As Instagram continually makes changes to their algorithm, it is important for users to keep up in order to stay relevant on their feed. The chronological order of posts on Instagram is long gone and the fight for visibility has become much more tough.
The power of the hashtag can take your content into the eyes of new users, so it is important to be mindful of what and where it is included.
Instagram’s algorithm is based off of three things: interest, relationship, and timeliness. These factors were chosen to avoid spam behavior from certain accounts, giving your feed a much cleaner, more productive look. Users have been changing their hashtag placement, in hopes to use the system in their favor.
So what’s the difference between placing your hashtags in the captions versus the comments?
Including hashtags in your caption is the original method of hashtag networking. The app allows for a certain number of hashtags per post and users have been getting creative with their placement. In order to avoid getting distracted by a clump of hashtags, users have been adding different elements to separate them from the actual caption of the post. Using methods such as adding multiple vertical dots have given hashtags a distinct distance from the caption, avoiding the cluttered look.
The modern method of hashtags is storing them in your comments. This gives your post a “cleaner” look on the news feed. Some users want the exposure hashtags bring, but don’t like the appearance of fluff on their content. After a few comments on your post, you won’t see the hashtags at first glance. This can be beneficial for users who want to put a large number of hashtags, but don’t want to come off too strong to their followers.
Some marketers have claimed that having hashtags in specific places does affect the exposure of posts. Although the look of the post can appear better, placing hashtags in the comments may pose a bigger risk of getting less exposure. The longer it takes to post the hashtags in the comments, the lower the reach.
Some believe that having hashtags in your caption has shown to get more engagement than comments. This could be because of the speed of getting these hashtags into the feed. When they are posted with the caption, the post has a lesser chance of getting lost in the hashtag pool.
Instagram has not explained how hashtag placement affects visibility of posts, so there is no concrete evidence that can convey which is better for reach and engagement. In the end, it all depends on personal preference, as there is no “right” or “wrong” way to post hashtags.
Looking for more social media advice? Check out these 4 lessons.