On Instagram, Hashtags are a key to discoverability on Instagram. And now, Instagram has made it even easier to make use of them, thanks to a new feature that enables users to follow hashtags.
Earlier, this feature was being tested quietly. However, it is now being rolled out to the base of the general user. Users can follow a hashtag the same way that they follow a friend: Search for a certain topic that they like or simply click on a hashtag in a post on Instagram. A new page will then open with the choice to follow the hashtag. Users will see both recent stories and top posts from the hashtag in their feed, and they can unfollow anytime, the same way that they would to any user.
According to The Verge, Matthew Ogle headed the charge for this feature. Ogle was behind the Discover Weekly playlist at Spotify, which depends on both machine learning and a human hand to generate a personalised playlist for every listener each week. Ogle wishes to bring the same touch to the hashtags of Instagram.
For those people that are concerned about privacy, a word: The hashtags that users follow are visible to anyone on Instagram who checks out their profile. It does not look like there is a way to turn that off. However, if their profile is set to private, then only their followers will be able to see the hashtags that they follow.