Instagram is enforcing a new limit on the number of hashtags you can include on a single photo or video post.

What are hashtags?

For those with a public account, adding hashtags can help your content show up to those interested in that topic. Whether that means appearing at the top of your follower’s feed, suggested on non-follower’s feeds, in the explore page, at the top of search results or in the Reels tab.

On Instagram, hashtags can be added in the caption or as a comment.

What are the limits?

Currently, you can include a maximum of 30 hashtags in the caption. Hashtags can include numbers but not special characters.

Top tips

With the maximum number of hashtags set at 30, you may think the best chance for visiblity is putting as many in as possible, however this is not the case. Instagram will see this as spamming. You should restrict your posts to around 3-5 hashtags. Equally, be sure to use relevant tags, rather than generic, popular, trending, unrelated hashtags.

Despite the ability to add hashtags to the caption or comments, you should generally include them in the caption, for better reach. You can add hashtags to an existing post by editing the caption.

What’s changing?

Instagram is testing a new restriction of five hashtags per post. A new pop-up was shared by Matt Navarra, saying “You can only add 5 hashtags to a post.”

You can still put hashtags in the comments, however the value of these will likely be even more limited than they currently are.

What this means

This move isn’t particularly surprising. Instagram’s text-based social media platform Threads has recently taken a new approach to hashtags, only allowing one tag per post. This helps posts be connected to one specific topic, thus reducing the ability for spammers to target unrelated, generic, trending topics.

Hashtags in general play a smaller role in posts’ popularity these days. Instagram has more effective ways of telling what type of content is relevant to what type of audience. Just scroll through Reels or the Explore page, and you’ll soon find plenty of examples of photos and videos that have thousands of likes, are relelvant to you and have no hashtags.

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