You should never underestimate the importance of the simple Instagram hashtag. It plays a crucial role in spreading your Instagram reach and helps you develop your followers.
When Simply Measured conducted our investigation into Instagram usage, they found that 88% of brand posts contained at least one hashtag and messages with at least one hashtag averaged 12.6% more engagement than those without. People started using hashtags online since 1988 on a platform called IRC – Internet Relay Chat. Even in that prehistoric internet age, people used hashtags for the same reason as today – to group messages and other content into categories.
The first known use of hashtags on social media was in October 2007, when Nate Ridder from San Diego, California, tagged his social messages with #sandiegoonfire – informing people about the forest fires that his environment was suffering at the time.
Twitter was the first platform to officially adopt the hashtag in 2009, which means that every tag that starts with # automatically became a hyperlink.
It wasn’t long before most other networks added support for hashtags on their platforms. This includes Instagram, which has probably seen the most important hashtag usage. Unlike Twitter, where most people recommend that you don’t use more than two or three hashtags in a single tweet, Instagram encourages large-scale use of the hashtag. It is common for people to include up to 20 hashtags in a single post, and many use the maximum they are allowed – 30 hashtags.
The purpose of using Instagram hashtags
So why should you include hashtags in your Instagram posts?
You use hashtags to group content. These can be common hashtags that everyone uses. In that case, you group your messages and images with others who upload similar content. Alternatively, many companies create niche hashtags to develop interest and to consolidate posts related to a particular product or campaign together.
Most Instagram users like to encourage their support. But it makes little sense to be followed by someone with completely different interests for you. By using suitable hashtags with your content, you make your messages available to people who are interested in the same topics. And if they like your posts, they will probably follow you in the hope of seeing more content on the same topic.
Even if people don’t go that far to follow you, they like the content they encounter when searching for a certain hashtag.
Instagram has grown phenomenally in recent years. This means that you cannot accidentally deliver the right content to the right people. When you use hashtags, you effectively help Instagram sort and organize your posts, helping them reach people they value.
The 25 Most Popular Instagram Hashtags
Currently, the 25 most popular Instagram hashtags are as follows:
Although the exact list of the most popular Instagram hashtags is constantly changing, there are clear popularity trends.
There are a few different niches that always perform well on Instagram. The list above indicates how many popular posts contain fashion, beauty, and food. Although it is currently not in the Top 25 at the time of writing, #travel often performs very well.
The success of the # nature tag suggests that people still like to see beautiful scenes of nature and the environment.
This makes sense. Instagram is very visual. People will want to share eye-catching images – which you can probably do with an image of the latest fashion or a delicious dessert rather than with a photo from yet another phone or computer.
Some hashtags are seasonal in nature. #summer may be the top right now, but it will be out of favor when it’s time to share the snowboard and ski photos next winter. #valentinesday the ranking increases every year in February and #christmas in December. As we approach the end of each year, #sale is gaining popularity.