Yesterday, Instagram announced they are currently testing removing the “Recent” tab from hashtag searches and only keeping Top and Reels in the main display of hashtag searches.
They explained in their tweet that:
“We’re trying out some new things to make hashtags as valuable as possible for people. For a small group, we’re testing more recent and timely content in “Top” and “Reels” tabs in hashtags, and removing the “Recent” tab. We want to see if this helps people connect with more interesting and relevant content on hashtags, while also keeping them across what’s current.”
Now before you worry that hashtags shouldn’t be part of your strategy at all, it seems like it definitely should: Just the most relevant hashtags possible. And this is something Instagram has said themselves in the past couple of years.
Relevant hashtags > using any old hashtag that you come across.
Recently, Instagram started testing out making hashtags as “valuable” as possible with their rollout of adding information around social causes linked to hashtags. Now, whenever you go to a hashtag that has an attachment to a social cause, you will get a pop-up that highlights ways you can support the cause. Pretty cool, right?
As the rollout of the hashtag social cause has gone so well for them, it seems they want to add more options to making hashtags way more relevant than they are currently. At the moment, anyone who adds a hashtag to a post, their content will appear in the “recent” tab on that hashtag … even if the content has absolutely nothing to do with that post.
Instagram is hoping with this new move that the main photos that appear are photos that actually make sense and are relevant to the hashtag that is attached to the content. And before you freak out and wonder why in the world it would make this move, Instagram has done this before in the lead up to the 2020 US Election when they removed the “Recent” tab for hashtag searches to help reduce the spread of misinformation … which fair enough.