Instagram is finally expanding its search capabilities, by enabling users to trawl the platform by keyword. Previously, users could only search via account name, hashtag, or location.
The ability is rolling out to English-speaking users in six countries, The Verge reports, including the U.K., U.S., Ireland, and Canada. Now, on the search bar, Instagram is populating simple search suggestions, like ‘farmhouse decor’ or ‘sunset hike’. Previously, search queries would only surface suggestions if the post contained the hashtag in question. Now, presumably, searches won’t be relegated as such.
An Instagram spokesperson tells The Verge that search results are calculated by machine learning technology that harnesses a number of different factors, including “type of content, captions, and when it was posted.” Additionally, not every term will be searchable, with the feature being “limited to general interest topics and keywords that are within Instagram’s community guidelines,” the company said. The Verge notes that terms like ‘vaccines’, ‘Trump’, and ‘Biden’ are all unsearchable.
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As of now, search will only surface grid posts and not any other Instagram formats, such as Stories, IGTV episodes, or Reels.