Did IG change its hashtag algorithm recently

So I used to get really good hashtag reach, like 20K+ impressions. But in the past week, it’s been bad. like 100 impressions if even. At first I thought I was shadow banned but I just tested with a small hashtag and I can see the post in top tab so I don’t think I’m shadow banned. I’m just not showing up on big hashtags anymore (same ones I have been using successfully for months). I still get tons of likes and comments from my followers (1000+ likes per first hour) so there should be enough engagement to get to top of big hashtags. So weird. Anyone noticing anything different with hashtag ranking?

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Preaching to the choir. It’s really random when I’ll get really good hashtag reach. It’s dependent on IG’s whims

What’s your account size and engagement rate? @hw711

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You’re probably just using a restricted hashtag.

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35.7K, 10.12%ER

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I don’t think any of those are banned. From my latest post

#bali #nusapenida #asia #beach #vacation #trip #picoftheday #instagood #traveling #photooftheday #bestvacations #instatravel #wanderlust #landscape #adventure #travelling #traveler #photo #mountains #travel #travelgram #wonderful_places #earthpix #beautifuldestinations #travelblogger #instagram #traveltheworld #landscapephotography #explore #travelphotography

Yeah, you should be hitting the hashtags. My account is about 21k and almost the exact same engagement rate as yours. I think it’s really to get people to pay for ads

I have been hitting the same hashtags (I usually rotate from same set of 50 + location of my travel) consistently for months. It’s just the past week it’s been bad and nothing has changed on my end, that’s why I wonder IG’s algorithm changed.

I think the hashtag algorithm has changed. I have also noticed several influencers I’m watching on igblade have been losing followers since around April 26 (and they had been growing by 1000ish). I’m sure it’s related

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Here are some things I would try:

  • First, I checked the hashtags here and none of those seem to be banned hashtags. Good.
  • Some of those hashtags are way too big, like #instagood #picoftheday #photo #instagram. Have you ranked in the top posts for those before? If so, good, but they are huge hashtags with lots of competition. So perhaps try more niche hashtags.
  • Looking at the hashtags it seems your post is about travel and adventure and Bali, but those hashtags seem quite broad and not very niche/specific.

For example, #mountains has 73.9M posts ( 2.3k per hour), so it’s very competitive. But for example, check out these related hashtags where it would be easier to rank:

  • #mountainlovers 1.5M posts (143 per hour)
  • #mountainphotography 574.5k posts (44 per hour)

[ I got this data from my own hashtag generator by simply entering #mountains ]

You should try those hashtags instead of #mountain because they are much smaller but still huge, and they are much more niche and specific. If you look at #mountains top posts you will find some mountains but I also see a girl jumping in a field, a cat, someone under a tree… but if you look at the other two hashtags they are mostly focused on actual mountains.

Another thing I’d recommend you test is using fewer hashtags. You’re using 30 trying to fit in every hashtag you can, but that might look spammy to the algorithm. Are they all needed? Are they all relevant? No. Do a test and use 7-12 hashtags, and then test using 3-5 and see how it works for you.

Hope it helps and please let us know if following these tips you’re able to get that sweet reach back. Good luck!

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Yes, for months, I used to be able to hit a lot of those big hashtags. Not all 30 at once but at least half of them every day and being able to stay on top 50 for first few hours. That’s why I was consistently getting 20-30K (once even 70K) impressions from hashtags. But somehow the hashtag impressions just dropped off like a cliff this past week. Today is the first day I got over 100 impressions from hashtags in a week. 8000K in 4 hours, not great as before but better than past week.

Seems to be back to normal now. Almost 18K impressions after 6 hours today.

It’s interesting that the posts my followers really love sometimes don’t get promoted with hashtags. I mean… todays post got dramatically higher engagement. Which suggests that instagram is throttling hashtag reach occasionally to get you to pay for ads.

It’s built on AI. So I doubt it’s throttled. It’s a feature they allow ppl to get exposure - and it works to an extent when done right. But it’s not what drives a post’s success.

The content does.

People on this forum even grew without using hashtags either

Content is the thing to master more than hashtags imo

Hashtags and content get weird when there is a love disconnect from followers vs non-followers.

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I agree, that’s happened to me before and it’s been awkward :sweat_smile: Hashtags can’t save bad content. I get a lot of followers when hashtags work for me, though.

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I noticed that too. I think posts that don’t get as much hashtag impressions get more follower impressions.