What is INB4? Lets Discuss About it to Know more in Detail

What Does INB4 mean
By Tapas Pal Updated

If you are a geek member of an online message board, then trust me you already know this. In fact, you might know more than me when it comes to online message boards and the discussions that go on in these places.

But if you are a beginner, just like I am, then keep reading. Because today I have come up with a popular phrase which is a must for those, who are willing to be a part of online message forums.

What are these Internet Forums all About?

Internet forums are online discussion portals where conversations are continued on the basis of posted messages, images, links etc. These online messaging boards or internet forums are different from chat rooms. That’s because conversations in chat rooms are more like one-liners. They mostly consist one or two sentences(of course there are people who post long messages even in chat room conversations, but they are the exceptions). Whereas in these online internet forums, long discussions happen on various topics(mostly geeky). Some recognized online messaging forums are-4Chan, 2channel, BlackHatWorld, College Confidential etc.

What is INB4?

INB4 stands for “In Before”. It is a popular acronym used in online messaging boards.

But that’s not all. Now that you know the full form of INB4, that does not really mean you can use it anywhere you want. Yes, it has its own unique usage. So, keep reading.

Where From It All Started?

In before lock

The most primitive usage of INB4 was seen in 4Chan online messaging board. The first time it was used as the phrase “In before lock”.

Suppose a message or an image is posted by someone in a message forum, which is not very decent or appropriate. It is inevitable that the admin would delete such a post as soon he or she comes online. Now “In before lock” was first used to express that, before the post gets deleted or removed by the admin. The first time this usage happened in 4Chan was way back in March 2007.

How It Became Famous?

After almost five months of the first usage of “INB4” that is in August 2007, The Encyclopedia Dramatica Article was constructed on “INB4”. This article had specified some points related to the usage of “INB4” :

  • The “INB4” phrase can be used as the first reply to a comment or meme, and no further use of that phrase is acceptable in that same thread or conversation.
  • “INB4” comments are basically used to show off the fact that you have noticed a particular comment or URL or image before anyone else. Sometimes it is even used as a temptation to provoke others to use the phrase. That’s how the hype started.

Where and How to use INB4?

The primary answer to the “Where” is the online internet forums. But that’s not all. You can’t use “INB4” anywhere in your comment. It has to be according to the rules. Or you would be tagged as an immature member. You know what I mean?

So let us go to the depth.

Firstly, always use INB4 as a reply to somebody’s comment. If you are the first one to post a message or image, then you can’t use INB4. Remember the key purpose of these online messaging forums, is to start a conversation or rather a discussion.

There are many self-righteous users out there, who enjoy showing off the fact that they are the first to comment in reply to a given post. They generally just comment “first”, and that’s it. “INB4” also has a similar kind of use. If you like flaunting the fact that you are the first person to comment on a particular post, then you can use “INB4”. But that’s not all. Unlike “first”, when it comes to “INB4” you have to write something more, and you can’t just write “INB4”.

Variations In Usage Of INB4

Nowadays, the use of INB4 has expanded beyond online messaging boards. Its use has become trendy in sites like YouTube, Reddit etc. So you must understand the diversity in its usage. Or you’ll be the odd one out in these discussions. And trust me that is not a good feeling.

In Before Error 404
  • Suppose, you are the first one to find out that an inept image or URL has been posted in your message board, and you are quite certain that, the admin would delete such a post eventually. So you can comment, “In Before delete”.
  • Another usage might be this. Perhaps you are the first one to reiterate a post before the admin banns it permanently. Then you can comment, “In Before Error 404”.
  • Or let’s assume, somebody has shared a funny life experience in the message forum, and he/she has asked others to share theirs. While many are commenting about their experiences of similar kind, there would definitely be someone who would reply with a meme. You can hence comment, “In Before meme.”

Got an idea about INB4? I hope you did.

Lastly, while  concluding, I must remind you that, if you are using this phrase while having a discussion with a food-lover or a fashion enthusiast or a health conscious individual, chances are they won’t understand a word of what you’re saying. So the best is to use it in those online message board discussions.

I hope now you’re ready to rule those online forums.

So keep enjoying and don’t forget to share your experience. Do comment.