Some Instagramers will certainly not be thrilled! Instagram has announced that it has started “a small test” to remove the recent tab from hashtag search results… Good news or bad?
A new test on a small group of people
When you search for or tap a hashtag on Instagram, the platform opens a page with three tabs — Top, Recent, and Reels — listing content tagged with it. But some users have probably already noticed that they no longer have “Recent”.
If this is the case for you, it is a new test and is only available to a small group of people.
As Instagram explains:
“We’re trying new things to make hashtags as relevant to users as possible. For a small group, we’re testing newer and more recent content in the “Top” and “Reels” hashtags tabs and removing the “Recent” tab. We want to see if this helps them connect to more interesting and relevant content on hashtags while also staying current. ”
It’s possible that the Recent tab is the least used, urging Instagram to see if the user experience has changed if it’s removed entirely. It seems that the platform is simultaneously refining the top tab’s algorithms to display posts that are both fresh and trending.
Of course, if the change is permanent, following the latest content associated with a particular hashtag can be overwhelming for people who are used to it.
It’s not a premiere
But make no mistake, this isn’t a premiere. The platform had already removed the “Recent” tab from hashtag searches on Instagram in connection with the US presidential elections in 2020, this first test was intended “Reduce real-time delivery of potentially harmful content that may appear in connection with the election.”
The change was essentially designed to help Instagram moderators stop the flow of posts with hashtags above “Recent” so users only see the “Top” list based on engagement and relevance.
Instagram recently announced that it is testing a new feature that supports social causes through hashtags.
In his announcement:
“People often come to Instagram to raise their voices, advance causes, and bring communities together. They are committed to supporting the causes they hear about on Instagram and are always looking for new ways to take action.
It’s clear he wants to change how hashtags are used on Instagram to make them “as valuable as possible.” If you search for a hashtag related to a specific cause, an additional popup will appear highlighting the different ways users can support this initiative.
This offers several possibilities:
- If you want to let more people know about this campaign, click the share button to share the hashtag page via DM;
- If you find a cause you’d like to support, you can find out more by tapping “support” on the hashtag page;
- If you want to raise money for a specific cause, Instagram added a Create Fundraiser feature.
In other words, Instagram is working to reduce the use of irrelevant hashtags. While removing the recent tab is quite detrimental in some contexts, it means that creators need to focus more on the most relevant hashtags for a better overall user experience.