you would understand, because if you were there, you would have known what to do. However, if you were not there, you would not have understood.

You may have noticed something funny in one of your recent Zoom movie nights with your friends if, for example. you have been watching movies daily with your friends. As a result, perhaps you could share an Instagram story with a subtle nod to your friends by using the hashtag “IYKYK” (I like you that much) when explaining the incident. Even if one of your other friends did not show up to the call, they probably wouldn’t comprehend what was being said.

IYKYK Meaning: A User’s Guide

To use IYKYK, create a post that communicates a subtle hint about a shared event, activity, or interest that may not be shared by everyone. You may lose the fun of the post if you reveal too much inside information.

If you want to add IYKYK to your captions, here are a few ways:

  • I had a wonderful time in Vegas. #IYKYK”
  • Whenever the season finale is unexpectedly aired #iykyk”
  • Well, I won’t be using dating apps anymore. ICKY.”

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