Instagram wants to put an end to over-hashing.
We all have those friends in our feed who #hashtag #every #single #word or end their post with 30 hashtags. Fortunately, Instagram is finally testing ways to intervene and hide the awkwardness.
According to a frequent TechCrunch tipster and reverse engineer, Jane Wong, Instagram has created a hashtag section prototype in its Android app code.
When posting a photo, there will be a designated section next to “Tag People” and “Add Location” called “Add Hashtags.” Although Instagram is in its testing phase, the idea of ridding hashtags from comments and captions opens a whole door of questions.
If you are new to the world of hashtags, here is a quick overview of why this is so important. Hashtags are words after the “#” symbol used to address a specific topic. This allows posts to be easily discoverable and accessible on Instagram. Hashtags help users engage with one another and join a larger conversation. For example, the hashtag #photography has over 309 million posts. If I wanted to share my content with a larger group of photographers and view inspiring content from other users around “photography,” I would #photography in my post.
According to Sprout Social, aside from everyday Instagram users, brands are big capitalizers of hashtags for multiple reasons. Hashtags help brands boost awareness, monitor marketing campaigns and contests, promote events and highlight their value. Many brands even have their own branded hashtags, where they can converse with consumers who are engaging with their brand directly.
Although hashtags have opened the path to an endless potential of outreach, they have reached the point of oversaturation. Since the genesis of hashtags, the “comment block” strategy has become more popular. This tactic is when users post a comment with multiple hashtags to increase chances of the post being seen. These hashtags bombarders stray from the initial purpose of organically joining a community and are generally perceived as disingenuous.
The creation of an “Add Hashtag” section could clean up everyone’s Instagram feed significantly, shift Instagram’s focus back to its visual content and, help brands seem more organic. Let’s hope that Instagram rolls out this test!
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