Hashtags have been the main tool for making content discoverable on social media since their introduction on Twitter in 2007. They help to categorize content into feeds that makes the content more accessible based on user desires.
On Instagram, hashtags are more important than ever in terms of getting your content out to new viewers and attracting more followers for your account. You should create a hashtag strategy that produces results and helps with your Instagram growth.
In order to do so, you have to understand which hashtags are trending, which ones work best in your niche, and which tags are likely to bring in overly general viewers. You also have to be wary of using banned hashtags.
Banned hashtags can completely throw off your Instagram strategy and diminish your results. If you’ve been working on producing awesome content but notice you’re not getting the growth you’re looking for, you may be using banned hashtags without even knowing it.
Instagram has the power to ban different hashtags; while you can still use them on your content, the feed will be completely erased, meaning that no content with that hashtag will appear in the feed.
If you’re ready to find out more information about how to avoid banned hashtags and what you should do to create a solid hashtag strategy, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll help you understand all things hashtags.
What are Banned Hashtags on Instagram?
Instagram identifies hashtags which commonly have inappropriate or unsavory content and then hide all of the content that uses the hashtag; no hashtags will appear in the hashtag feed.
Banned hashtags aren’t something that remains the same at all times— they are constantly changing and being updated based on the investigations that Instagram does into the tags and posts. Instagram doesn’t officially announce these banned hashtags, but we’ve done the work to find out exactly which ones they are.
Why are Hashtags Banned on Instagram?
We’re going to take a closer look at why Instagram decides to ban hashtags in the first place so that we can understand the hashtags that will appear on our list. The user experience on Instagram is the primary reason.
Instagram allows its users to flag or report content so that the community can remain safe and the user experience intact. When a user reports or flags content that they find to be inappropriate, Instagram will conduct a review of the content and see what posts are using what hashtags.
When Instagram decides that the hashtag has played a role in delivering content that isn’t appropriate, Instagram makes the decision to ban the hashtag and remove all content associated with it.
What does it mean if a hashtag is banned, really?
The hashtag is still available on Instagram and can still be used in posts; it can even still be searched for. When you search the hashtag, you can tap on it, but when you arrive at the hashtag feed, all posts will be hidden.
Instagram displays the message: “Recent posts from #bannedhashtag are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.”
This effectively removes all recent content using the hashtag and making it undiscoverable without the original poster knowing it.
It’s very strange in some cases, because the banned hashtag seems to be harmless enough; users may add it to their content without even considering that it could be banned in the first place.
For instance, #beautyblogger is on the list of banned hashtags, but #beautybloggers isn’t. See that? Very unsuspecting.
We don’t want you to waste any more time or energy using hashtags that are banned. Your content should get the reach and exposure it deserves! We’re now going to get into our banned hashtag guide so that you can avoid using these tags, remove any of them if you have been using them, and keep your content visible and free of being flagged or banned through hashtag association.
Banned Instagram Hashtags Guide
We’ve created an A-Z list of banned hashtags so that you can plan accordingly and come up with the most effective Instagram hashtag strategy to get your content seen and your followers growing.
*keep in mind that you may see some words or phrases found in the list could be considered offensive; we’re not trying to be vulgar or anger anyone, but we’ve got to bring you a comprehensive guide to banned hashtags— the bad, not-so-bad, and the ugly. We apologize in advance for any profanity or derogatory terms.
Banned Hashtags: A
Banned Hashtags: B
Banned Hashtags: C
Banned Hashtags: D
Banned Hashtags: E
Banned Hashtags: G
Banned Hashtags: H
Banned Hashtags: I
Banned Hashtags: K
Banned Hashtags: M
Banned Hashtags: N
Banned Hashtags: P
Banned Hashtags: R
Banned Hashtags: S
Banned Hashtags: T
Banned Hashtags: U-Z
We hope that you enjoyed our most recent update for banned hashtags on Instagram. Keep in mind that these could change on a regular basis, but most of the hashtags on this list have been banned for a while and will likely remain that way.
