Started platform Instagram is providing an update to its search functionality to enable people to use keywords to find content across the platform relevant to their interests.
The company announced that English speaking users in six countries – namely: the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – will be able to search the platform using keywords.
Before today, Instagram users could only search for hashtags or accounts.
For example: If you previously wanted to search for healthy recipes, you would be able to search for posts with a hashtag healthyrecipes # Or accounts that include various forms of healthy recipes in their names or bio.
And Instagram now allows users to search for keywords themselves, which means that posts containing healthy recipes should appear, even if the specific tag is missing.
It is not clear how the service determines the subject of the post. A company spokesperson says: The team takes into account a number of factors, including content type, annotations and time of publication, to present relevant results.
The platform also uses machine learning to find the highest quality content suitable for the user. At the moment only network posts will appear.
This is a relatively big change to the way content appears, as the option to search through Instagram has always been very limited, and it does not give people the ability to find the posts they want.
Instagram says: There are certain terms that will be searchable only, and the spokesperson for the platform explains that the search is limited to topics of general interest and keywords that fall within the Instagram community guidelines.
Keyword research is still limited, but useful, and likely to help users find new content that fits what they want best.
Separately, the company announced that it allows the directory feature to all users, while expanding it to include other types of content as well, such as: products, places, and posts.
Instagram earlier this year launched the Evidence feature, which allowed creators to share tips, resources and other content via a special tab on their user accounts.
The evidence was initially limited to a select group of creators who were posting content focused on mental health and well-being.