August 4, 2021
Instagram hashtag follow feature

Instagram Testing a New Hashtag Follow Option

A new Instagram hashtag follow feature test is appearing to some users, allowing them to choose specific topics to follow, like profiles…

This could well be innovative or insane. Apparently, Instagram is currently testing a hashtag follow option with a select group of users. It’s unknown how widespread the test is, but it’s been spotted by some individuals and publications, alike.

Instagram Hashtag Follow Feature Option in Testing

If it rolls out to all users, it will allow people to search and follow specific hashtags, just like following profiles. Twitter sports a similar feature called Moments. Moments works by following certain posts through a “Follow” button. Moments places new updates right inside the timeline. 

Instagram hashtag follow feature option screenshot
Credit: Pippa Akram

So, instead of searching for individual hashtags, users can simply follow them and see updates in their feed. But, this move definitely signals Instagram is moving harder toward monetization. If the option goes global, marketers will use the feature to push products and services. 

It’s also unclear exactly how the Instagram hashtag follow feature works. More specifically, how to unfollow hashtags, if desired. Additionally, such updates could disrupt users’ feeds, inserting countless posts, pushing other content further down.

While the screenshot above does not depict any notable changes to the feed, that too, might well change. With recent changes to the algorithmic feed, this could prove useful to people who want to follow specific topics and not posts curated by the social graph.