The Most Popular Instagram Hashtags on the Planet in 2021 (+ Free Tool)

You should never underestimate the importance of the simple Instagram hashtag. It plays a vital role in spreading your Instagram reach, and it helps develop your following.

When Simply Measured carried our research on Instagram usage, they found that 88% 0f brand posts include at least one hashtag and posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without. People began using hashtags online as far back as 1988 on a platform called IRC – Internet Relay Chat. Even back in that prehistoric internet age people used hashtags for the same reason they do today – to group messages and other content into categories.

The first known social media usage of hashtags was in October 2007 when Nate Ridder of San Diego, California, tagged his social messages with #SanDiegoOnFire – informing people about the wildfires his local area was suffering at the time.

Twitter was the first platform to officially adopt the hashtag in 2009, meaning that any tag starting with # became automatically hyperlinked.

It was not long before most of the other networks added support for hashtags on their platforms. This includes Instagram, which has probably seen the most significant uptake of hashtag usage. Unlike Twitter, where most people recommend that you should not use more than two or three hashtags in a single tweet, Instagram encourages large-scale hashtag usage. It is common for people to include up to 20 hashtags in a single post, and many use the maximum they are permitted – 30 hashtags.

The Most Popular Instagram Hashtags by Country Today

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Most Popular Instagram Hashtags Summary:


The Purpose of Using Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags are used to help you group content. These can either be general hashtags that everybody uses – in which case you are grouping your posts and images with others who upload similar content. Alternatively, many businesses create niche hashtags to develop interest, and to consolidate posts relating to a particular product or campaign together.

Most Instagram users love to boost their following. But there is little point in being followed by somebody with entirely different interests to you. By using appropriate hashtags with your content, you are making your posts available to people who have an interest in the same subjects. And if they like your posts, they are likely to follow you in the hope of seeing more content on the same topic.

Even if people don't go as far as following you, they may like the content of yours that they come across when searching for a particular hashtag. When you use hashtags, you are effectively helping Instagram sort and organize your posts – helping them reach people who will value them.


The 100 Most Popular Instagram Hashtags

Currently, the 100 most popular Instagram hashtags are as follows:

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #photooftheday
  4. #fashion
  5. #beautiful
  6. #happy
  7. #cute
  8. #tbt
  9. #like4like
  10. #followme
  11. #picoftheday
  12. #follow
  13. #me
  14. #selfie
  15. #summer
  16. #art
  17. #instadaily
  18. #friends
  19. #repost
  20. #nature
  21. #girl
  22. #fun
  23. #style
  24. #smile
  25. #food
  26. #instalike
  27. #likeforlike
  28. #family
  29. #travel
  30. #fitness
  31. #euro2020
  32. #tagsforlikes
  33. #follow4follow
  34. #nofilter
  35. #life
  36. #beauty
  37. #amazing
  38. #instamood
  39. #igers
  40. #instagram
  41. #photo
  42. #music
  43. #photography
  44. #makeup
  45. #dog
  46. #beach
  47. #sunset
  48. #model
  49. #foodporn
  50. #motivation
  51. #followforfollow
  52. #sky
  53. #lifestyle
  54. #design
  55. #gym
  56. #f4f
  57. #toofunny
  58. #cat
  59. #handmade
  60. #hair
  61. #vscocam
  62. #bestoftheday
  63. #vsco
  64. #funny
  65. #dogsofinstagram
  66. #drawing
  67.  #artist
  68.  #f4fl
  69. #flowers
  70. #baby
  71.  #wedding
  72. #girls
  73. #instapic
  74. #pretty
  75. #photographer
  76.  #instafood
  77. #party
  78. #inspiration
  79. #lol
  80.  #cool
  81. #workout
  82. #likeforfollow
  83. #swag
  84. #fit
  85. #healthy
  86. #yummy
  87. #blackandwhite
  88.  #foodie
  89. #moda
  90. #home
  91. #christmas
  92. #black
  93.  #memes
  94. #winter
  95. #pink
  96.  #sea
  97. #landscape
  98.  #blue
  99. #london
  100. #holiday

Best Instagram Hashtags for Likes and Follows

While these hashtags might not bring in the best likes and follows, they're still commonly used by Instagram creators to encourage other Instagram users to engage with their content and accounts.

