Instagram will now allow its users to follow hashtags the same way that they would follow accounts, a feature that will bring renewed interest to feeds in the image-focused social network.
Previously, Instagram users can only interact with hashtags by searching for them under the Explore section or by tapping on a hashtag mentioned in a post. With the new feature, users will be able to keep updated with the most interesting content that includes the hashtags of their choice.
Hashtags To Fill Up Instagram Feeds
"Today we're introducing the ability to follow hashtags, giving you new ways to discover photos, videos and people on Instagram," the social network said to start off the official blog post announcing the new feature.
Users, however, will not simply see their feeds flooded with any and all posts carrying the hashtags that they follow. According to The Verge's Ben Popper, the posts that Instagram injects into feeds according to the hashtags being followed "felt carefully curated," as the social network's algorithm will be trained according to the user's preferences. Content under hashtags that the user engages with, through a heart or a comment, will be remembered by Instagram, and it took just a few days for Popper to feel that his feed was fine-tuned to his taste.
The new feature will require Instagram's filters to work over time to make sure that objectionable content and spam are not distributed through hashtags. However, it has the potential to allow users to become more involved with even their most niche interests.
Allowing hashtag following will also allow the Facebook-owned Instagram to improve the targeting capabilities of advertisements, but the social network said that the move is not yet within their plans.
How To Follow Hashtags On Instagram
To follow a hashtag on Instagram, users will go through a similar process of following another account. Users will have to search for the hashtag or tap on it through a post and then open the hashtag page. The blue Follow button will be available from there.
Users may also check to see the hashtags that other people are following on Instagram, whether just to see you missed any hashtags worth following or if you would like to get an idea on what gift to get a friend, for example. The hashtags that people are following can be seen in their profiles beside the other accounts that they are following, though what is revealed depends on the user's privacy settings.