Hashtags are generally used to find content that is about a particular topic. They work the same way on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you tap a hashtag, it will show you all public content that uses that same hashtag. Instagram is changing how you interact with hashtags though. On Facebook and Twitter, they’re basically a search tool but on Instagram, you can follow hashtags as though they’re an account onto themselves. When you follow hashtags on Instagram, they appear in your home feed and are almost indistinguishable from the accounts you follow.
Follow Hashtags On Instagram
Open Instagram and go to the Search tab. Type in a hashtag that you want to follow. Alternatively, you can tap a hashtag on a post and it will take you to the same screen but with your hashtag already selected. Tap the follow button to start following the hashtag.
Once you start following a hashtag, it will appear in your home feed whenever someone on Instagram uploads a photo or video with that particular hashtag. There’s no filter that you can apply to these posts so they can be from any country in the world, and they can be in any language. Be warned that if you pick a particularly popular hashtag to follow e.g. #food, you will be seeing a lot of posts in your home feed. The posts show which hashtag they’re from and the original account that shared the photo.
To unfollow a hashtag, simply tap it again in your home feed and tap the Follow button at the top of the hashtag’s page. A menu will open with an Unfollow option.
Discovering New Content
This is honestly a pretty smart use of hashtags. Social media apps and services normally use them as a supplemental search feature but rarely as a means of discovering new content and let’s face it; social media is all about content. If users, especially new ones, don’t have interesting accounts to follow, they can follow hashtags on Instagram and fill their home feed.
Brands might not be as keen on this feature as ordinary users. If a brand uses a popular hashtag, it might be drowned out with all the other accounts that are using it. They will instead have to rely on advertising which is great for Instagram but not so great for smaller businesses. We should mention this could mean more followers for some accounts. It will finally pay off to use popular hashtags if you have interesting posts. People will be able to see your content in their feeds without even knowing you exist and you might get a few new followers.