Good news for all the Instagrammers out there! Instagram has finally launched its search option using keywords. Now you do not require to type in hashtags or mentions to look for something. The platform has made this possible using a new software update.

Before the software update, you had to type in mentions, hashtags, or different account handles to look for something. Instagram recently announced to The Verge that it has introduced the keyword search option in four other countries: Canada, the UK, the US, and Ireland. For example, if you wanted to look up things related to the word “trippy,” you could find individual accounts with this word as a username or specific posts that had the #trippy hashtag.

You can now quickly type different keywords related to the word trippy and find all the content associated with this word. For example, you can type in the word “psychedelic” or “dimension” in the search bar; it will lead you to photos and videos related to it.

So, How Does Instagram Do That?

Instagram uses many factors and finds out what is worth surfacing and what is most relevant to the keywords typed in the search bar. It also uses learning through machines to find the best quality content and regulates the type of content related to that keyword and the date and time when it was published. People are not exactly sure how Instagram will come up with search results related to specific keywords, but according to Instagram, they use captions to surface various posts for keyword searches.

Although Instagram has provided such a fascinating feature for its users, people still have many questions and some confusion.

For example, are the search results precisely related to the keywords that are typed in? Is Instagram’s algorithm going to support the use of synonyms for specific keywords? Can Instagram’s algorithm search for technical keywords? What is behind the feature that helps Instagram detect that XYZ particular pictures or videos are relevant to XYZ keywords?

Drawbacks of the New Keyword Search Feature on Instagram

Although Instagram has made it significantly easier for its users to look up certain things using keywords, the search option is still minimal. For example, if I look up generic stuff like “Puppies,” “Cats,” “Flowers,” “Fashion,” or makeup, I will find a lot of pictures and videos related to this keyword. But if I search for something more specific like “presidential” or “books,” I will not really find what I’m looking for. This makes it evident that the keyword search feature is still very limited; hence users still have to use hashtags, mentions, or account handles to get relevant search results.

Moreover, keyword search results are only for users who speak English. This makes the keyword search feature limited to primary users who have English as their first language. What if someone who speaks Spanish does not know the translation of a specific word in English?

Moreover, the feature is limited to users from English-speaking Canada, the UK, the US, and Ireland, ignoring the fact that there are numerous other English-speaking countries.

Instagram’s New Keyword Search and the Future for SEO

If you are a marketer or own a business, you might be aware of the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Businesses can use SEO to increase the quantity and quality of traffic that visits their websites through search engine results, mostly organic. Instagram is one of the most popular social marketing platforms which has continued to grow in popularity in recent years. Many brands and businesses have started to group together and learn different methods to increase their reach and develop a good reputation for their brand using SEO.

Previously, the only way you could optimize and grow your Instagram posts was by typing in hashtags related to your business or including a location tag, if applicable. Now, marketers and companies can utilize a whole new algorithm for Instagram. They understand the new feature and use it to optimize their businesses through SEO. To benefit, you need to know the Instagram ranking factors. Instagram revealed that three main ranking factors decide what you will see on your feed or search results. These factors are:

  • User relationships
  • User Interests
  • User timeliness

A few more features play a significant role in determining what you see on Instagram and what you don’t. These are:

  • Followings
  • Usage
  • Frequency

Instagram quickly detects how much you care about a post and will arrange photos and videos according to that. Content relevant to you will appear on the top of your search results when you search for something in the Instagram search bar.

What’s the User Response to this Update?

The discussion around the new keyword searching feature on Instagram is minimal, showing that users have not yet noticed this feature or that it has not yet rolled out to everyone. This might be because it is the first step that Instagram has taken to improve its internal search engine which users think is very limited. This new feature can benefit content creators by enabling their posts to appear in results even if their tag is not mentioned. Although this feature is limited to the sort of keywords available, Instagram is still exploring what could be added.

Furthermore, it is essential to know that before jumping in to complete dependence on Instagram’s new search feature using keywords, you should wait and see the response that Instagram is getting from its users for this new feature. We do not know how users will respond to this new feature, how they will adapt to it, or their behavior.

We are not sure if they will adapt to using keywords to find visual content like IGTV, Pictures, and videos as on Pinterest, or if they will prefer to use the old hashtag method to search for content?