SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014
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Instagram Update Introduces Ban On Certain Hashtags

Instagram logo capture by POPOEVER, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  POPOEVER 

Loyal followers of image-based social media platform Instagram posted mixed reactions online after the company announced a number of changes to how it works, particularly in terms of hashtag use.

Instagram intended to eliminate offensive and porn-related posts by filtering curse words and explicit content. Although the objective is ideal, there were further adjustments that caused users to react negatively, such as the censorship of some commonly used hashtags.

Instagram has decided to get rid of hashtags described as unsearchable. These can range from very long ones or those containing curse words or porn-related terms.

Any kind of offensive word, or even those that seem like curse words, will be removed by Instagram immediately. When people start to look for these, they will only be led to a page saying that no tags were found.

There were other hashtags that were also banned “unreasonably,” regardless of how widely used these were such as #iphone, #photography, #popular and even #instagram among others. The social media platform explains that these terms are too generic and would make searches confusing.

The social media site has been strict about its policies so users can review the do’s and don’ts by referring to the Community Guidelines. According to Instagram, they ceased serving feeds in API and app for several tags that they deemed too generic and do not give enough end-user value.

Generally, Instagram now limits hashtags per photo to a maximum of 600 only. New photo filters are also added and users expect new ones to come up each week, such as “food” and “sunset”. Other new features were also introduced, like the Inspirational Quote Generator and Hipster Filter.

The new limits on hashtag use have already caused online users to comment. Many say that it bars their freedom to fully express themselves and find relevant users online. Others share how the idea might not be effective, considering the fact that millions of photos are uploaded on Instagram and there’s always a huge possibility that people would be using the same hashtag or generic ones to define shots.

Data Pack, by Australian entrepreneur Nick Drewe, blog compiled an unofficial list of these banned hashtags for our convenience.

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