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Instagram recently introduced the ability to follow hashtags. This new feature adds more content into your feed, and can be fine-tuned as you engage with that content on Instagram.
How to Follow Instagram Hashtags
While you can view hashtags in a browser, you can’t follow them. To do that, you’re going to have to open Instagram on your phone:
- To reach a hashtag page, either search for it or just tap a hashtag from any post.
- You should now see a blue Follow button at the top of the screen.
- Tap follow, and you’ll now see images from that hashtag appear in your feed. Where you would normally see an Instagram user’s account name, you’ll see the hashtag instead.
To unfollow a hashtag, just return to the hashtag page and tap the Following button, and tap Unfollow. To see the process in action, check out the video below:
You should also bear in mind that followed hashtags are visible to anyone who can view your profile and will be added to the number of accounts you’re following.
To see hashtags others are following, go to their profile and tap their following count. That screen is now divided into two panels: People and Hashtags.
Why Follow Hashtags on Instagram?
By following the hashtags that you use most, it makes it easier to keep up with trends being shared by others on Instagram. If you’re not a fan of the Explore tab, following hashtags is a great way to get added content beyond who you follow, and makes it easier to discover new users worth following.
Instagram doesn’t make it clear how it selects which images from the hashtag will appear in your feed, so you’ll probably still want to visit the hashtag page periodically so you don’t miss out on what others are sharing.
According to The Verge, however, the more you interact with that content (by commenting or liking), the more Instagram is able to refine its algorithm and show you posts you really want to see. Tap the menu button (three dots) above any hashtag image in your feed and you can let Instagram know you don’t like it by tapping Don’t Show for This Hashtag.
What do you think of Instagram’s newest feature? Have you followed hashtags? Or are you concerned you’ll end up with photos in your feed you just don’t want to see? Let us know in the comments.