Wondering if you should you use Pinterest hashtags?
Are hashtags on Pinterest even a thing in 2024?
For years, Pinterest had told us not to use them, except for one branded hashtag.
Then in late 2017, they said YES, use them! But now…
Do Hashtags Work on Pinterest in 2024?
This blog post was originally published on August 23, 2017, with a lot of rumors and innuendos.
Hashtags in Pin descriptions were clickable on desktop – then not. Hashtag buttons appeared on mobile – sometimes.
Pinterest finally published an official statement on September 26, 2017. YES you can use hashtags on Pinterest!
Like hashtags on Instagram, you now could, and should, use hashtags on Pinterest.
What’s new with Pinterest hashtags in 2024?
Verified January 2024: When you go to create a Pin on the mobile app, Pinterest suggests adding hashtags in your description (above).
Start to type, and there’s a hashtag on the keyboard. Use it, and suggested hashtags will pop up to select (below).
Yes, it’s still there in 2024!
Now, I’m not telling you that Pinterest hashtags are making a comeback. But I do believe my article has the most up-to-date and comprehensive info on Pinterest hashtags available.
Read it, test hashtags, and see what works for your account.
Any bad news about hashtags?
Sure, plenty. Pinterest has really downplayed the display of Pin descriptions, so it can be hard to find hashtags, even if they are clickable.
(Mind you, Pin descriptions are still working to help people find your Pins, so they’re still important).
1 | Descriptions no longer show in the feed. Remember when we had hashtags there? Scroll down a ways and I’ll show you! Now we have titles – maybe (see visual directly below).
2 | When you open the Pin, the description is cut off.
3 | And even if you click “More,” the hashtags are usually not clickable.
Hashtag searches have been surfacing non-hashtagged content for awhile. And with hashtags not clickable, hashtag feeds are harder to find.
Finally, Pinterest said it in 2020: Hashtags are optional.
Yes, you can still use them, but their effectiveness appears to be limited to a short, initial burst of extra exposure.
This article is a virtual Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Hashtags, and I’d love for you to read it. It’s updated as of January 2024.
But, Spoiler Alert: I was 100% right in January 2020 when I said:
Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about Pinterest hashtags.
Keep reading, or jump all the way to #PinterestFail to learn why.
What Are Hashtags on Pinterest?
Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash (#) used to identify Pins on a specific topic. You’ll know it’s a hashtag when you see the hash (#) preceding the word or phrase.
Up until late 2020, hashtags on Pinterest worked like they do anywhere else. However, now they seem to function as keywords. They’re no longer clickable, so they don’t lead you to a hashtag feed, like even Facebook hashtags do.
Hashtags can be one word, or multiple words strung together, but you can’t use spaces or punctuation in hashtags.
How to use hashtags? #hashtaglikethis (or #HashtagLikeThis, for better readability).
When you add hashtags to the description for a new Pin, other Pinners could click on it to visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag. But no longer.
The freshest Pins were right up top. Unlike normal search results on Pinterest, these were shown in (mostly) chronological order.
Starting in 2020, chronology of Pins is no longer shown (aka “freshness indicator” as I’ve shown below). It’s unknown if they’re still in chronological order, but they appear to be.
How to Find Pins with Hashtags
You used to be able to discover related content by clicking on a hashtag in Pin description.
You can still search for a hashtag, like “#interiordesign” or “#healthyrecipes”.
Truth be told, in late 2020 through 2024, this seems to pull up both hashtagged and normal search results. Though hashtags are given priority, they’re no longer completely different from keywords on Pinterest.
And even if your results include Pins with hashtags in the description, they won’t necessarily be visible as blue clickable links like this screenshot from 2019.
How Do I Add Hashtags to Pins?
Hashtags for Pins go in the description.
I recommend placing them at the end of your description, and not peppered throughout your carefully-crafted sentences.
Remember that hashtags are clickable, so give Pinners a chance to read through to your call-to-action before getting distracted to click away to a hashtag feed!
