Instagram is upgrading search on its platform, letting users in six English-speaking countries make keyword searches.
Up until now, search on Instagram would bring up results for two things: hashtags or accounts. Now, users in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, US, Ireland, and Canada will be able to search using keywords as well. This means they can search for pretty much anything on the platform and get results for the keywords within any post across Instagram.
According to a report from The Verge, an Instagram spokesperson said that the system uses machine learning to “find the highest quality content that’s relevant to you,” after considering “a number of factors” like “type of content, captions, [and] when it was posted.”
Apart from making it a lot easier for people to search for, and find, new content on Instagram, it could also give brands one more way to optimize their presence on the platform.
This is because it gives them more “natural” ways to be found by users, outside the traditional hashtag experience. It essentially minimizes the need to use the most optimal combination of hashtags that were previously necessary to be discovered.
For the time being, keyword searches will be “limited to general interest topics and keywords that are within Instagram’s community guidelines,” so don’t hurry up to try to cover your niche just yet.
In any case, it’s something to consider when looking at your hashtag strategy. In my opinion, it may be a good thing to examine and test for a while, to see how the upgraded search will affect your presence.
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