Instagram hashtags not working

As Instagram continues to grow in popularity and establish itself as a powerful marketing tool, hashtags have become the platform’s backbone. These tags allow users to catalog their posts, making them easy to discover by other users with just a simple search.

However, not all users are finding success in hashtagging their posts. If you’ve ever used Instagram and wondered why your hashtags aren’t working, you’re not alone.

In this article, I delve into five reasons Instagram hashtags fail to yield the desired results.

Banned Hashtags

Social media platforms continually update their terms of use and guidelines to maintain a safe and inclusive user environment. Some hashtags become prohibited due to their association with explicit or illegal content, which ultimately leads to their removal.

If you’re using banned hashtags, your post will not appear under that specific search, thus limiting its visibility. Ensure you’re using permitted hashtags by checking the list of banned hashtags periodically updated on Instagram or using a reliable third-party application to verify your chosen tags.

Non-Existent Hashtags

Creating and using hashtags is as easy as putting a ‘#’ symbol before any word or phrase. However, this freedom also makes countless tags that might never be used or serve any purpose.

Using a non-existent hashtag isn’t necessarily bad, but it might not benefit your posts regarding visibility and discoverability. Before using hashtags, research which tags are popular, relevant to your content, and, most importantly, actually exist and are used by other users.

Technical Issues on Instagram

Sometimes it’s not you; it’s Instagram. A server outage or technical glitch can cause a temporary malfunction with hashtags, causing them not to work correctly. In such cases, it’s essential to stay updated on any platform issues by visiting the Instagram Help Center or monitoring social media for any reported widespread issues. If tech-related problems are the cause, give it some time and try again later once the issues have been resolved.

Hashtags Don’t Match the Content

While trending or popular hashtags can sometimes increase a post’s visibility, using irrelevant hashtags in your content is a common pitfall. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes relevant, high-quality content, and a mismatch between your post’s content and the hashtags used can lead to decreased visibility. To avoid this, ensure your chosen hashtags accurately reflect your post’s content and are relevant to the topic at hand.

Too Long Hashtags

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, so utilizing as many as possible is tempting. However, using excessively long hashtags or stuffing your post with too many tags can work against you.

Overloading your post with hashtags can appear spammy, triggering Instagram’s algorithm to deprioritize or penalize your post. Focus on quality over quantity – a handful of precise, targeted hashtags will give you better results than a dozen irrelevant or generic ones.


Understanding the reasons behind hashtags not working on Instagram is the first step in addressing the issue and improving your post’s performance. By ensuring you use relevant, permitted hashtags concisely, you’re setting your content up for success in the competitive world of Instagram.

Stay informed of platform changes and updates to maximize your Instagram strategy and effectively reach your target audience.

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