Instagram Hashtags Not Working 2023: How To Fix It Easily? 🤔

Are your Instagram hashtags giving you a headache instead of likes and engagement? 😩 Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!

A hashtag is just a keyword phrase with a pound symbol (#) in front of it, spelled out without spaces. #photooftheday and #fashionlovers, for example, are both hashtags.

Although Hashtags were first popularized by Twitter, Instagram has greatly enhanced its usage and prominence.

Hashtags on Instagram are crucial for gaining exposure and followers. However, they may not always work as expected, leaving users wondering why their posts are not reaching the intended audience.

In this guide, I’ll examine the most common reasons why Instagram hashtags don’t function and offer solutions to help you surmount this issue.

Effective use of hashtags is vital for a successful Instagram strategy, whether you’re a content creator or a business.

Therefore, let’s delve into the causes of this phenomenon and uncover strategies for ensuring that your Instagram hashtags function flawlessly.

What Is The Point Of Using Instagram Hashtags?

Using Instagram hashtags is one of the most basic strategies to increase interaction and attract new followers to your photos.

In fact, social media marketers have shown that even utilizing one hashtag may boost engagement by more than 20%.

While we all desire more Instagram followers, having followers who aren’t interested in your specialty is worthless.

Using the right hashtags, you may target those who identify with your content. And if they like your pieces, they’re likely to subscribe to your feed in the hopes of seeing more on the same subject.

Even if people don’t go so far as to follow you, they could like the stuff you provide while looking for a specific hashtag.

Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. This implies there’s no possibility you’ll mistakenly give the proper stuff to the wrong folks.

Instagram Hashtags Not Working

When you use hashtags, you’re essentially assisting Instagram in sorting and organizing your posts, allowing them to reach individuals who would appreciate them.

Hashtags should be specific to your website, content, and market. You will undoubtedly miss out on hashtags’ various advantages if you do not have an effective hashtag strategy.

Hashtags are helpful for categorizing material. These may either be generic hashtags that everyone uses – in which case you’re grouping your posts and photographs with others who share similar material – or they can be specific hashtags only you use.

Instagram Hashtags Not Working: How To Fix It Easily?

Why aren’t my hashtags on Instagram working? Some of the causes are as follows:

1. Using Hashtags that are Prohibited ❌

The fact that Instagram has restricted some hashtags for everyone might be why Instagram hashtags are not functioning. As a result, no one’s post will appear in the forbidden hashtag stream.

Contrary to common belief, prohibited hashtags are not confined to abusive, indecent, or explicit material; there are even innocent or innocuous hashtags (e.g. #desk and #lean) that are banned for reasons such as a large amount of spam.

Hashtags are either temporarily or permanently prohibited. Using forbidden hashtags may result in you being shadowbanned, or it may prevent other hashtags from functioning on your post.

There are presently over 115,000 blocked hashtags on Instagram.

So, how can you avoid having your Instagram hashtags banned? You should check for prohibitions on each hashtag before using it.

Using hashtags that are prohibited

Hit the search button on the explore page and enter the hashtag you want to use. It is prohibited if it does not appear.

Because a hashtag may display on the list yet still be prohibited, double-check it by pressing it and scrolling down.

Here’s a list of forbidden hashtags to stay away from.

On Instagram, here’s a list of hashtags that have been misused and are now forbidden. Try to stay away from them. Otherwise, your comment will be flagged as offensive.

#adulting #alone #americangirl #armparty #asiandick #attractive #babyrp #bacak #badbitcztwerk #baddie #balenciaga #curvygirls #customers #dating #Direct #DM #elevator #PornFood #Ravens #StreetPhotos #WTF

2. Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned ⛔️

Another reason Instagram hashtags aren’t functioning is if a user’s account has been shadowbanned. You may have been shadowbanned if you observe a dramatic decline in your Instagram interaction or reach.

Regarding hashtags, the true reason for the shadowban is when hashtags are hijacked and overused. This occurs regularly.

Instagram has said that it does not engage in any kind of shadow banning. They argue that such measures against accounts are not taken.

After all, if they want someone prohibited, they’ll simply ban them.


There’s no need to conceal them by using deception. Shadowbans actually exist in reality. Instagram has put in place strict hashtag use limits throughout the years.

Understandably, you can unwittingly commit spammy hashtag crimes, which might result in a shadow ban on your account.

Shadowban has the effect of only allowing your followers to see your material. This limits your ability to reach new audiences. Among the most prevalent infractions are:

  • Using hashtag that has been misused or is broken
  • Using hashtags that aren’t related to your post
  • Using the same hashtags over and again in your posts
  • Remove prohibited or misused hashtags from your posts if you’ve been shadowbanned. For a few days, don’t use hashtags in your postings.

If this doesn’t work, you should contact Instagram and report the problem.

3. Using Broad Hashtags Rather than Particular Hashtags

Hashtags should be relevant and appropriate to your business or specialty. It’s critical to choose hashtags carefully and ensure that they’re relevant to your target audience.

You should consider what keywords your ideal clientele would use to find you.

