Imagine waking up one morning and having a killer Instagram photo to post from the night before. You spent a good hour editing it to be perfect and choosing the right caption and filter. It’s perfect! you think this one is going to get hella likes! So you post it and you wait…and you wait…and you wait…and you wait. Why are you only getting 2 likes? You have over a hundred followers! This isn’t fair.

That’s right, Instagram has done it again. Just when we thought we figured the old Instagram algorithm out, they came out with a new one for the 2018 year.

So what are the changes? Let’s take a look…

Algorithm / Post Exposure

When you post a picture on Instagram, only 10% of your followers and audience are now exposed to it.

If your post does well with the 10% audience right off the bat, Instagram releases it to be shown to the rest of your followers.

So if you’re wondering why you have less likes now, this might be the reason.


If you use certain hashtags, Instagram will shadowban you, preventing your post from appearing on the recent page. This includes: #lfl, #l4l, #iphonesia, #instamood, etc.

  • If you unfollow or follow too many people all at once, Instagram will ban you from following or unfollowing any new accounts for a day, a week, or even a month!

If you’re part of a pod (ie., a group of people who agreed to boost post engagement by liking or commenting when a member of the group posts something new), you could now be shadowbanned!

Business Accounts

Business accounts are now a major “in the loop” way to beat Instagram’s algorithm. By switching over, it gives you an additional chance to be seen. Plus, it gives you helpful analytical information and stats to determine which posts are doing well, what time you should post, who’s looking at your account, and how many people saved your posts.


  • Instagram is now restricting exposure based on your engagement. If someone comments on your post and you never reply to them…well…Instagram might decrease your post visibility.

Worried about those bot comments? Don’t worry, Instagram knows that they aren’t genuine and they don’t count anymore. No more posts with, “great pic!”, “love it!”, “nice”, or an emoji.

In order to qualify as engagement, a comment needs to be 4 or more words.

  • If you’re worried about people not seeing your posts, Instagram stories are the way to go. Right now, they’re the future of Instagram and make sure that your followers know you’re still relevant and posting.

Captions / Hashtags

The maximum number of hashtags you can caption your picture with is 30. Any more than that and Instagram will delete your entire caption. I know…right? Not only that, but it could lead to a possible shadowban because 30 hashtags = spam.

  • The general rule of thumb is to stick with less than 10 hashtags but more than 5. The more unique they are, the better.

Switch up your hashtags! If you use the same tags over and over again, Instagram will pick up your account as spam which = shadowban.

  • This has been around for a while but a lot of people aren’t aware of it. In order for your post to show up on the recent page, you need to include your hashtags in your caption. If you add it later on in the comments, your post won’t appear.

This is a new change: Don’t edit your caption 24 hours after posting it unless you want your visibility to decrease. This means that you can’t delete hashtags after you got a decent amount of likes. You need to keep them for 24 hours.

  • If you don’t want your hashtags to be the center of attention, hit the enter key 5 times adding a period each time. This will keep your tags at the very bottom of your caption, with the only way they can be viewed by pressing “more”.

What’s New?

The explore feed is now moving into your regular feed. Excited to see those strangers you don’t know? Me too…. *eye roll*

  • You can now follow hashtags! Want a secret? If you’re following hashtags, your profile might be favored in those hashtags, thus = more visibility.

Well, there you have it! Some tips and tricks to help you succeed with the new Instagram algorithm. Let me know in the comments if I might have missed anything! How do you promote your Instagram? Do you have any tips or tricks?