According to a new report by The Verge, Instagram is now getting the ability to let users search the platform using keywords. Notably, this feature will be available in 6 English-speaking countries.
These countries include the UK, US, Ireland, and Canada. Note that before today, users were able to search for hashtags or accounts on the Instagram platform.
To give you more clarity, if you wish to search for "healthy recipes", Instagram would show you posts tagged with #healthyrecipies or accounts with variations of "healthy recipes" in their name or bio.
But with this announcement, users will now make keyword-based search, meaning that posts featuring healthy recipes should surface in the search results, even if there are no hashtags specific to "healthy recipes."
Besides, this would come in handy if you want to search for content based on specific keywords. And not want to get your search get limited to accounts or hashtags.
However, it is still unclear as to how Instagram determines what a post is about. As per the company spokesperson, the company is considering "a number of factors" before giving out the results.
The factors include what type of content it is, captions (if any) or when it was posted. There are some more factors that Instagram relies on, to surface the search results.
Instagram keyword search uses machine learning capabilities to find matching content
The spokesperson also added that this new Instagram keyword search uses machine learning capabilities. Apparently, this makes sure that the content shown is of high quality and matches the searched keyword.
Previously, Instagram was limited to searching for specific things like hashtags or accounts. But now with this Instagram keyword search feature, users will have flexible content discovery.
Note that Instagram has added that only certain terms will be searchable on its platform. This means that general interest topics and keywords within the Instagram community guidelines will be searchable.
Folks at The Verge tested this new Instagram keyword search feature out, and the results were decent, to say the least. Searching for healthy recipes showed gluten-free and paleo cookie recipes.
Moreover, they could not search the keywords "vaccine," "QAnon," "Trump," or "Biden". Good thing is that they were able to search keywords like "puppies," "pasta," or "flowers."
The search was limited. But we would not go nitpicking on this new Instagram keyword search feature as it is fairly new. And as time goes by, we expect this feature to get more mature and churn out exact results.
Recently, Instagram has revamped its homescreen for the first time in many years. Additionally, it added the Shops and Reels tab to the homescreen, hinting that these features are here to stay.