Social Evidence

Why Do Some Instagram Posts Show up in Hashtag Searches, but Others Don’t?

POSTED ON January 12, 2018

By Andy Adkins, CIO, Social Evidence – There may be several reasons for this, but here’s a couple of things to consider:Instagram-Hashtags

Privacy Settings: If an Instagram account is set to “Private” (done by the Instagram account holder), then only that person’s “followers” can see their Instagram Posts. This was a change Instagram made in 2011. In other words, by default, new Instagram accounts are set to “Public,” meaning anyone can see the account holder’s Posts. The account holder must set their own account to “Private,” so that only their followers can see their Posts (not the general public).

Instagram banned hashtags: Instagram bans certain words used as hashtags. This changes all the time (no surprise) and there is no comprehensive list to review. I recently read that Instagram has banned more than 60,000 hashtags. Most of these, IMO, are banned for obvious reasons (cuss words and porn words come to mind), but here’s a few that were a surprise: #dogsofinstagram, #petite, #books, #snapchat, and #boho. There’s lots more, but I really don’t understand some of these decisions (it’s beyond my pay grade).

One other thing to note: if you have a series of hashtags (you know, those annoying people who post a dozen hashtags at the end of their Post) and only one of those hashtags are banned, then your Instagram Post will not be found by searching by hashtags.

Andy AdkinsAndy Adkins is the Chief Information Officer of Social Evidence, LLC, a leading cloud-based social media collection, organization, authentication, and analytics application. He has been an independent legal technology consultant for more than 25 years, a past chair of the ABA TECHSHOW (2000, 2001) and past co-chair of LegalTech Conferences (2000-2007). He is the author of “The Lawyer’s Guide to Practice Management Systems,” published in April 2009 by the ABA Law Practice Management Section. He can be reached at 352.538.5346,, or



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