Instagram Hashtag Update: Are You Going to Be Left Behind?

Instagram Hashtag Update: Are You Going to Be Left Behind?

The one constant in our industry (or most industries for that matter) is change. Few things change faster than the algorithms that power social media, thus the bulk of many photographers' presence to the world. With the new year, there are new things that we must be aware of if we wish to maintain our place in the algorithm's placement to our own followers and hopefully grow instead of just maintaining.

Hashtags Are Changing

Hashtags are changing as always but the key here is a new feature in which users can select to "not see this" for a specific hashtag, which factors into the algorithm much like Craigslist does with flagging ads. In other words, enough of "don't show me this" and your content will be shown less to other users besides just the ones selecting to hide your content, since Instagram feels that your content is less relevant for that specific hashtag.

Also worthy of note, is that this gives your competition an avenue to attempt to reduce your visibility (in hopes of raising their own) by selecting "Don't Show" on hashtags for your posts.

This especially reminds us to use only the most relevant hashtags, not just cramming our post full of hashtags a la the "shotgun approach" and hoping for the best.

This article from Later teaches us about the new feature. Give it a read and make sure you are following best practice. It's important that we spend a little time on things like this periodically as it's been my experience that photographers have a bad habit of "doing what we have always done" and that isn't a good mix for a fast-paced, constantly moving environment such as social media.

Lead image by Wokandapix via Pixabay.

Bill Larkin's picture

Bill is an automotive and fashion inspired photographer in Reno, NV. Bill specializes in photography workflow and website optimization, with an extensive background in design and programming.

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LOL this stuff is so miserable.

yeah, i'm pretty much done trying with instagram. i'll continue posting here and there but i wont be putting in much effort. this has all become far too much work for too little yield, as i have been stuck around 240 followers since october/november. it's just ridiculous.

Right, and this is exactly why I started photography in the first place, so I could study up on ways to try to fool the algorithms that Zuckerberg pays an army of coders to develop with the sole purpose of maximizing ad revenue for Facebook, Inc. I don't make money from Facebook or Instagram, but I would have to be making at least 6 figures from social media alone to be willing to humiliate myself playing these stupid games to feed Zuck's ad machine.

Instagram is really losing what's made it good on the begining.
I can understand the need to make it profitable, but clearly this App was in the first place NOT created to be profitable.

As a marketing professional I can't think of a worse way to waste money than on this social media garbage. It doesn't work. Period.

I agree 100%. 20 years from now people are going to laugh at how people were suckers for social media marketing. Maybe early on when content marketing was an approach it worked well. But for the most part there is so much content out there it is hard to make a dent with that. As for the true social media marketing on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. there is no return except for the people selling their "how to use social media to get rich" which is by selling "how to use social media to get rich". These people are like the other people who sell gold by telling you all hell is going to break loose and only gold will be worth anything so send me your worthless dollars and I'll send you the only item that will be worth something in the future. Think about that for a moment.

The photographers who are getting rich with the ever changing Instagram algorithms are people who were photographers but now push their "let me show you how to get more likes." People like Jasmine Star who push their crap and I honestly mean crap for her stuff. I've never gotten a job from Instagram and I don't care. I post there to share and if I meet people who want to see my work quickly they can see it there. I also still have a website which I direct people to. My jobs come from either word of mouth or from reaching out to people and asking for jobs. Much better return on time spent then trying to figure out the changing rules of social media. To me if you are using social media to attract work it is the equivalent of the old method of putting an ad in the yellow pages. Yeah I'm that old that I know what yellow pages were.

Yes I get that some people make their living off of social media but they are social media professionals - not other professionals using social media to make money from their profession. People need to understand this.

Is Jas star still a photographer? I swear I haven't seen work from her in AGESSSSS.

I don't think so. She's been pushing her Instagram process which last month was, "I know you are really busy so let me provide you Instagram slogans you can use in your feed."

So, basically, pit us against each other and make the game even more bizarrely stupid, and the odds stacked in favor of INSTAGRAM'S profit margins, not your own small businesses'...

Actually I take that back, there is a slight chance that this change could actually REWARD the folks who just don't go nuts with hashtags, period. Even if that reward is almost too minuscule to ever make a difference in their own small business profits, of course.

New algorithm brought. Now fight for likes, you stupid little people. 😈

These are important points:
- Instagramers will be following hashtags
- Instagramers will be muting hashtags
- Instagram will continue shadowbanning those using the same hashtags.

Either way, a fast way to get hashags for any image, and not from a "set," but just for that image, this is the solution. The RiteTag browser extension and Android app both do this, and what's more, RiteTag integrates with every social media publishing site/service, including all the desktop-to-Instagram solution.

Once again it was made convenient for only the users playing this silly follow - unfollow game and using bots...

Zucc should just get on with it and simply connect the whole world by having everyone follow everyone. That’s basically his goal. And let a feed for us from the billions of daily entries. Oh, wait..