13 November 2020
Instagram is receiving a new update that will change the way users perform searches on the platform. Instagram is essentially getting keyword search support with the update. This will eliminate the need for relying on hashtags and account usernames to look for a particular kind of content.
The keyword search support is available for the English language but only in six countries for now. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland are four of the countries where this new feature can be used. Prior to the update, if someone was interested in "home decor", they either had to search through hashtags related to home decor or via accounts that mention "home decor" in the username.
Instagram says its newly added keywords search will be able to show relevant posts even if the post does not mention a particular hashtag. The exact process behind determining whether a post is relevant is unknown but Instagram did tell The Verge that it considers various factors including but not limited to “type of content, captions, when it was posted".
The feature is still in the early stages of development and one should not expect it to work for all types of keywords. Instagram says they are currently focusing on generic keywords that are within the guidelines of the platform. We can expect the functionality to get better with time and possibly even expand to include more specific keywords.