Hashtags on Instagram not working causes uproar among users

Many users are currently reporting problems with hashtags on Instagram. When some users upload photos that are tagged, their photos do not show up under the hashtags they used. I have read about this issue in discussion forums the last few days and yesterday it happened to me as well.

I uploaded a photo yesterday evening using about 30 tags, which is the maximum number allowed by Instagram. Normally after I have done this, my photo would immediately show up under the hashtags that I used. But now it didn’t. In fact, on the tags that I had used, almost no new photos from the last hour or so showed up, even on tags where there usually are new photos uploaded every minute, like #reflections.

It was soon obvious to me that this was an actual thing, not something that only I noticed in my app. Normally I get a small number of likes, say 10-15, during the first few minutes after uploading a photo. And many of them are from non followers because they discover my photos elsewhere than in their feed.

Now, however, notifications were almost silent. Only a single like or two during the first five to ten minutes, and only from followers. This was a clear sign that my photo was only visible to my followers.

Hashtags on Instagram aren’t working

So I started to investigate. None of the tags I had used displayed almost any recent photos. Some 30-40 minutes ago, some from an hour ago. My photo did not show up anywhere.

I logged in to other accounts but the results were the same, even for tags that I had not used in this photo. So had I been shadow banned? I don’t know, the concept of shadow ban is controversial and many experts say it doesn’t exist. Shadow ban is a theory that a user is somehow being punished by Instagram’s algorithm, resulting in their photos not being displayed under hashtags.

After about 2-3 hours the problem seemed to have been resolved and my photo was visible again on the hashtags. It even got promoted to the top 9 trending hashtags on more than 10 tags, so clearly all was fine again.

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Users are upset

It was soon clear that this problem was affecting lots of people. Instagram tweeted out this weekend’s hashtag project and the replies to this tweet are mainly about the tag issue.


In a Facebook group about social media, people were frustrated because their photos tanked and weren’t displayed at all.


There does not seem to be a workaround for users at the moment, should this issue continue. My only recommendation at the moment is to check the hashtags before you publish and see if they are displaying recent photos. If not, maybe you should wait and publish later.

Also, check Twitter discussions and see if other people are having the same problem with hashtags. Then at least you will know it is a general Instagram bug and not someting that you did.

Footnote: follow me on Instagram for travel photos: @kullin


53 thoughts on “Hashtags on Instagram not working causes uproar among users”

  1. i am facing the same issue. my posts are not being shown in hashtags search results. even if i search my own hashtag it only shows the post of people who reposted my post and nothing else.

  2. It happened to me now! I posted a photo 3 times but still not appearing in any hashtags I used.

  3. 😮 I am just facing the same issue… it is just ridiculous…does anyone know how to resolve the issue? I have reported it to instagram but unfortunately I received on screen message ” thank u for the report, we are not available to check each report but because of u we can try to make instagram better . Yes… I see… how they making it better.

  4. I’m facing the same issue right now and it’s been over a day and the problem hasn’t resolved

  5. I am also facing the same issue with one of my account. @moodswag_com earlier it was doing good and I was also gaining some followers but for past few days non of my pictures are showing in the feed. I use tags for likes Pro and not putting anything bad. And I am only post 2-3 posts a day which is also not of a spamming level. I don’t know what to do.

  6. I have the same thing for the last two days. I don’t know what’s happening. So am i shadow banned? What do we do guys?

  7. Same thing here… just as the article describes. The minute I used to post, I would get around 20 likes… then my followers would like as well. Now after an hour, I only have a few followers liking my photos. Today I posted a beautiful photo of the Brooklyn Bridge which always gets a lot of attention and same thing happened. This is sad bc I’m trying to increase my followers but that’s not going to happen if this continues.

  8. soo does anyone know how to fix it?? i have 2 accounts (my main & my backup) when i post a TBH post with the hashtag #tbh on my main page, my post wont pop up in the hashtag feed sooo i tested it out with my backup & it works. why doesn’t it pop up with my main? someone PLEASE HELP!!!!

  9. A few hours ago I took the tags I had in a caption and commented them on an old picture I posted a few weeks ago. I personally do not like the tags to be visible so I thought I’d move them. Just tried to post a picture 3 different times and my photo did not show up under any of the tags. When you’re shadow banned is it permanent?!!!!

  10. Same here, usually when I share a picture I have much likes but now just my followers who like, this is upset

  11. Same thing is happening to me…f*cking instagram needs to stop messing with shiz! -.- I’m beyond p*ssed rn!

  12. I have the same problem.I used less than 20 hashtags and that too I use the same hashtags evrytime.how can that be fixed

  13. Im having this issue aswell and have done for about a week. I have even diactivated my account to create a new one! (_beccaloufit_) and after posting a few posts today i have looked at the hastags i have used. Its happened again.. im using a diff email address and user name! I dont know what to do!!!

  14. sad i created my own hashtag with more than 5 post it says that hashtag is broken or dont exist i have never posted more than 8 times and nothing offensive so how can i be shadow banned whats going on im new to instagram

  15. I’ve been having the same problem I’m happy to know I ain’t the only one. I’m so pissed about it!

  16. Does anyone know if the situation rights itself? Plus I’ve heard Vero is a good new alternative to Instagram?

  17. Well it’s now March 2018 and the problem persists. Maybe Instagram is past its use by date?

  18. It’s happening to my account since February 21. Instead of 100 likes a have 7-10. From followers only. Is there a solution..?

  19. Same here! And it’s the first time that happened to me. Tag (@) is not working either… hope this will be somehow resolved soon…

  20. I face exactly the same issue for the last 3 days. Actually no photo from the past uploaded do not show up under the hashtags I have occasionally used. It is really strange and so frustrating!
    Is there any update?

  21. It happen to me as well! Tried to report to instagram but doesn’t seems help. The hashtag I use, I have checked there’s other people photo but not mine. It’s upset duh! @nicklasyee

  22. This has been happening to me for weeks now and it’s incredibly frustrating. Does anyone know if Instagram has a support department that can be contacted?

  23. Nope, hastags stop working!
    That’s bad, we want our money back!

  24. So, basically, nobody has a solution? It’s been two weeks already, nothing changes. What to do?

  25. I don’t know what the frick to do. I’m extremely pissed. There is no point in even posting at this point

  26. same thing has happen to me for the past week. Has anyone problem been fixed yet?

  27. Samething has happened tp me for over a week! Has anyone account been fixed

  28. Yes, I too am experiencing this. I am pretty sure there is something strange going on because the young lady ,who was my model on the shoot, used one of my pics, used more than one of the same hashtags as I did and her photo was posted! I too used to receive many likes right after posting with a percent of those folks who then followed me.

  29. My account has been like this for over a month now. Instagram is surely on the way out.

  30. I have two accounts. One of them works. The new one, that is more important for hashtags, does not.

  31. I’m experiencing the same thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Very frustrating – what’s the use of the app if we can’t share our pictures?

  32. Experiencing the same thing. I have realized when I am engaging on the app “too much” it happens. (Maybe seeing me as being Spammy or a bot) I don’t understand why considering the sole purpose of the app is to Like, comment and follow. It’s frustrating because I have to keep going on a hiatus and it sucks because I am trying to build my yoga page!

  33. Ok it’s happening to me…once i start hashtagging photos won’t show up… instagram glitch..how long will it lasst???

  34. Hello.Have this problem since february 2018(near two month now) how i can fix it?My photos not show up under hashtags.

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