What you need to know
- Instagram has made a change to its hashtag pages for a number of users.
- A new test sees the ‘Recent’ tab being removed from hashtag pages.
- Instagram isn’t saying when the change will roll out to all if indeed it ever does.
Instagram wants to see if a change to hashtags makes it easier for people to discover more interesting content.
Instagram is testing a change to the way its hashtag pages work with a number of users now no longer seeing a ‘Recent’ tab. Those users will still see ‘Recent’ and ‘Reels’ tabs, however.
The move, Instagram says, is being made to see whether it helps people “connect with more interesting and relevant content on hashtags.” It’s another example of the social network preferring to trust its algorithm over simply showing content in a reverse-chronological timeline.
Instagram made the announcement via Twitter but didn’t say how large the pool of testers would be.
For a small group, we’re testing more recent and timely content in ‘Top’ and ‘Reels’ tabs in hashtags, and removing the ‘Recent’ tab. We want to see if this helps people connect with more interesting and relevant content on hashtags, while also keeping them across what’s current. pic.twitter.com/nLb6BiFRws
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) April 19, 2022
The move also means that Reels are now more prominent than they were previously, something Instagram will no doubt be pleased to see. The company continues to duke it out with TikTok and will hope that it can make Reels a viable competitor for short-form video sharing.
Instagram is already one of the best iPhone apps for people who want to share content in either still photo or video form and this change will likely make little difference to most people — even if it is rolled out to everyone. Whether people use hashtags in the way Instagram thinks they do is another matter entirely, but that might be one of the reasons the company is rolling this out to a group of testers rather than the wider user base.