2015 List of Banned Hashtags on Instagram That Your Business May be Using

List of Banned Hashtags on Instagram

On December 18/2014 Instagram took swift action against fake and spammy profiles, removing the respective accounts from their network. Overnight users from all walks of life lost anywhere from dozens to millions of followers in one swoop. While many cried “unfair” as they witnessed a bulk of their hard earned following vanish, Instagram was working with all of our best interests in mind. Sure, the move doesn’t fare well for those that judge success on the channel by the number of followers a profile has, but in the end it serves the greater good of the IG community. But this annual cleansing is not the only visible move Instagram takes to limit spam and uncouth behavior.

Have you ever posted an image on Instagram with a well thought out comment and hashtag assortment that was certain to gain you likes and follows, only to find that when posted, the image was devoid of all text, rendering it invisible to users searching for your hashtags? This happens when you have entered even one banned hashtag into your post. Instagram dictates an ever-changing list of hashtags that not only cannot be used, use of them prevents all accompanying text and non-violating hashtags from being shown on a post. In essence, the function takes your content and buries it, wasting a perfectly good brand photo/image in the process.

Of course there are ones that commonsense dictates would be banned. Hashtagging profanity, pornography, and anything promoting hate, violence, and intolerance for the most part have been blacklisted. Your business is not even considering these strings of words. However, there are ones that you as a brand manager may not be aware of, common words, terms, and abbreviations that you may innocently hashtag and subsequently destroy any attempt to grow your Instagram following and engagement. Today, I have compiled a list of less obvious banned hashtags that businesses and brands may accidentally use in the year ahead. Take note and keep them away from your most recent post.

Alphabetical List of Blocked Hashtags That Brands May Not Be Aware Of in 2015

  • #Bang – You may consider this term to be an expressive way to convey the impact of your product/service. The folks at Instagram see it another way.
  • #Bra (or #Lingerie or #Underwear)- This one may be obvious to some, but for those retailers specializing in sleepwear, such a thing may come as a surprise.
  • #IG (or #Instagram) – This hashtag is deemed too generic for Instagram watchdogs, assuming that if you’re using it you must be trying to put your post in front of the eyes of as many users as possible without adding photos with any specific value.
  • #Petite – Not sure what the rationale is here. Retailers once again beware.
  • #Photography – Surprising isn’t it? This one also falls under the “too generic” category.
  • #Popular (or #PopularPage) – This one has false-claims written all over it. Glad it’s not allowed.
  • #Sexy – You can see why “#sex” would be banned, but any business dealing in accessories, apparel, interior design, fashion, nightlife and the like may be irked that this common term is blocked from use.
  • #Shower – I found this one out the hard way. No, it’s not what you think. I took and posted an artsy image of a rusty rinsing station at Waikiki Beach (without anyone near it) and quickly discovered the use of #shower was banned. Sorry Bed, Bath & Beyond, this may impact your Instagram activity too.
  • #Wet – Really? Starting to think that it’s Instagram itself that has the dirty mind…

Hashtags are “opened” and ‘closed” all of the time on Instagram, adjusting as users abuse, or don’t abuse, their use on this ever-growing photo-sharing network. Stay tuned for more as #IG adds new not-so-obvious hashtags to their list prohibited words and expressions.

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