If you’ve logged into Instagram lately, you might have noticed a new option that makes it easier to keep track of the things you’re interested in. Currently, the social media site only lets you follow individual accounts, but it is testing out a new feature that will allow you to follow hashtags, which should make it easier to find the content you love.
The news appears to have been broken by social media consultant Pippa Akram. The benefits of this new feature are fairly straightforward. If you want a page full of cute puppies, but can’t be bothered to search for all the cute puppies on Instagram, you can just follow the hashtag #cutepuppies in order to more easily get your daily doggy fix. This can also make it easier to find posts relating to niche topics, because rather than trying to find someone who posts about that topic, you can simply follow the topic itself.
Beyond those benefits, it might also serve as a way to correct a problem that some users have reported regarding changes made to Instagram’s algorithms. When the site began, many people enjoyed it for the content curation it provided, but recent changes have made it so that, as Tech Crunch points out, Instagram seems to prioritize posts which it believes will generate high levels of engagement.
— Pippa Akram (@Social_Pip) November 9, 2017
Prioritizing high engagement likely makes sense when looking at things from the perspective of ad revenue, but it ignores the fact that most people on the platform already know what they like. They don’t want an algorithm that makes it more difficult to find content that they’re interested in. The ability to follow hashtags probably won’t fix the problem, but it may offer a partial solution, which is better than nothing.
That being said, it may be awhile before this feature is rolled out to everyone so check out our list of best Instagram accounts and Instagram tips to help you find more engaging ways to kill time on social media.