  1. #instadaily
  2. #LikesForLikes
  3. #instagram
  4. #fashion
  5. #me
  6. #FollowMe
  7. #love
  8. #photography
  9. #LikeForLike
  10. #like
  11. #followers
  12. #likes
  13. #LikeForLikes
  14. #FollowForFollow
  15. #myself
  16. #f
  17. #instalike
  18. #comment
  19. #beautiful
  20. #LikeForFollow
  21. #instagood
  22. #l
  23. #FollowBack
  24. #smile
  25. #PhotoOfTheDay
  26. #FollowForFollowBack
  27. #follow
  28. #bhfyp
  29. #PicOfTheDay

Best Instagram Hashtags for Pet Lovers

If you've got a furry friend in your life, there are hashtags for that! While the majority of the more popular hashtags for pets on Instagram have to do with dogs and cats, you can pretty much put the type of pet you have followed by "OfInstagram" (as in "#GoldfishOfInstagram") and you'll find your people.

  1. #CatLover
  2. #of
  3. #DogLovers
  4. #cute
  5. #cats
  6. #dogstagram
  7. #puppy
  8. #catstagram
  9. #dogs
  10. #animal
  11. #animals
  12. #DogLife
  13. #cachorro
  14. #instagram
  15. #DogOfTheDay
  16. #love
  17. #pets
  18. #petstagram
  19. #PetLovers
  20. #DogsOfInstagram
  21. #dog
  22. #doglover
  23. #instagood
  24. #instapet
  25. #PetsOfInstagram
  26. #CatsOfInstagram
  27. #pet
  28. #cat
  29. #instadog

Best Instagram Hashtags for Travel Lovers

If you're a travel influencer (or just love travel), you'll find quite a few popular Instagram hashtags to help you get your content found. Got the travel bug? A scroll through these hashtags will only make it worse.

  1. #TravelPhotography
  2. #PicOfTheDay
  3. #NaturePhotography
  4. #TravelBlogger
  5. #beautiful
  6. #landscape
  7. #adventure
  8. #explore
  9. #instatravel
  10. #photo
  11. #trip
  12. #summer
  13. #travelgram
  14. #photography
  15. #art
  16. #travel
  17. #wanderlust
  18. #nature
  19. #instagood
  20. #PhotoOfTheDay

Best Instagram Hashtags for the Fashion Industry

Head's up, fashion influencers! Here are the most popular Instagram hashtags to join in the conversations that will get you noticed on the platform.

  1. #bhfyp
  2. #smile
  3. #OutfitOfTheDay
  4. #FashionPhotography
  5. #FollowBack
  6. #ootd
  7. #FashionBlogger
  8. #WhatIWore
  9. #follow
  10. #fashionista
  11. #PhotoOfTheDay
  12. #StyleInspo
  13. #instastyle
  14. #love
  15. #CurrentlyWearing
  16. #FashionBlog
  17. #ShoppingAddict
  18. #LookGoodFeelGood
  19. #FashionAddict
  20. #FashionStyle
  21. #BeautyDoesntHaveToBePain
  22. #style
  23. #fashion
  24. #FollowForFollowBack
  25. #fashionable
  26. #l
  27. #PicOfTheDay
  28. #fashiongram

Best Instagram Hashtags for Fitness Influencers

Are you a fitness influencer? Use these most popular fitness-related hashtags to reach the right people.

  1. #exercise
  2. #bodybuilding
  3. #life
  4. #gymlife
  5. #motivation
  6. #healthy
  7. #lifestyle
  8. #health
  9. #gym
  10. #sport
  11. #training
  12. #workout
  13. #HealthyLifestyle
  14. #muscle
  15. #fit
  16. #CrossFit
  17. #fitness
  18. #FitFam
  19. #goals
  20. #PersonalTrainer
  21. #FitnessMotivation

Best Instagram Hashtags for Running a Contest or Giveaway

  1. #giveaway
  2. #sweepstakes
  3. #WinItWednesday
  4. #freebie
  5. #ContestAlert
  6. #ContestEntry
  7. #instacontest
  8. #instagiveaway
  9. #WinIt
  10. #contest
  11. #GiveawayAlert
  12. #giveaway

Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Reels

If you create Reels on Instagram (and you should), you'll want to take note of these most popular Instagram hashtags for Reels.

  1. #ReelsInstagram
  2. #VideoOfTheDay
  3. #ReelsIndia
  4. #ReelSteady
  5. #disney
  6. #ForYouPage
  7. #InstagramReels
  8. #bhfyp
  9. #instareels
  10. #reelsinsta
  11. #fyp
  12. #ReelsOfInstagram
  13. #TikTokIndia
  14. #HolaReels
  15. #reels
  16. #ReelsBrasil
  17. #k
  18. #ReelsVideo
  19. #instareel
  20. #music

Best Instagram Hashtags for Foodies

Food influencers and food lovers will want to check out these Instagram hashtags!