To add a hashtag, type “#” and add a keyword or phrase.
Since 2020, you ONLY get hashtag suggestions when creating a NEW Pin in the mobile app. This is still true in 2024. See screenshots below.
Start typing the hash mark followed by a word, and you’ll see suggested hashtags pop up with a number following.
The number indicates how often that hashtag has been used on Pinterest.
The hashtag suggestion feature is no longer available on desktop, at all.
Which Hashtags Should I Use on Pinterest?
When inserting a hashtag, Pinterest recommends you be specific and descriptive. Use words or phrases that describe the content in the Pin.
NOTE: As of 2020, I have to say “Pinterest used to recommend.” They no longer actively recommend using hashtags anywhere in their help docs.
Why not? I’ll answer this further along in the article. You can keep reading, or jump now to #PinterestFail.
Include a selection of hashtags that are closely related to your niche. One could be your brand hashtag (if you have one). Always place your branded hashtag before any other hashtags so it’s more likely to be the one clicked.
Don’t use popular, irrelevant hashtags just to get attention! I know of one account that was banned from Pinterest for doing this.
While you shouldn’t use hashtags that are crazy popular and vague, super-niche hashtags with under 100 uses are probably not going to help you get found. I suggest using a combination of broad and niche hashtags.
If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, try searching for your topic on Pinterest and use the autocomplete suggestions as guidance.
Search hashtags that you’re considering using (enter “#yourkeywordphrase” in the Pinterest search bar) and check out the content in the search results to make sure it’s relevant to yours.
You can also get an idea of how often that hashtag is used. If the page is filled with Pins posted in the last 10 minutes, that tag feed moves too fast to be of much use to you.
Unlike hashtags elsewhere, Pinterest hashtags aren’t used for jokes, memes or commentary. So for a fashion brand, something like #springfashion would work well—but #ilookterribleinhats wouldn’t.
It’s best to be objective and use hashtags that make sense and are relevant to the Pin.
Depending on your Pin, consider using hashtags that are timely, such as:
And/or hashtags that are evergreen, like:
This will help make it easier to for users to filter and find relevant content they are interested in.
How Many Hashtags Should I Use on Pinterest Pins?
Pinterest did say to add no more than 20 hashtags per Pin.
I’ve seen some people say to use one or two, which made me wonder, Why bother?
I personally have a hard time narrowing down to less than 5 or 6. I would suggest you try somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 8.
Though I use and recommend 30 hashtags on Instagram, I avoid using the full complement of 20 on Pinterest. You can test it though, and see if it works for you!
If you write a long enough description, the hashtags will be hidden under a “More” tag. Currently descriptions are truncated by “More” after approximately 190 characters.
I still feel 20 hashtags per Pin looks out of place and spammy on Pinterest. Please let me know if you’ve tried and found it effective!
Four hashtags seems like a reasonable number. In Fall 2017, Pinterest showed 4 hashtags instead of a Pin description under the Pin previews in streams and on boards. If you’ve used more than 4, only the first 4 were shown here (see below).
Pinterest is always changing things up, and I’m going to speculate about Pinterest hashtag use in 2024 further along.
You have 500 characters to use in your Pin description, so you can add more than 4 hashtags.
But also be aware that many Pinterest users are complaining about excessive hashtag use and calling it spammy. Don’t overdo it!
Where Should I Put Pinterest Hashtags?
Use a few hashtags at the end of your Pin descriptions. Not at the beginning.
If you use a branded hashtag, place it before other hashtags for brand recognition.
Should I Add Hashtags to Old Pins?
People often ask if they should go back and add hashtags to older Pins.
There’s no point – it won’t help your content show up at the top of hashtag search feeds. Newer Pins with that hashtag will appear first. source
If you want to change or add a hashtag to a recent Pin, just edit the Pin description.
Since hashtag searches turn up Pins based on when they were Saved, don’t edit old Pin descriptions to add hashtags.
Pinterest Hashtag Hacks: Short Version
Add hashtags for Pins in the description by typing “#” followed by a keyword or phrase.
