Select Page

Instagram Hashtags



So what do we do now?

It’s evident that Instagram hashtags are dead and will no longer be treated as a primary way to grow on the platform.

Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, has repeatedly stated that hashtags aren’t gaining you any significant reach. Instagram has repeatedly stated that using more than ten hashtags will do nothing more for views and follower increase. So, what do creators do now that Instagram Hashtags are dead?

You can do plenty to get reach, followers, and views. But creators still use 30 hashtags as if this isn’t a big deal. You must understand how ineffective hashtags are before realizing the realistic ways to grow on the platform.

Let’s explore why Instagram hashtags are dead and what you can do to better your reach.

Instagram Hashtags are Dead because of Stories

The first you do when you get on Instagram is start looking at stories. We all do it!

Instagram has strategically put the stories’ features at the top. You see those little profile image circles lit up, making you want to click them to see the exciting gift of a story they’re presenting. It’s exciting to click on stories. You know what you’re not doing, however? You’re not searching for hashtags because Instagram hashtags are dead.

So, what do you do about it? Start focusing on stories more. Post a story or two or three every day. Show off a photo, share a link, or engage with others with a poll or photo-sharing sticker. Tag other creators, add locations, and generously use all the story features. I’d skip the hashtag sticker because Instagram hashtags are dead.

Instagram Hashtags are Dead

Instagram Hashtags are Dead because of Reels

Reels are the giant killer of Instagram hashtags because of the way they work.

Reels hide a description unless you expand it. So, the best way to describe a reel is to use text on the reel itself and quick sentences in the description. People aren’t expanding a reel to see what 30 hashtags you’re using. People aren’t going to the first comments to see those hashtags, either. From my experience, most people are watching the reel, liking it, and moving on.

Instagram hashtags are dead, thanks to reels, but that doesn’t mean your strategy is dead. Instead of crying over hashtags, start taking advantage of your copy. Use text and Call-to-Actions on the reel creator. Focus on keywords in your brief description. Add a good location. Tag people whom you’re collaborating with. And then choose up to three topics – a new Instagram feature that seems to replace those dead hashtags.


Instagram Hashtags are Dead because of Timelines

In the old days, timelines would show hashtags you’re following – they don’t anymore.

It’s because Instagram hashtags are dead! Instead, they show you the content they want you to see based on your viewing, liking, following, and action-taking interests. My main content is all about hiking. But I’m also into cycling and look at a lot of cycling content there. So, my timeline and my feed mainly consist of cycling content. I’m not following any cycling-related hashtags, either. I’m primarily following all popular hiking hashtags. Yet, I’m seeing cycling content.

The algorithm proves that Instagram hashtags are dead based on showing you what you’ve been looking for on the platform. It’s not showing you content based on what hashtags you’ve followed. Instead of worrying about it, search for content related to what you want to see. Look at that content daily; your timeline and feed will change to reflect that content.


6 Alternative to Instagram Hashtags

So many people are stuck on hashtags even though Instagram hashtags are dead. But I think it’s because you don’t know what to do as an alternative. So, I’m sharing six alternatives you should do instead of relying on a feature that is being phased out little by little.


1 – Niche Down

The best way to get reach on Instagram is to niche down. This means you need to choose a specific topic to create content about and stick to that topic. You need to be known for a particular niche.


2 – Create Often

Posting something once a day just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to post three to five times a day. But mix up what you’re posting. Post a reel every day. Post a carousel every day. Post a few stories each day. And remember, Instagram hashtags are dead so refrain from stuffing them in your content.


3 – Be Consistent

Whether you decide to post two times a day or ten times a day, you need to be consistent about it. It will train the algorithm and your followers to know when to expect you to publish new content for them to consume.


4 – All Features

Instagram creates new features with the intention of you using them. Don’t make the mistake of boycotting a feature because some celebrity wants the old Instagram back. Use all the new features that roll out because the algorithm will favor you for doing it.


5 – Content Focus

Focus on making the best content you can publish on the platform. Use high-quality images, videos, trending music, trigger words, stickers, and Call-to-actions. Instagram hashtags are dead, but keyword-rich descriptions are not dead. Research copywriting techniques like AIDA, BAB, and PAS, then use them in your content strategy.


6 – Prioritized Engagement

The best way for your content to show up on people’s timelines and feed is content that has higher engagement. You need to create content that is saved, shared, commented on, liked a lot, and has continued engagement. Continued engagement is when you keep a discussion going in the comment section.


It’s not that bad of news that Instagram hashtags are dead. Because there are plenty of ways to gain just as much reach. The easy ways are listed above for you to take advantage of. If you liked this article, consider following me on Twitter for more social media marketing advice and resources.

Shawn Gossman

About the Author

Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers who follow this blog. Shawn also offers various services for extra help in content creation and blogging.

Join the Official Shawn Gossman Mailing List