I remember when I first joined Instagram and, like most people, I’m sure, I was DETERMINED to rake in as many followers as influencers have. So how did I did I attempt to do this? Why, by the use of hashtags, of course!

Each post I’d make would have not one, not two, not three, but a gazillion hashtags – that’s what all the tech sites recommended, anyway. The hashtags ranged from shit like #boy, #gayboy, #sydney. Like, just super generic descriptors that would help folks find me. I’d either plop all the hashtags in the caption or in the comments, either one.

Then over time, I stopped caring so much and therefore didn’t bother going to the effort of adding hashtags. Firstly because I realised there’s more to life than growing your Instagram following, but also because I didn’t like how the hashtags looked on my posts. Not to say there’s anything wrong with using hashtags! You do you, boo. I just didn’t like how the big clump of rando hashtags showed up along with the post.

But I’ve noticed that influencers, even ones with thousands upon thousands of followers, still employ the hashtag dump, but some have found a clever way to hide them under their posts so folks don’t see them as they’re scrolling.

Here’s an example that I’ve screenshotted from a popular Sydney influencer who boasts over 300k followers:

As you can see, I’ve whacked an emoji over his face and edited out the handle for anonymity, but basically what’s happening here, is he’s dropped a bunch of hashtags, but in seperate comments, he writes questions like “What are you doing at this very moment?” and “What’s your favourite movie?”

Then when people are scrolling through their feed, the questions pop up but the hashtags do not. You needa actually click on ‘comments’ to see the pile of hashtags and, I mean, who has the time?

Since spotting this, I’ve noticed that many other influencers do the same thing (trust me, you’re gonna see it everywhere now!).

Again, I’m not hatin’ on this genius hack influencers have discovered. Hashtags are there for a reason, you’re supposed to use them and as I said, I just hated the way they look and clearly this dude does as well, which is why he’s come up with this clever way to hide them behind seemingly innocuous questions to his thousands of followers.

I respect the hustle.

Matty Galea is the Entertainment Editor at Pedestrian who also dabbles in woo-woo stuff like astrology and crystals and has been penning horoscopes since the start of his career. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.