“How many hashtags should I use on Instagram?”

This is a question that has been asked many times before and has been an ongoing debate for years now. With Instagram allowing you 30 hashtags per post, should you use all of them or only a few? Well, Instagram’s creators account recently put the debate to rest, but it’s not the “magic number” we were all thinking.

Their post included hashtag dos, dont’s, and things to keep in mind when using them. According to this post by Instagram, you should use 3-5 hashtags that are relevant and specific to your niche on their platform.

As Instagram continues to grow and expand, this could be a way for them to better categorize content for their users. It's also possible that Instagram is trying to eliminate users using spammy hashtags to get to the allotted 30. 

As this new magic number left lots of creators and social media managers confused, Later went to work analyzing over 18 million Instagram feed posts to see how many hashtags would actually yield the best result. 

Per their findings, posts using 20 hashtags received the highest average reach rate, with posts using 30 hashtags following closely behind. While posts using 30 hashtags received the highest engagement rate, with posts using 20 hashtags following closely behind. 

With this information, using 20-30 relevant, specific, and targeted hashtags seems to be the “magic number” for most users. By using this number of relevant hashtags, you are able to reach your ideal audience and increase your engagement rate in the process. 

Still not sold? Test both these theories for yourself! Testing and analyzing the hashtags that you use (and how many) is key to the success of your overall social media strategy. See what works best for you right now, but, as with anything involving social media, be prepared to shift and adapt as Instagram continues to expand its discoverability and SEO tools.