  1. #instafood
  2. #FoodBlogger
  3. #lunch
  4. #PicOfTheDay
  5. #instadaily
  6. #FoodPhotography
  7. #PhotoOfTheDay
  8. #food
  9. #healthy
  10. #foodie
  11. #FoodLover
  12. #bhfyp
  13. #instagood
  14. #tasty
  15. #delicious
  16. #foodstagram
  17. #homemade
  18. #cooking
  19. #FoodPorn
  20. #love
  21. #foodgasm
  22. #foodies
  23. #HealthyFood
  24. #dinner
  25. #yummy
  26. #restaurant

How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags

Instagram likes it when creators use different hashtags on different posts rather than using the same block of hashtags on every post. This means you need to build up a library of hashtags or hashtag groups with slight variations and then choose the right combination of hashtags for each post.

To find the right hashtags to use on your Instagram content, here's what you can do:

  1. Use Instagram's search function. Just type in a keyword relevant to your post and select the Tags tab. Instagram will then give you a list of hashtags. Look for relevant tags with a reasonable usage (around 50K) that are not so popular that your posts will get lost.
  2. Use the hashtags that others in your niche or industry use.
  3. Check out what your competitors are doing. Check their posts to make sure that the hashtags aren't part of a specific campaign they're running. Then, grab the non-branded ones and use them.

Once you have a good list of hashtags to choose from, here's a really easy hack you can use to have them ready to go. First, break them into related groups of 8–15 hashtags. Once you have them organized, use your smartphone's text replacement feature to add shortcuts for each of the groups. It's easiest to just use something like "ht1," "ht2," etc. However, you can use whatever shortcut you want. From there, you just need to add the hashtags as the text to fill in when you type out the shortcut.


Types of Instagram Hashtags

Most Instagram hashtags are broad and subject-level. This makes them useful for any Instagram user adding content related to that hashtag. Sometimes, though, you need hashtags that are a bit more targeted. More targeted hashtags also tend to have less competition.

1. Brand Hashtags

Many brands create hashtags related to their brand or products. An excellent example of this is the global beverage company Coca-Cola. They encourage people to post pictures of themselves sharing a bottle of Coke using the #ShareACoke hashtag. This is also a great way to get user-generated content that you can then use (with permission) in your marketing.

A quick tip about branded hashtags: focus on your tagline or a hashtag related to your value proposition instead of your brand name. More people are likely to use the #ShareACoke hashtag than they would be to use #CocaCola.

2. Category Hashtags

Category hashtags can be broad, but you'll want to keep them closely related to the subject of your content. So, if you're sharing a picture of yourself running a road race like the Chicago Marathon, you'll want to stick to categories like #running and #marathon instead of #TrailRunning. These hashtags generally don't connect to any brand and are less focused. We recommend using category hashtags that are as narrowly focused as possible.

3. Event Hashtags

Event hashtags, as you can probably guess, relate to a particular event. So, using the Chicago Marathon as an example again, you might use #ChicagoMarathon or even #ChicagoMarathon2021. Event hashtags aren't limited to traditional events, either. They can be used to tag your content for television shows (#QueerEye), major sporting events (#Olympics), conferences (#MozCon), and more.

4. Campaign Hashtags

Many brands use campaign hashtags to organize the content they create around a specific campaign. These are typically used short-term and will last only as long as the campaign. You'll see lots of campaign hashtags for product launches.


Don’t Always Use the Most Popular Instagram Hashtags

By definition, the most popular hashtags are the most used hashtags. #love, for instance, has been used in 1.2 billion posts. This presents a problem if you are hoping to use hashtags that will make your posts stand out.

You need to balance your wish to use popular hashtags against the danger of being crowded out of high-demand topics. In many ways, this is similar to SEO when you try to chase keyword terms in Google’s search engine. Most people will do better if they attempt to rank for long-tail terms, such as “men's fashion in New York” than they will for a broad term like “fashion.”

If you are making an Instagram post that is about love, you might include #love as one of your 30 permitted hashtags. But you should probably focus on using related hashtags with smaller, yet still sizeable followings, such as #wonderful, #adorable, #hug, #lover, or even #loveisintheair.

