6 Instagram Rules to Be Aware Of

These past few years have been filled with a lot of time spent at home. However, I doubt that you were bored enough reading the Instagram rules. Did you ever look at the Instagram terms and condition?

Instagram has strict guidelines and you could have your page, your Ad Account, or both suspended.

Let’s take a look at the Instagram rules that you should know.

1. Use only a trusted third-party posting app

Let’s get started. You must trust any third-party tool you use to post to Instagram. Trusted means an official Instagram app or partner tool.

Agorapulse is an official Instagram partner. They can manage your Instagram business account, schedule, queue and publish directly. These steps allow you to publish directly to your business profile. However, Instagram still has some restrictions.

Is that right? Not quite. You might be using other apps that are violating Instagram rules. Be aware that if your brand is caught, it could result in a ban.

Apps that allow you to like and follow other people’s accounts are not recommended. These apps are not affiliated with Instagram and should not be used. Inauthentic activity, such as comments, likes, and shares, can lead to the removal of those comments and likes. It can even lead to a ban.

Use only Agorapulse as your certified Instagram partner to keep your profile secure!

You don’t want Instagram to ban you for breaking rules. It is much better to have a trusted partner for Instagram while you create a beautiful Instagram strategy.

2. Avoid Banned Hashtags

Not all hashtags can be used in the same way. You could get in trouble if you use one of Instagram’s banned hashtags.

Instagram has a list that prohibits hashtags from being used on the platform. Instagram will block you from using those hashtags in your captions for posts. It won’t show up in your followers’ feeds. These hashtags are not searchable even though you might think so.

Hashtags are often banned because they can be associated with undesirable content. They could be associated with pornography, drugs, or trophy hunting. They are often known for violating Instagram’s Community Guidelines. You might be surprised at some of the hashtags that are banned. You might be surprised at some of the hashtags that are banned, including #besties #kissing#singlelife #teens#parties #petite#pornfood #prettygirl and many others.

Searching for a hashtag can be a quick way to find out if it is banned. It will not be listed in the results if you search for #curvygirls, for example. However, there are other dubious variants! banned hashtags on lnstagram example

Don’t get shadowbanned

You should carefully research the hashtags that you use, ensure they are relevant to your audience, and make sure you don’t have an urban dictionary or emoji meaning that you didn’t know. You could be shadowbanned if you use them repeatedly.

Shadowbanning refers to the act of blocking accounts, posts or hashtags without the user being aware. Users who are shadowbanned can have their accounts and posts made inaccessible to anyone not following them. Sometimes even their followers won’t see their posts.

Tip: Instagram does not publish a list with banned hashtags. They change frequently. Once you have created a list of hashtags for your brand’s use, search each one to determine if they are prohibited. You can remove them from your list if they are banned.

It’s also a good idea having different hashtags for different posts. Instagram could flag you as a bot or fake account if you use the same 20 hashtags constantly.


conquer social media inbox with agorapulse social media management solution header image

3. Do not behave like a bot

Instagram prefers human posters and can detect bot-like activity on the platform. While you may not be using bots but your behavior could be similar to one.

These behaviors can lead to problems in your account.

Follow and unfollow more than 60 people per hour.Posting more than 300 comments per hour.Posting the same comment to multiple posts. Using images that violate copyright rules. Repeatedly tagging people in your posts. Sending unsolicited sales messages.Uploading poor quality images or videos.

You can only take 500 actions per day if you are a new Instagram user. This includes unfollow, like, comment, follow and follow. You can also send between 20 and 50 direct messages per day.

Be a good member of the community. These rules apply to all social media platforms. If you are engaging in any of these activities, it is time to stop. Stop it!

4. Spreading misinformation is a serious problem

This is a complicated issue and one that’s hot right now. Are you a fact-checker or a thought police? What’s the point of being able to say what you think?

Instagram is not the right place to have controversial discussions. If it is, then don’t use the brand page. Telegram, which is less censored than Telegram, allows for honest and real debates.

This is what Instagram claims about spreading misinformation


instagram rules list

You may be limited if you fall for misinformation.

Instagram users may not be able to tag or mention an account that has repeatedly shared false information.If someone tries to follow one of your flagged accounts, they’ll see a warning letting them know that the account has previously posted false information.Instagram can also make posts by accounts that repeatedly share false information harder to find.And finally, the ultimate social media killer. Instagram will disable accounts that violate the Community Guidelines.

They will take action if they believe you are spreading misinformation. This is the same for all social media accounts. Twitter will ban misinformation for 7 days.

5. Do not break the Instagram Content Rules

An Instagram contest or promotion is a great way of engaging your followers and promoting your brand. Before you get in on the action, ensure you follow the rules.

