If you’ve noticed a change in your Instagram engagement but couldn’t figure out what you were doing differently, it’s possible that you’ve been using banned hashtags.
Instagram isn’t notifying people when their posts include a banned hashtag. However, there is still a way you can check to see if any of the hashtags you’re using are banned.
Instagram has curated a list of banned and restricted hashtags to provide a cleaner experience for all users. Instagram does not have a significant customer service department, so to prevent pornographic or disturbing content from spreading throughout its platform, it uses this list of banned and restricted hashtags to help automatically hide questionable content.
When you use a banned or restricted hashtag in your Instagram post, you’re still able to submit the post, and those on your friends list will see it. However, it will not appear in the search results for the banned hashtag, or in any other hashtag you’ve used either, no matter how innocent it is.
An outright-banned hashtag will return zero results when someone searches for it. A restricted hashtag will only return 30 or so results, in order to reduce the risk of someone using a restricted hashtag for illicit content. Restricted hashtags are frequently words that can have double meanings that are suggestive, such as butt, nasty and hump day, while completely banned hashtags are usually explicitly vulgar. A full list of banned and restricted hashtags can be found here.
If you’ve discovered that you’re using a restricted or banned hashtag, don’t worry. You can edit your post and replace or remove the offending hashtag, and it’ll start showing up in search results. It’s probably a smart move to go through your past posts and make sure you aren’t using banned hashtag, either by consulting the list linked above, or by tapping on each hashtag to see if it leads to an empty search page.
Of course, the best way to keep your Instagram feed free of restricted or banned hashtags is to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest additions to the list. Alternatively, a digital marketing company like ours is already well-versed in how to submit posts to Instagram that meet guidelines and get significant engagement. Contact the experts at Dream Local Digital to find out how we can save you time and get the results you want online.