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Should Instagram Hashtags be in the Post or Comments?

Do Instagram hashtags work in the first comment or should you keep them in the caption? We dive in to see where they should go.

Posted 2 years ago

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 2 years ago
After Instagram’s @creators account announced that if you want your account to show up on Search, you should use hashtags in the caption of your post instead of the comments, it’s had a lot of people wondering if they would get any reach at all by using hashtags in the comment section. It’s been a debate for many years as people thought if you hid the hashtags, you’d get better engagement on your photos, while others believed it’s better to be transparent and leave the hashtags in the caption. So what should you actually do? Is there a black and white rule? Or does it really not matter all that much? Let’s dive deep into whether hashtags work in comments or if you should keep them in the caption of your post.

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  1. What did Instagram say about hashtags in the caption?
hashtags in first comment or caption

What did Instagram say about hashtags in the caption?

Back in August, Instagram’s @creators account said if you want to show up on the Search page on Instagram, using hashtags in the comments of the post is going to help you get there. Immediately, most people assumed this meant that if you use hashtags in the first comment of your post, your reach would decrease. But… is that actually true?

Do hashtags work as a first comment?

They do! Even Instagram has said hashtags work in and are discoverable when used in the first comment. The trend started when people wanted to make their Instagram captions look clean, and then soon spiraled as a way for people to swap out and edit their old hashtags to have their content be seen on more terms.
instagram hashtag
Image from @homewithkelsey
While the @creators page has said to use your hashtags in the captions to be more discoverable, from our own experience and seeing the data from other content creators, hashtags as a first comment are still getting incredibly high reach. Based on this data, your hashtags are still discoverable by Instagram’s AI when you add them as a first comment.

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Why should you add hashtags in your caption?

Again, if we’re going back to what the @creators page has said, if you want to end up on the Search page, it would be beneficial to add your hashtags into the caption for Instagram’s AI.
Another benefit to adding your hashtags into the caption is you’ll get extra engagement as soon as you hit publish, instead of waiting until your comment is written and posted.
If you’re a Flick user, with our upcoming Instagram Scheduler, you’ll be able to easily add your hashtags to your caption before publishing, or create a first comment on your pre-scheduled post that will publish at the same time as your post. Sign up here to be the first one to test out the scheduler.

So where should you put your hashtags?

Like we always recommend, it’s better to experiment! If you’re noticing that your hashtags are doing really well in the caption, keep continuing to put your hashtags in the caption. If your hashtags are doing well in the first comment, continue using them in the first comment.
With Instagram, it’s better to always try new experiments to see what works best for you and your content.
Figure out all you need to know about hashtags in our hashtag guide. And if you need help with finding the best hashtags for your account whether you add them into the caption or the first comment? Start a 7-day free trial with Flick to find the perfect hashtags.


What did Instagram say about hashtags in the caption?

Do hashtags work as a first comment?

Why should you add hashtags in your caption?

So where should you put your hashtags?

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