Using wide hashtags rather than particular hashtags

Similarly, avoid trending hashtags like #followforfollow, #weekends, #summer, and so on since they will work against your hashtag strategy.

4. Hashtags Aren’t Diverse Enough

A good hashtag strategy for a company can include a mix of popular hashtags that appeal to a broader audience and more niche-targeted, less popular hashtags that will more likely position your content toward the top of that hashtag.

Doing so allows you to cast a broad net over popular and smaller, more focused hashtags.

5. Using Hashtags that are Too Competitive 📈

Every hashtag on Instagram, as you may know, has two tabs: Top and Recent. The top tab displays the items that garnered many likes and comments during the first few hours of their publication.

They may remain at the top of the page for many hours, gaining much exposure and organic likes and comments.

Instead, the recent tab lists every picture or video with those hashtags in order of when they were published. That is all there is to it.

Imagine sharing a picture with the hashtag #photography, which has 535 million postings as of this writing.

Instagram Hashtags

Your picture will appear in the first 9 photographs on the recent tab for less than a second, and it will never appear on the top tab since that hashtag is just too competitive.

This means you’ll need to identify 30 hashtags with little competition to get noticed by individuals who aren’t already following you and gain more organic likes, comments, and follows.

For each article you publish, I recommend employing a 10/10/10 hashtag strategy:

  • 10 Hashtags That Aren’t Too Competitive (5,000 to 50,000 total posts)
  • 10 Hashtags That Aren’t Too Competitive (50,000 to 200,000 total posts)
  • 10 Hashtags with a High Level of Competition (200,000 – 2,000,000 total posts)

Finding the proper hashtags takes more than a minute. It requires patience and, sometimes, lateral thinking. Starting with wider hashtags, you may search for long-tail hashtags on Instagram.

If you start putting a hashtag like “#outdoorshots” in the caption of your Instagram picture, you’ll get a number more suggestions:

  • 5000 posts in #outdoorshots
  • 76,500 posts in #myproshot
  • 231,000 posts on #discoverlandscape

You now have a low, medium, and high competitive hashtag just by doing this.

Benefits Of Using Hashtags On Instagram

More Visibility: Hashtags help more people discover your posts, even if they don’t follow you.

Connect with Interests: Using specific hashtags connects you with users interested in the same topics.

Organize Content: Hashtags categorize your posts, making it easier for users to find the content they want.

Campaign Promotion: Create hashtags for campaigns or contests to encourage participation.

Build Community: Hashtags connect people with common interests, fostering engagement.

Cross-Platform Reach: Hashtags can extend your content’s reach beyond Instagram to other social media platforms.

Ride on Trends: Using trending hashtags puts your content in larger conversations.

Boost Brand Identity: Branded hashtags contribute to brand recognition and identity.

Analytics Insights: Instagram provides insights on hashtag performance for better strategy.

Explore Page Exposure: Well-performing posts with popular hashtags can land on the Explore page, reaching a wider audience.


🤔 Why are my Instagram hashtags not working?

There could be various reasons, including using banned hashtags, shadowban, or overuse of the same hashtags. It's essential to review your hashtag strategy.

❓ What are banned hashtags?

Banned hashtags are tags that Instagram restricts due to content violations. Using them may lead to your post being hidden from search results or even account penalties.

❌ What is shadowban, and how can I avoid it?

Shadowban is when Instagram limits the visibility of your posts. To avoid it, refrain from using banned hashtags, switch up your hashtag sets, and engage with your audience authentically.

🔄 Can I reuse the same hashtags in every post?

It's best to switch up your hashtag combinations. Using the same ones repeatedly may lead to decreased engagement.

🌟 Should I use popular or niche-specific hashtags?

A mix of both is recommended. Popular tags can increase visibility, while niche-specific ones target a more relevant audience.

🚀 Can I recover from Instagram hashtag issues?

Yes, by following best practices and being patient, you can recover from hashtag-related problems over time.

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Conclusion: Instagram Hashtags Not Working 2023

The importance of having a solid hashtag strategy cannot be overstated. Hashtags may help you attract your target clientele, interact with other creatives, and brand your company.

If you use them intelligently, selectively, and critically, you will undoubtedly increase your business’s development.

Ensure you’re not using banned hashtags, avoid overusing the same tags, and aim for a mix of popular and niche-specific hashtags.

Keep your hashtag strategy fresh and be patient – success may take time, but your posts can regain their visibility and engagement. 📷

Jitendra Vaswani
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Jitendra Vaswani is a Digital Marketing Practitioner and renowned international keynote speaker who has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle as he travels around the world. He founded two successful websites, & Digital Marketing Agency DigiExe of which his success stories have expanded to authoring "Inside A Hustler's Brain : In Pursuit of Financial Freedom” (20,000 copies sold worldwide) and contributing to “International Best Selling Author of Growth Hacking Book 2". Jitendra designed workshops for over 10000+ professionals in Digital marketing across continents; with intentions ultimately anchored towards creating an impactable difference by helping people build their dream business online. Jitendra Vaswani is a high-powered investor with an impressive portfolio that includes Imagestation. To learn more about his investments, Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, & Facebook.

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