When creating a new Pin on mobile, suggested hashtags pop up with a number. Choose tags in a medium range of uses.
Be specific and descriptive. Use words or phrases that accurately describe the content in the Pin.
IF relevant to your Pin, use both hashtags that are timely, and ones that are evergreen.
Search hashtags that you’re considering using. Enter “#yourhashtagphrase” in the Pinterest search bar, and ensure the search results are relevant.
Add no more than 20 hashtags per Pin. The first 4 added may appear under the Pin in feeds – they did at one time, and it’s always possible they’ll return.
I suggest using 2 to 8 maximum hashtags. More may look spammy.
Put hashtags at the END of your description to lead Pinners TO your content, not away from it.
If you want to change your hashtag later, edit the Pin description.
Since hashtag searches favor recent Pins, don’t edit old Pin descriptions to add hashtags.
Continue your keyword strategy on Pinterest, as most Pinners will discover your content via keywords.
Be sure to make eye-catching Pins, so that yours get noticed and clicked.
Hashtags on Pinterest ONLY work in Pin descriptions! No need to use them elsewhere.
Be sure to Pin the Hashtag Hacks cheat sheet at the end of this article!
Are Pinterest Hashtags Working in 2024?
I strongly recommend you continue your keyword strategy on Pinterest. I believe this will be the way most Pinners will discover your content.
When I first started using hashtags on Pinterest 2 months before the official announcement, it appeared that they helped, since my repins, views, and website traffic went up.
But I can’t say for certain it was due to hashtags.
In 2020, many marketers started saying that hashtags just helped spammers steal our Pins.
I can’t say if this is true, or it just provided an easy way for us to find our pins that have been stolen.
In the screenshot below, I wasn’t even searching my branded hashtag, but a niche hashtag that not many people use: #hashtagtips.
All but one of the non-promoted Pins in the first screen of results were my own Pins – BUT only one of them linked to my own website!
The rest were all stolen from me and redirected to spammers’ sites 🙁
Did they find them by my hashtags though?
I’m doubtful. The stolen Pins were heavily weighted to the Pins that had the best results for me. So I really think spammers are finding Pins to steal by popularity, not hashtags.
Including, and then searching, your branded hashtag can certainly help you find stolen Pins, if you care to.
Some Pinners do still use a branded hashtag for that reason alone!
From late 2020 through 2024, I no longer use hashtags on new Pins. Pinterest has said they’re optional, so you’re free to use them if you like.
However, Pinterest has been hiding Pin descriptions, which means those hashtags won’t be seen, and they can no longer be clicked even when visible.
They do help you surface in keyword search, at least in the short term.
As I said months ago, I seriously doubt that anyone other than marketers actually searches by hashtags on Pinterest. It’s not easy to do, as it is on Instagram and Twitter.
We don’t even know if Pins in the hashtag feed show up freshest first anymore.
Pinterest removed mention of hashtags on their content tips page, and hasn’t said much about them since 2018.
For me, Pinterest sent the most traffic to this one viral post for 3 years. That Pin had no hashtags.
I believe we can’t ensure specific results on Pinterest, we can only enhance our chances. If you’ve already done the research, I suggest you include a few of your well-chosen hashtags at the end of your Pin description.
But for newbies? Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about Pinterest hashtags.
There are more important Pinterest tasks.
Many online marketers, especially those who use Pinterest a lot, predicted that hashtags would be a failed experiment.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s certainly a good idea for companies to try things out. But in this case, it didn’t pan out.
Why didn’t hashtags work for Pinterest?
1 | Pinterest is a visual search engine. Pinners search with keywords, not hashtags.
Do you go on Google and search hashtags?
I hope you said no lol.
Pinterest users never caught on to searching by hashtags, or even clicking them to peruse the hashtag feed.
However… now Pinterest is actively trying to be more of a social network that keeps users on its platform, with things like Idea Pins. So it’s possible they’ll try to revive hashtags!
