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Instagram revamps hashtag search to enhance discovery

Instagram updates hashtag search, broadening discovery by connecting users to comprehensive search results, not just top posts.

In a move to broaden user discovery, Instagram has updated the functionality of hashtags within the app. Now, instead of being led directly to a “Top Posts” feed when tapping on a hashtag, you'll be directed to a more comprehensive search result page related to the chosen hashtag. This change is set to transform how users interact with hashtags and discover new content.

Take the hashtag “#makeup” as an example. Previously, tapping on this hashtag would have brought you to a page filled with top posts under that tag. However, with Instagram's latest update, you'll find yourself looking at a full search results page for “makeup,” akin to what you'd see in the Explore tab. This includes posts, related accounts, snippets, geographical locations, and Reels.

This nuanced approach allows for a richer discovery experience. You can still follow topics through their tags, but now you're greeted with more content forms. Instagram aims to highlight popular content and improve the visibility of profiles, hoping to encourage more diverse search behaviours among its users.

Enhancing profile discovery

One of the indirect benefits of this update is the increased importance of including target keywords within your profile. Since the profiles displayed in a hashtag search don't always regularly post content with that specific hashtag, having the keyword in your profile name or description can significantly boost your visibility. This is particularly pertinent given the rise of Reels; searchers now have an easier time finding dedicated Reels content for any topic of interest.

The bigger picture

While not revolutionary, this update represents a logical step forward for Instagram. It transitions the from a limited “Top Posts” view to a more expansive exploration of related content, which could potentially lead to broader engagement with the platform's various features.

However, there's still room for improvement, such as reintroducing the ability to sort results by post-date. Nonetheless, this update is a positive change for Instagram, promising to widen the scope of discovery within the app and make it easier for users to explore content that genuinely interests them.

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Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition, where she writes about technology and often does listicles and product reviews. Based in Austria, Gabriela is a person with many and diverse hobbies. If you don't find her reading a book at home or baking something, she will probably be out hiking or taking some classes to learn a new skill.

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