Instagram Tests Letting Users Follow Hashtags Instead of People

Instagram has exploded over the past seven years. With so many users now on the app, it can be difficult to find  relevant content. If navigating the cluttered explore page sounds like a chore, Instagram may be rolling out a feature just for you. The app is letting a limited number of users follow hashtags, rather than people.

Last week, a small number of users reported that a “Follow” button appeared when they searched for a hashtag on the app. If you want to find new content, but don’t know where to begin, following a hashtag is a logical start. It’s also a great way to stay up-to-date with trending topics and breaking news. In addition, you will have the ability to see recent Instagram stories that are associated with the hashtag.

 Posts from followed hashtags will be limited to top posts to avoid clutter.

Screenshot of the instagram feature that lets users follow hashtags

As of now, it’s unclear how many accounts have this feature, but it’s a very limited number. Instagram declined to comment on letting users follow hashtags, but there is speculation that it will become a permanent feature. So far, the update is getting positive feedback.

Letting users follow hashtags is a great feature for people who are new to Instagram. If you don’t know who to follow, start with a hashtag and see whose content you enjoy.  It can also be an exciting feature for seasoned Insta pros. If you’re bored with following the same accounts, or your friends rarely post, follow a hashtag. The promise of new, fresh content will be a valuable incentive for constantly checking the app.

Engadget speculates that if users follow hashtags it will increase Instagram engagement overall. If you have access to more content you want to see, you will probably interact with more posts on your feed through likes and comments. Users had mixed feelings when Instagram changed their feed from its chronological format, and the explore page can feel like a cluster of random content. Following hashtags gives users a new way to tailor feeds to their liking. In conclusion, the ability to follow hashtags would be a subtle, yet refreshing update to Instagram.