2 | Hashtag search results were heavily weighted towards spammers.
Because the results were chronological – most recent at the top. And spammers specialize in cranking out lots of Pins – using lots of hashtags! So they always have loads of recent Pins.
And Pinterest couldn’t figure out how to identify my spammers’ pins in real time, as they were posted.
Thus, spam (aka stolen Pins) dominated the hashtag feeds.
So TBH, marketers are glad Pinterest hashtags have withered away.
And re stolen Pins, check out the new Content Claiming Portal.
Why Aren’t my Pins Showing Up in the Hashtag Feed?
This section is rather irrelevant since there’s not a hashtag feed per se since late 2020. Left here for historical reference.
In 2018, Pinterest said that hashtag feeds would surface the freshest content first – but you may notice that the feed isn’t showing you all Pins with that hashtag, in completely chronological order.
One woman noticed that most of her Pins were missing, and some of the content was old. She emailed Pinterest and got this response:
What shows up when a hashtag is searched has to do with a lot of different factors including a Pinner’s interests, searches, past history of engagement, etc as well as a vast majority of other signals. In general, our goal is to show the right Pin to the right Pinner at the right time. That means that it actually isn’t possible to force show a specific Pin of yours for the hashtag.
So like I said above, we can’t make Pinterest bow to our wishes – we can only follow suggestions and see what works best for our own accounts.
Pinterest First Hinted about Hashtags in August 2017
I first heard of this in a blog post. The author Vanessa was fortunate enough to visit Pinterest HQ in San Francisco.
She met with Jackie, a Partner Manager.
Jackie explained that brands really wanted to utilize hashtags because they had become so commonplace on other platforms and basically the language of #marketing. Pinterest has started utilizing hashtags in the search as well as linking pins with the same hashtags. Her Pinterest marketing strategy was to include at least one hashtag after the end of the pin description that most strongly represented the purpose of the pin. source
I read that August 21. Then on August 23, I was on a webinar with Pinterest and Curalate.
Tiffany Black is the Head of Content Business Development and Corporate Development at Pinterest. During the webinar, she mentioned both keywords and hashtags, and fielded a couple pointed questions later.
As far as hashtags, she recommended we use a few, relevant ones in our Pin description. “Don’t get carried away or use 100.”
There’s now an official recommendation from Pinterest on number to use: no more than 20. Heck, that’s a lot!
Jackie had said 1 or 2, but apparently that wasn’t an official Pinterest stance.
The full quote from Tiffany:
It is true that In the past, I think that we were dissuading people from using hashtags. We are actually changing that such that you can and are often benefited in the future by using hashtags. As far as best practices go, the rule of thumb is use authentic hashtags but don’t keyword stuff essentially. So I know on other platforms you can often see people putting 50 or 100 hashtags on something.
It’s not the volume of hashtags that’s really useful, it’s actually making sure you are using the hashtags that people will likely be searching for. So not trying to do like 100 because actually doing too many will decrease rank in some capacity because we will think it is possibly spam.
So I would say we haven’t figured out exactly what the right number is. I don’t think that we will probably come out with an exact number but you know keeping it reasonable and using ones that are relevant to the content and authentic is the way to go.
When asked whether keywords needed to be used in a sentence, Tiffany responded that it’s “preferred” to be conversational, but not critical enough to go edit past Pin descriptions.
Conclusion: Should You Use Pinterest Hashtags in 2024?
Do Pinterest hashtags work in 2024?
Pinterest no longer actively recommends hashtags. But the platform is always changing!
It’s always possible that Pinterest will try to revive hashtags.
In the meantime, be sure to create eye-catching Pins, so that yours is the Pin that gets clicked in search results or hashtag feeds.
Improve your Pin descriptions, using keywords and calls-to action.
I don’t recommend spending a lot of time on hashtags.
Try them if you’ve already researched them. And let me know if you A/B test!
Have you tried hashtags on Pinterest? Let us know a comment.
I’ll keep this post updated on how to use Pinterest hashtags. Pin it, and check back!