You’ve probably never taken your time to read Instagram’s terms and conditions.
Although long (it took me almost 10 minutes to read it), the page contains guidelines that’d help you not to be a rule-breaker—especially regarding publishing—on Instagram.
Following these rules or guidelines could be the difference between building a successful business on Instagram or having a suspended account.
So, what should you know before posting content on Instagram? And how do you ensure you’re not spamming other users?
This article will provide satisfying answers to these questions.
Why worry about Instagram rules?
Knowing the rules helps you identify what to do and what to avoid. It’s not surprising that Instagram bans thousands of accounts for breaking their rules yearly.
Some accounts are blocked temporarily, while some are entirely disabled.
Even with the best of intentions, you risk losing your account.
The Instagram rules of publishing
Here are some of the essential rules you should know before publishing content on Instagram.
Publish content via a trusted third-party app only
Instagram allows users to use trusted third-party apps like Metigy to publish content if users aren’t posting directly from Instagram.
If you’re still unsure about acceptable third-party applications, stick to the official Instagram mobile app or web version.
Avoid using banned hashtags
One of the best ways to improve your Instagram engagement is by using hashtags.
But when misused, hashtags can land you and your Instagram account in trouble. For example, you shouldn’t use banned hashtags on your posts.
Identifying banned hashtags is not easy. While you can spot some with common sense, others need to be confirmed.
Here’s a simple procedure to check for banned hashtags:
- Step 1: Open your Instagram account and click on the search button
- Step 2: Select the Tag tab.
- Step 3: Search for the hashtag you want to use
- Step 4: Open the result. If you can follow the hashtag, it is not banned
If you see the message “Recent posts for #abc are hidden because some posts may not follow Instagram community guidelines,” then the hashtag is banned and should be avoided.
Check your published posts and delete the ones where you used banned hashtags.
Share content appropriate for a diverse audience
A ton of content types aren’t acceptable on Instagram, irrespective of the intent.
For instance, posting any form of pornographic, violent, or graphic images isn’t acceptable on Instagram.
Publishing these kinds of content goes against Instagram’s rules. And might result in Instagram suspending or banning your account.
Show respect for the entire Instagram community
Instagram is interested in building a strong and supportive user community. As such, it’s only proper that any content you publish shouldn’t contain any form of threat, hate speech, curses, or degrading words.
It’s also not acceptable to share others’ private information to blackmail or harass them.
Only content that respects the personality of individuals or for promoting your activity without hurting others is allowed.
Instagram doesn’t also support content that approves attacks on anyone based on their gender, race, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, religion, or health condition.
Breaking this rule might lead to blocking or banning your account. In some cases, you may have to face stiffer penalties.
Publish contest-related content carefully
You can use contests to increase your followers, promote your brand, and reach a larger audience. But you need to be careful when publishing information about the competition you’re running.
Before running a contest, you need to consider the guiding rules in your country. Are there rules from the government about the event you are running?
If yes, you need to strictly follow these rules when giving out prizes for your contest.
When running a contest, you need to ensure that participants are above the legal age. You should ensure that you are not breaking any rules.
You will be responsible if you deliver your prizes to those outside the acceptable age category.
Publish content you own or have the right to share
Publishing copied content from the internet is unacceptable.
When you post copyrighted content on your Instagram account, Instagram will delete such content and might suspend your account.
Before publishing content on Instagram, ask yourself the following questions: Did I create this content myself? Is this content copyrighted? Is this content free for all?
The answer to these questions will help you know if you should publish a post or not on Instagram.
As much as possible, it’s best to post original content only. You can get ideas from others, but ensure that the final content you are posting is original.
If you’re posting content shared by others, you should get permission from the original poster and ensure that you attribute the content to the original owner.
You can also use hashtags like #repost and #regram to show that you don’t own the image or video while also tagging the original poster.
Posting too much content
How would you feel when you open your Instagram feed and realize that it’s the same account posting a series of videos and pictures?
Unless the content is something you like, chances are high you will be irritated.
How many pictures and videos are you supposed to post in a day?
There is no correct answer to this question. But going by the saying that “Too much of everything is a systematic suicide” will help you see that moderation is essential.
Aside from inconveniencing others, posting multiple contents in a row is spamming. Going by the Instagram algorithm, spamming can lead to losing your account temporarily.
So, what should you do when you have a lot of content to publish over a short period?
You can use Instagram’s slideshow feature to post up to 10 pictures or videos.
As such, the entire content comes as a single post, making your feed less messy and eliminating spam.
Speaking of spam.
What is considered spam on Instagram?
Several actions are in the category of spamming on Instagram. Here are some activities that are considered spam on Instagram:
- Posting numerous contents over a short period
- Liking multiple posts and commenting on them over a short period
- Following or unfollowing multiple accounts over a short period
- Repeating the same hashtags on your post over a short period
- Creating or submitting unwanted emails or comments
While Instagram might not quickly notice this, other users can report your posts, comments, story, etc.
Hence, you need to be careful when preparing content to share or when interacting with content from others on Instagram.
Instagram rules and community guidelines: Summary
Following these rules of Instagram publishing and avoiding spam makes your Instagram experience more enjoyable for yourself and others.
You get to publish content people want to see and reduce the chances of Instagram suspending your account.
Want to get the most out of your Instagram publishing? Get started with Metigy today for free.