Some of the top hashtags do symbolize a particular type of post, and you may specifically be aiming that your snaps be considered #photooftheday, #instadaily, or #picoftheday. And, of course, it makes sense to use #repost if you are indeed reposting an image.

By the way, if you are wondering what the hashtag #tbt means, it stands for Throwback Thursday. It has now become common for people to share photos of “back in the day” as #TBT posts.

You should reserve the hashtag #instagood for your very best photos. It indicates to fellow Instagrammers that you are particularly pleased with the photo to which you have attached that hashtag.


Trending Hashtags

While the exact list of most popular Instagram hashtags is continually changing, there are clear popularity trends.

There are a few distinct niches that always perform well on Instagram. The above list indicates how many popular posts feature fashion, beauty, and food. Although not currently in the Top 25 at the time of writing, #travel often performs very well, too. The success of the #nature tag suggests that people still love to see beautiful scenes of nature and the environment.

This makes sense. Instagram is highly visual. People are going to want to share eye-catching imagery – which you are far more likely to be able to do with an image of the latest fashion or a delectable dessert than you are with a picture of yet another phone or computer. Some hashtags are seasonal by nature. #summer may be top ranking at the moment, but it will fall out of favor when it’s time to share the snowboarding and skiing pics next winter. #valentinesday jumps up the rankings each February and #christmas in December. As we approach the end of each year, #sale skyrockets in popularity.


You Can Now Follow Hashtags

Earlier in 2018 Instagram made a range of changes to their platform. This includes the ability to follow hashtags on Instagram.

This makes hashtag usage even more critical. Your posts have the chance to appear in the feeds of people who follow the hashtags you use.

This is probably another reason why you want to include some “long tail” hashtags on your posts, as it may make it easier for your posts to compete with the thousands, often millions, of others using popular hashtags.

It is vital that you only use hashtags relating to the specific images you share, however. Users can mark your content as something they don’t want to see if your images fail to deliver. Indeed, Instagram has made it very clear that it will penalize people who consistently use the same group of hashtags in every post.

I will look at hashtag usage in more detail in The Ultimate Guide to Using Hashtags to Grow your Followers on Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular Instagram hashtags?

The popularity of different Instagram hashtags changes over time. It also varies by location. However, at the time of writing this post the most popular Instagram hashtags were #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #fashion, #beautiful, #happy, #cute, #tbt, #like4like, and #followme. You can check on the popularity of any Instagram hashtag by entering it into our free Instagram hashtag tool near the top of this post.

What hashtags are trending on Instagram?

This post includes all of the trending hashtags that were trending on Instagram at the time we wrote the post. Several sites keep up-to-date records of trending Instagram hashtags. One of these is All Hashtag, which updates its Top 100 Hashtags list daily. It also shows the top hashtags for the Last 7 Days and the Last Month. They define their top hashtags as being "the most popular hashtags other users are looking for."

How do I find the most popular hashtags?

There are quite a few hashtag finder tools you can use to find the most popular hashtags. This includes our own free hashtag tool at the top of this post, where you can check on the popularity of any Instagram hashtag. Some of the products that can help you find popular hashtags include Hashtagify, All Hashtag, Brand 24, YouScan.io, BrandMentions - Hashtag Tracking Tool, BuzzSumo - Brand Monitoring Tool, Talkwalker - Hashtag Tracker, Social Searcher, and RiteTag.

What is the most popular content on Instagram?

Instagram is, of course, very much an image-focused social network. One of the easiest ways to find popular content is to search for images and videos using popular hashtags. We have included many of these in this article. AdEspresso analyzed the most popular types of pictures on Instagram. They found that the following types of content perform well:
User-generated-content images
Behind the scenes images
DIY images
Images with ideal visual composition
Influencer images
Motivational images
Contests and giveaways
Seasonal / trendy images
Inspirational quotes

What is the hashtag sign?

The hashtag symbol, #, is also known as the number symbol. In some countries, it is called the pound symbol, not to be confused with £. Chris Messina first suggested the use of hashtags on social media in a 2007 tweet: "How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Twitter initially downplayed his idea, saying, "these things are for nerds," but the idea took off, and its usage is widespread today.

What hashtags will get me followers?

We have looked at many of the most popular hashtags on Instagram in this post. The advantage of using popular hashtags is that many people follow those tags, giving more opportunities for people to see your posts. If they like the content you share using these popular hashtags, they are likely to follow you to see more of this type of content. Of course, you have to balance the large audiences following popular hashtags with the relevance to the topics about which you post.

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