If you are worried about your hashtag strategy and need some more tips to help, we’ve got some great ones coming your way in the following sections.
What if I Think a Hashtag is Banned?
The bad news is that Instagram has never released a list of banned hashtags and will probably refrain from doing so in the future, so there’s no definitive space to check online and find the most recent updates.
There are a few things you can do, however, if you want to confirm that the hashtag you’re trying to use remains free and unbanned.
When you are preparing to use a hashtag and have a feeling that it might be banned, one of the best ways to find out is to search Instagram yourself.
Search the hashtag you want to use in the search bar, and hit tags. It will show a list of tags, and you can tap on your desired hashtag to see the status. If you see the posts, both top and recent, the hashtag is good to go.
If you see the message that we listed earlier about “posts hidden” on the hashtag page, you know that the hashtag is banned and that you shouldn’t use it.
You should also check to see both the top and recent tabs as we mentioned above; if there are supposedly a lot of posts using the tag but many don’t appear, the hashtag was hidden in the past and all of the other posts were hidden.
Also, if you don’t see your post appear in the hashtag feed even after posting, it’s probably because the hashtag is still blocked or banned.
The last thing you want to do when reviewing your hashtags is to look closely at all of the content that is posted using your desired hashtag. Do you want this content to appear next to your own in the hashtag feed?
Do you feel comfortable being associated with the other content using that hashtag, and do the followers and viewers checking out the tag likely represent your target audience?
You should answer yes to all of these questions; if not, time for a new Instagram hashtag strategy.
How To Avoid Using Banned Instagram Hashtags
While it can be frustrating to know some hashtags out there, seemingly harmless, are banned, there are plenty of different tactics you can use for your Instagram hashtag game that will help you get your content out to more people.
When you follow our tips, you can start to identify hashtags that will provide value for your content and reach more people in your target audience, helping you in terms of Instagram follower growth, which is the ultimate goal.
Adjust the Banned Hashtag
After checking out our list, it seems almost unbelievable that hashtags such as #alone and #beautyblogger are banned! It’s quite a shame, since users of Instagram that want to leverage the power of this hashtag with no malintents have no possibility to do so.
Even still, you don’t have to throw them out completely— you can adjust the hashtag and create a modification that will still get your content seen by your target audience.
For example, if you use the hashtag #alone, you could include what you’re doing with it, like #eatingalone or #lunchalone. That way, you won’t get blocked.
Same with #beautyblogger; if you add an ‘s’ the tag isn’t banned, so #beautybloggers will work.
You can still use your desired hashtag when you modify them just a bit and your content will get more reach that way without being banned.
Use Niche-Specific Tags
When you use hashtags that are specific to your particular niche or even location, you’re likely to get better reach and get more Instagram followers and views from people within your target audience.
Also, niche-specific hashtags aren’t as likely to be banned as generic ones, so they’re typically safer for use and will provide better results for your content, anyway.
Create Your Own Hashtags
Don’t like any of the hashtags out there? Sick of using the ones you’ve already set aside for yourself? Break the mold and create your own!
When you use your own hashtag or create one that’s relevant to your brand, you can avoid branded hashtags altogether. You also create a central feed that users can search for and view when they want to know more about your brand.
A popular tactic is to list your #brandedhashtag in your bio and encourage users to tag it in their content posts for a feature on your page. That way, your hashtag feed will be full of posts from other users, building your credibility and reputation.
You can also feature this as content on your account, which is great news because user-generated content gets more engagement on Instagram than other types of posts in general.
Establish a Set of Go-To Hashtags
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to create a go-to hashtag stockpile that will always be there for you no matter what.
It’s likely that you’ll have a variety of different content and you may want to change up your hashtags a bit now and then, but identifying a solid set of, say, 10 hashtags for your content will help you save time and keep your content in hashtag feeds in the long term.
