Instagram now allows you to follow hashtags, allowing users to connect directly to their interests

Once a hashtag is followed, the Instagram feed will display the top posts that use the hashtag, and the Stories bar will feature the latest Stories.

Instagram has introduced a new feature that allows users to directly follow hashtags. Instead of having to search by hashtags, or tapping through an image or video that already uses the hashtag, users can track topics, hobbies or passions that interest them by following a hashtag. Instead of showing every piece of content that has been tagged with the particular hashtag, Instagram will use algorithms to surface the content that users have engaged with the most.

#Slime Image: Instagram

#Slime Image: Instagram

To follow a hashtag, users first have to search for a topic of interest, which displays two tabs. The first tab shows people who post content related to the topic, and the second tab lists related hashtags. Users can tap and follow on multiple hashtags from this list. Tapping through a hashtag through a search, or from a hashtag used in a shared piece of content, displays a hashtag-specific page. Users can then follow the hashtag from this page.

Once a hashtag is followed, the Instagram feed will display the top posts that use the hashtag and the Stories bar will feature the latest Stories. Users can also check out the hashtags that other users follow. The privacy settings for the hashtags you follow works similar to the other people you follow. If you have a private account on Instagram, only your followers can see the hashtags that you follow. Users have the freedom to unfollow a hashtag at any time.

The announcement comes just a week after Instagram introduced Highlights and Archive functions to the Stories feature. Instagram has indicated that the introduction of the feature to follow Hashtags is just the first in a series of new tools to make discovering fresh content on the platform easier. Other features Instagram is reportedly in the process of introducing include pinning conversations in direct messages, a "Regram" button that works similar to a retweet, a GIF search option, the ability to directly share content to WhatsApp, and a feature that allows users to personally archive content.

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