Instagram Hashtags | Captions vs. Comments
Instagram has recently modified their algorithm to improve the number of posts a user sees from their friends. Instagram ditched their reverse chronological feed and focused on relevancy sorting. The algorithm now focuses on Interest (how likely is a user to care about the post), Recency (how recent was the post published), and Relations (how much a user has interacted with the person who has posted).
The recent tweaks have improved the number of friends’ posts a user sees, but there is a buzz that it may have also impacted the visibility of its users’ posts. While Instagram is tight-lipped on the placement of the Hashtags debate, many users feel that the placement of Hashtags seems to be one influencing factor.
The Great Divide: Caption vs Comments
Currently, the Hashtag placement on Instagram seems to be subjective – some users prefer to place their Hashtags in the Caption, and some users prefer to put their Hashtags in the Comments section.
A recent Insta Story poll by the team at Preview discovered that 70% of Instagram users put their Hashtags in the Caption and 30% of Instagram users put their Hashtags in the Comments section.
Users who put their Hashtags in the Caption, cited audience engagement as the primary reason, while the majority of users who put their Hashtags in the Comments section preferred to do so for aesthetic reasons.
There have been rumours about accounts being shadowbanned for putting Hashtags in the Comments section, but nothing has been confirmed. Few studies by Instagram influencers have confirmed that Hashtag placement is not the primary reason affecting an account’s visibility. In fact, Instagram’s algorithm has diverse factors affecting the shadow ban of its users’ accounts. Instead, some Instagram influencers have seen an uptick in reach and engagement after putting Hashtags in Comments.
So, what do you do about your Hashtags?
There doesn’t seem to be a right way or a wrong way. Depending on whether your account is a business account or a personal one, it needs to be managed differently. I suggest that you experiment out for yourself.
I recommend keeping the Instagram Caption clean by putting the bulk Hashtags in the Comments sections. Use no more than three relevant Hashtags in the Caption and put the rest in the Comments section.
Try these tips below and see what improves the engagement factor for you – Hashtags in the Caption or Hashtags in the Comments or a combination of both.
Tips to keep your audience engaged with Hashtags in Comments
If you are the person who likes to put the Hashtags in Comments, then post it immediately in the Comments sections so your Hashtags are the first Comment and your post doesn’t get bogged down and lost in the Comments from your followers.
As Instagram says – “Keep in mind that if you add a hashtag to a photo after it was posted, the photo will still appear on the hashtag page according to the time it was originally posted, not the time the hashtag was added.”
Tips to keep your Caption looking neat even with Hashtags
If you want to add Hashtags to your Caption and get the best of both worlds – capture audience interest in Caption and maintaining the clean look, here are some tips –
- Separating the Hashtags and the Caption with dots down the line to create a more aesthetic appearance
- Having no more than 3 to 4 Hashtags in the Caption
- Maintain spacing so that the Hashtags and the main Caption are separated for a neater look
In the end, don’t forget that the best way to increase your followers is to create engaging, captivating content with Hashtags that reflect your business or post aptly.