Why Hashtags Are Not Working (as in, No Longer Important) on Instagram 2021

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The opinion I’m about to share about hashtags on Instagram will, most likely, be antithetical to the prevailing wisdom. And, not to mention, disagreed upon by many Instagram experts, too. But here it goes…

Hashtags are not working — as in, they are no longer important — on Instagram in 2021.

Why Hashtags are not Working and No Longer Important on Instagram in 2021.jpg

Now, five, six years ago, hashtags were big on Instagram. They were basically the only way to get discovered by new people. I talked hashtag strategy all the time, for years, and had countless Build Your Tribe episodes teaching you best practices, etc.

Hashtags were like SEO, Search Engine Optimization, for Instagram back in the day. But times have changed.

Everyone used to tell you, myself included, to use 30 hashtags. And we all did it. The reason for that is, simply, Instagram allows us to use up to 30 on every single one of our feed posts. So, I (my son, Brock, too) always preached,

  • “Use 30 hashtags!”
  • “Get the maximum bang for your buck!”
  • “Squeeze all you can out of them!”

Hashtags No Longer Working on Instagram as they Used to

New Data and Insights

After plenty of testing and running numbers, we’ve recently discovered and concluded that actually using 30 has a very strong chance of confusing the algorithm. Even if they are within your niche.

This particular analysis has been reiterated by fellow, Instagram expert (and friend), Lucas O’Keefe. Mr. O’Keefe recently had an in-depth conversation with Instagram employees who confirmed this recent update in the algorithm.

Hopefully, this is a sigh of relief for those of you who struggle with hashtags and continue to stress about how many and which ones to use.

Bottom line: There is just no need to care about hashtags (that much) anymore! For more reasons as to why not, plus:

  • Why no one individual can dominate a certain hashtag
  • How many I currently recommend using on a single post (and why)
  • Why hashtags are not reliable

Then, you must check out the Build Your Tribe episode below:

And don’t forget to subscribe to BYT for weekly shows dedicated to your social media growth and dominance!

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