How Hashtags Work On Instagram – It’s About Discovery

What You Need To Know About Hashtags

My dad once came to me and confusedly asked, “What’s a hashtag?” He said he kept hearing people using it on the nightly news (likely to encourage viewers to join in on the conversation at home). So while I explained it to my dad, someone who scarcely uses the Internet, it dawned on me… this little symbol we once called the “pound key” has become incredibly powerful.

Therefore whether you’re new to Instagram or just want to know more, here is everything you need to know about #hashtags!

Why does adding aN INSTAGRAM hashtags and Twitter help?

Put a hashtag in front of just about any word or phrase and you’ve just increased the discoverability of your Instagram post. Instagram hashtags are used to be seen and to make it easier for your content to be found by those who don’t follow you. Whereas hashtags on Twitter are usually used to provide information on a conversation or trending topic. It’s less about being seen and more about being heard and providing your opinion/commentary on something.

How can hashtags affect the success of a post?

Because Instagram hashtags are used to make your posts more searchable it could inevitably lead to more engagements on your photos. But it’s important to use the right hashtags not the most popular ones. For example, I used #love on a photo I uploaded of an elderly couple, but when the photo uploaded and I clicked on the hashtag, my photo was nowhere to be found at the top of the search. That’s because generic hashtags like #love #beautiful #happy #tbt are being used hundreds of times every minute, thus my photo quickly sunk to the bottom of the feed and was left unseen. So for moral of the story, use a hashtag that’s more specific, relevant, and less saturated! And better yet, take the time to search out hashtags that are built around strong online communities.

Aesthetic arguments against too many hashtags.

Have you ever skimmed through someone’s hashtags and thought why? Just why? Large paragraphs don’t look good and can get annoying for your followers to scroll through if they constantly surpass 3-4 lines. You don’t want to be known as a hashtag hoarder. So ease up and tighten up your selection! Or use the photographer trick and include all your hashtags in a comment on your photo so that it still remains searchable and aesthetically looks better when scrolling down your feed.

Did you know you can create emoji hashtags?

Do people even express their emotions using words and carefully crafted sentences anymore? How did I ever express that I was giving you props over a text before there was the fist emoji? Questions I don’t remember the answers too. But did you know you can now search emoji hashtags on the Explore page and see who else on Instagram are tagging their photos with your favourite emoji icons? Pretty neat given they’ve become a new language we use online! It’s another easy way to experiment with your captions and tags to draw in more activity on your photos.

Location Tagging vs. Hashtags

Think twice before you location tag, remember this is the Internet! Having said that, location tagging is a great way to aggregate your posts with one tag especially if you will be taking several posts from that location. It’s also a great way to explore similar photos because unlike hashtags, location tagging is usually always accurate to the content of the photo.


Beza is #paid’s Community Lead