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This is interesting.

According to various reports, Instagram is now limiting the number of hashtags that some users can add to their posts, with five being the maximum number of tags that you can include within a single update.

Instagram hashtag limit

As you can see in this example, posted by Instagram expert Jenn Herman (and shared by Matt Navarra), some users are getting a limit pop-up as they add hashtags within the IG composer, which then restricts them from adding more within the post caption.

Which makes some sense, given that Meta has also put limits on the number of tags that you can add per post on Threads. In that case, the idea is that by limiting tags to just one per post, that’ll reduce the capacity for spammers to target trending topics, by adding as many popular tags as they can, in the hopes of getting their updates into as many search streams as possible.

Given the logic, the same could also extend to Instagram, where spammers regularly target popular tags, though you could also add more tags to the first comment, which is an approach that some users already take, and which already drives more reach in some instances.

So I’m not sure how effective this might be, given there are ways to work around it.

Maybe Instagram’s also going to limit the discovery value of hashtags posted within comments, or comments (not replies) added by the creator. If anything like this were also enacted, that would make this a bigger consideration.

Either way, you really should be studying the right hashtags for your business, and applying more specific, targeted tags to each of your updates. And five is likely more than enough, but if it is rolled out more widely, this could have an impact on your posting process, and how you use tags in your posts.

Limiting the use of tags could also be another sign that hashtags simply aren’t as valuable as they once were, as social platform algorithms are now getting much better at sorting content based on a broader set of identifiers. If IG knows what your post is likely about anyway, it probably doesn’t need manual tags as much, which could be another change in process.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test (and whether it’s actually a glitch), and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.