Instagram Has Changed Its Hashtag Game – Here’s How

If you’re on Instagram, then you might know what hashtags are. Previously, using them was like a piece of cake. You could just plug-in a few random hashtags and see the results in the form of likes and comments.

But wake up my friend, those times are gone.

Nowadays everyone is ranting that hashtags are not working or they are dead. What has changed is the algorithm of Instagram? It is constantly being changed to prevent spam and illegal activities and to deliver the best user experience.

Before you think about not using hashtags at all, let me tell you that they still hold a lot of significance. If you want to use them, then you need to know why the changes have been made. Let’s first dive into what made them change it.

First, to prevent content that violates their code of conduct, they are banning those specific hashtags to keep these inappropriate contents from spreading. This also risks your account with the possibility of getting shadowbanned which is the state where you won’t be shown in any hashtag feed.

Second, to prevent abuse of hashtags, a recent change has taken place where now you won’t be able to get good reach each time if you use the same hashtags for twice in a row.

Thirdly IG’s algorithm now gives greater reach to posts that use related hashtags. If you have used a certain keyword like marketing or sales, then use hashtags related to it.

With the huge growing audience on IG, businesses have jumped onto this platform, so it makes it even more necessary to use only relevant hashtags to attract the targeted customer.

Now that I have revealed why they were making those changes, it is time to know how to use Hashtags effectively. Follow these tips and you’re bound to succeed with them.

1. Repeated hashtags:

As told above, avoid using the same hashtag set again and again. Instead, design 4 to 5 hashtag sets related to your niche and rotate between them.

Vary the number of hashtags: Instagram allows us the use of 30 hashtags at a maximum per post. But to avoid being seen as a spam, vary the number of hashtags used e.g 24,27,30, etc.

2. Use related hashtags:

Don’t use hashtags just for the sake of it. Use hashtags that relate to your content. IG algorithm uses image recognition to assess the content of your picture, so use it to your advantage and use hashtags that are related to the keyword used in the photo. E.g. if the word psychology is used in the picture then use hashtags like #psychologicaltriggers #psychologystudent #psychologytips, etc.

3. Shuffle it:

In the new IG algorithm update, it won’t give you the good reach that you got the first time if you copy and paste the same hashtag set. To tackle it, shuffle the hashtags present in that set and add 5-10 new hashtags related to the picture.

4. Use hashtags according to your account size:

If you don’t take care of this, all the other steps would be useless. If your account is small and you use popular hashtags that have millions of posts under its name then you would disappear in those within seconds. This is because those hashtags are being overused and are getting 100s of posts each minute. Only accounts that are big enough and have a high engagement would survive in it. For small accounts that are less than 1K, it is advisable to use hashtags that have less than 100k posts in its bracket. For further reference check this screenshot which will give you a detailed guide.

hashtags according to your account size

5. Avoid using dead hashtags:

If the top 9 posts of a hashtag don’t have a post from the last 2 or 3 weeks, then it is dead for sure. Don’t use it because it won’t be beneficial to you at all.

6. Avoid using banned hashtags:

Don’t dare to use banned hashtags, as this will put your account to the risk of being shadowbanned. Also, using even one banned hashtag would ensure that all the 30 hashtags go flop. To stay safe from it either use a hashtag tool like “curate” that checks it for you or check them manually. I would suggest you use a tool for this purpose as checking each of them manually would get exhausting for you. Here are some pictures attached to show you what it looks like in real.

banned hashtags

On a final note:

Hashtags are still important even in this newly evolving algorithm, but the method to use them has changed. If you use the above tips properly, then you’ll take your hashtag game to the next level. Using hashtags can be challenging, so keep researching and tracking their progress to identify the best ones.

Mohammad Samir

A content creator with an extrovert personality. I am on my mission to share all that I know with complete honesty. Check out my IG profile 'tenxwithsam' to get to know me more.

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