Instagram hashtags not working – How to fix it

Even though hashtags # initially originated from Twitter, they have also gained popularity on Instagram over the past few years. When you use a hashtag, your content is displayed among other accounts and posts that share the same niche. It helps you broaden your content to a specific audience and help build an online community. Users can even follow hashtags on Instagram, just as they would with other users—so that’s another bonus! But some have been facing issues regarding hashtags, and the following ways will show you why that’s occurring and how to fix it.

See also: How to turn off your activity status on Instagram

Your account has been shadowbanned or flagged

Probably the first thing to check regarding this issue is whether Instagram has shadowbanned you or marked your page as spam. For those who are not familiar with the term, shadowbanning is when you or your content is temporarily banned from an online community. This could happen for a variety of reasons:

  • You are using too broad hashtags that aren’t relevant to your posts
  • You are using banned hashtags or those that have been reported
  • You are using the same hashtags for every post you make

Don’t fret too much about the reasons why this might happen because banned hashtags can range from sensitive topics to any saying that’s been circulating too much on the site. What you can do is check Instagram’s list of banned hashtags and make you’re not using them. Also, check that you are using hashtags specific to your content and not those with a broader subject matter.

You are using irrelevant hashtags

It is important to use hashtags that are unique to your post. A lot of users use highly trending tags to increase their reach but this is a common misconception to make. This method does work anymore and can also cause Instagram to flag your page as spam.

Words like #the, #on, or #we are very common examples. They are also completely unnecessary to put in your posts and are likely to cause your profile more harm than good.

You are using banned hashtags

Instagram has more than 100, 000 banned hashtags. Most of these are related to spam, so it is easy to get caught in the net of them. While some are banned for obvious reasons, innocent words have made the cut too. Hashtags such as #besties or #hustler might not stand out to those who are using them, but they are actually banned.

To check if a hashtag is banned, simply put it in the search bar and click on the “Recent” tab. The following message will appear if it’s banned: “Recent posts from are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.”

Instagram’s algorithm keeps changing and so do its tags. It’s a good idea to make a list of hashtags related to your brand or niche so you don’t accidentally end up using them. I’d also recommend regularly checking the status of certain hashtags so you know exactly what to use.

You are using the same hashtags on every post

Just as in every other area of life, diversity in hashtags is important. Don’t always copy-paste your tags. Play around with them! Experiment with posts and check which hashtags get you a better reach. Perhaps make a note of all the tags you can use and use assorted ones for each post.

The issue might be just as simple as Instagram going through technical difficulties. Thus, the key is to know your tags and what’s suitable for Instagram.