You are responsible for how the contest is conducted and comply with all applicable laws in your area.

If you’re a craft beer maker and are hosting an exclusive contest, you have to ensure that all contestants are legal to drink and that there are no violations of any laws. Instagram puts all responsibility on you. With their contest, @alleykatbeer has done everything right:


instagram rules for contest

These are the rules and best practices to run a contest on Instagram. Take a deep breath!

Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines say that you should not incorrectly tag content. For example, you shouldn’t encourage people not to tag themselves in photos. You will need a mobile-friendly landing page that is functional for your contest. You will need a mobile-optimized landing page for your contest.

These are marketing best practices.

Do not ignore comments. Engage with anyone who takes the time to respond to you. Your Agorapulse dashboard allows you to monitor comments, even those that appear on ads. Set up a posting schedule. To maximize your Instagram ROI, you will need a solid plan for posting. KPIs are also necessary. You already know this. Maximize your ROI. Maximize your contest’s ROI by sharing the photo of the winner (with permission) with the audience and inviting them to suggest your next contest.

6. Instagram’s Forbidden Content

Before we go into the details of advertising rules, let us review prohibited content. These content should not appear in ads, posts, images, videos, or any other part of the platform.

Online gamblingSexual contentHate speechBuying or selling firearmsBuying or selling alcoholSale of illegal prescription drugs (even though legal in your area)Sale or purchase of live animalsFinancial product that promise wealth or gainBlackmailing or harassment someoneThreats to physical harm, financial harm or vandalismDiscussions regarding self-harmImages or videos that portray unrealistic appearancesVideos and images that depict violence

These are the results you will likely get if you post any of them:


instagram rules will remove your post if you don't follow them

Social media managers are well aware that Instagram (and Facebook!) can make mistakes when flagging content. Images of Contentworks Agency employees were flagged for portraying unrealistic body images. Also, I had content removed from my site for discussing financial education without any sales or CTA.

You may also consider the following factors:

Your Instagram account’s ageThe number of followers that you haveYour account’s engagementYour account’s activity

Arguments can be frustrating and pointless. It’s better not to flag your post before it goes live. You cannot ignore the content rules for images, so make sure you don’t try to skirt them with clean text and illicit images.

7. Know the Advertising Rules of Instagram

We’ve already discussed forbidden content. Let’s talk about prohibited advertising practices.

You must not discriminate or encourage discrimination against people based on personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, or medical or genetic conditionHealth Information Ads must not request health information, including physical health, mental health, medical treatments, medical conditions, or disabilities.Similarly, advertisers must not create Lead Ads questions to request account numbers, including frequent flyer numbers, loyalty card numbers, or cable or telephone account numbers without prior permission.You cannot ask about criminal or arrest history without Instagram’s prior permission. You cannot ask for information about criminal or conviction history on Lead Ads. Special permissions are required for election advertising. User identity must be verified. Grid tools such as Canva are available to assist you.

Instagram Checkout allows you to sell your products directly through the platform. This is great news provided you follow the guidelines for content and images. Your products are allowed to be sold on Instagram. Checkout and its rules are available here.


instagram rules article image

8. Correctly Share Content from Other People

It’s called social media. You can also share content from other people. Right? Well, kinda. Let’s take a look at what you are allowed and not allowed to do. You usually have a copyright to original works from the time you create them. You have rights as a copyright owner. You have the right to prevent others from copying, distributing or creating new works from your work. When a person does one of these things without permission from the copyright owner, it is called copyright infringement.

Copyright can be used to protect a variety of works including:

Audiovisual or visual works: Videos, movies and TV broadcasts. Also, photos, videos, films, TV shows, television programs, and broadcasts. Video games, movies, paintings, and photographs. Audio works: Songs, musical compositions. Sound recordings. Sung words. Written works: Books, plays. Articles. Musical scores.

You are welcome to comment on, like, and share any work or photos that someone has posted to Instagram. It is a good idea to tag them whenever you do this.

It is not okay to:

Upload the photo and download it.

You might want to consider these questions before you upload content to Instagram

Do I own the content?

It is worth reading the lawsuit against Volvo for allegedly posting an Instagram story. This lawsuit relates to social media content licensing and rights. It is especially relevant when it comes sharing or reposting “public content”. Volvo is accused of copyright violation and unfair competition.


instagram rules and example of the volvo lawsuit

In conclusion

It’s important to understand the rules of Instagram if you are posting on Instagram for your company or for multiple brands. It’s better to prevent than cure, especially when it comes down to blocked ads accounts.

Get Agorapulse for free! It will help you plan, track, measure, and manage all your social media efforts.

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