Monitor your performance and make sure that these hashtags are delivering results. It’s a good idea to test them out for about two weeks and make tweaks as you see fit.
Be Knowledgeable about Your Hashtag Performance
Social media isn’t something casual that just “happens;” you have to have intention and purpose as well as understand the results of the content that you post.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure that your account is set up as a professional account, either business or creator. You’ll then have access to a few different features, including Instagram analytics, called Instagram insights.
Instagram insights is an Instagram-based performance tracker that gives you a bunch of different performance metrics about your content, including the reach, impressions, engagements, actions taken, as well as details about your target audience.
You should note the hashtags you use on your best performing posts and keep track of what type of content you included in posts that do better than your other content.
If you think a hashtag isn’t performing well, do a few tests; post similar content a few times and use that hashtag a variety of times to see if it’s really not doing well or if it was just a fluke.
Don’t forget that content has a big impact on performance and analytics, so you should be sure to use very similar pieces of content when testing out hashtags so the content doesn’t become a factor in why it didn’t perform well.
You can also use a third party Instagram analytics program if you feel that you can’t manage or track your content well enough via Instagram insights. Iconosquare, Union Metrics, as well as Agorapulse are all popular options that provide reports and accessible data with actionable goals to help boost your performance.
Follow Trending Hashtags
Since Instagram is a platform of trends, just like other social media networks, a surefire way to use hashtags that are kosher and not banned is to stay up-to-date with popular and trending hashtags on Instagram.
You will keep your content and your captions relevant that way, and you’ll also be less likely to use a banned hashtag because the topic is trending on Instagram. These topics and hashtags are bound to have a solid hashtag feed.
What’s more, hashtag challenges are becoming more and more popular on pretty much all social networks, so you should definitely take advantage of them when they’re relevant to your content.
You can even create content that fits with the hashtag so that your content shows creativity and also connects to current events and trending challenges.
Use a Hashtag Tool
There are plenty of third party hashtag tools available to help you get more reach for your content and use the right hashtags. They can provide you with hashtag searches, performance metrics, hashtag generation, and more.
You can find an expansive selection of Instagram hashtag tools in the market these days, all offering similar features to help you identify the perfect hashtags for your content and even organize them into sets for easy posting.
These services can be incredibly helpful if you feel like your hashtag strategy isn’t working or you have no ideas; you can find both free and paid tools available.
Conclusion: Why You Need Hashtags on Instagram
Even though you may be worried about using a banned hashtag, you can take steps to make sure that you avoid them. You should definitely still keep using hashtags and make sure that you do your research if you have a feeling that a tag might be banned.
Here are three final ways that hashtags can help you; they are benefits that you may not have considered:
- Learn more about your target audience: One of the best things you can do is to search the hashtag feed and look at the content in them; see what type of users are liking that content and engaging with it. You will then know more about your target audience, what type of content they’re checking out, and how to create content and captions that will get their attention.
- Build Your Reputation: Using a branded hashtag can help generate interest in your brand and encourage your followers to tag it in their content, creating a user-generated feed of photos related to your brand or business. This helps you to have more authority and credibility in your niche. You can also promote more content reach in other hashtag feeds, even potentially landing you in the top section of the hashtag feed. This will give you even more opportunity for content views, engagement, and follower growth.
- Track Your Competition: Since most Instagrammers use hashtags these days, you can stay vigilant and monitor hashtags to see what your competition is up to and what type of strategy they’re using in terms of hashtags. Check out their profile, look at their content, see what’s really getting more engagement, and even reach out to some of their followers or users. They’re likely to be interested in your content since they are already following a similar account.
All in all, make sure that you are always aware of your content performance and how your hashtags are doing. If you keep an eye on your top-performing content, you can continue to replicate it in hopes of more Instagram followers and better content reach. Happy hashtagging!
What’s your favorite hashtag? Let us know in the comments!