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How Do I Follow Hashtags on Instagram?

Instagram Gave Hashtags a Major Upgrade, and We Are So Here For It

Instagram is my happy place. I open my feed to escape from the real world, to forget about current events, to fill my heart and soul with beautiful things that I want to look at for hours on end. It's for this very reason that I jumped for joy when I found out that as of Dec. 12, Instagram users will no longer be limited to following people and places — you now have the power to follow hashtags, too.

While it may seem like a logical extension of the Instagram app, it's actually a total and complete game changer. No longer will you have to aimlessly click through profiles until you find what you're looking for; instead, all you need to do is type one hashtag — an interest, a hobby, a passion, a place — and from there, an entire world of images and videos is right before your very eyes. A hashtag will no longer be an aimless branding tool, instead serving as a gateway to more of what you want to see, more often. There's even a "related hashtags" section that will keep you clicking in the right direction any time you open the app.

"For the first time ever, Instagram community members will be able to follow hashtags just like they follow their friends," Matt Ogle, product manager for Interests at Instagram, told POPSUGAR in an exclusive statement. "We're excited to create new and easy ways for people to keep up with their hobbies and passions and discover accounts, right from their feed. Instagram is making interests — and the communities that form around them — a big focus, and following hashtags is our first step."

Ahead, we've broken down how the feature works — but it's important to note that following a hashtag doesn't mean you're tied to it for life. The best thing about the new feature, overall? It encourages exploration of new areas you never knew existed, while at the same time letting it be a wholly noncommittal (and oh so enjoyable) experience. And at the end of the day, that makes us love Instagram all that much more.

Image Source: Instagram

Following a hashtag is just like following a friend.

You can now search for an interest, hobby, or community in the same way you'd search for a user — just type it in the search bar and click through to the hashtag's landing page. Here you'll have the ability to follow (or unfollow) the hashtag in question, as well as explore related hashtags that might also spark your interest.

As with standard searches, you will see the top posts on the top and the most recent posts on the bottom — so be sure to check both places before you make a final decision on whether or not you want to follow a hashtag!

Image Source: Instagram

And it looks just like you're following a friend, too.

Posts from hashtags you follow will appear in the same way that the posts of people and places you follow do — the only difference is that in the far left corner, there's a clickable link to the hashtag page, as well as the Instagram user who posted the image. It's an easy way to find new people to follow and see things that wouldn't ordinarily have made their way into your feed.

And if you're not crazy about a post you're seeing but like the hashtag overall . . . make sure you tell Instagram that! Click on the three dots on the upper right-hand corner and use the dropdown menu option to say you want to see less content like an individual post that's pegged to a hashtag. Finally, you have the option to truly customize your very own exploratory feed.

Image Source: Instagram

As an added bonus, you can also see what hashtags other users are following.

If you love a celebrity or a hair salon and want to see what's inspiring them — well, now you can! Click through on the "following" button on a user's profile, and you'll be able to see the hashtags that they're on board with. As always, this type of visibility is strictly contingent on the privacy settings that an individual has in place for their Instagram account — so if you're about to follow some shady hashtags for whatever reason, we highly recommend turning off this feature on your personal account.

Image Source: Instagram

Streamlining hashtags is going to change everything.

By giving users the ability to follow hashtags, Instagram is creating an entirely new, community-and-interest-focused experience. Strangers will be brought together, long-debated interests will finally have a name, and like-minded individuals will have a place to come together with no strings attached. In other words, we're about to enter hashtags 2.0 — and we couldn't possibly be more here for it.

Image Source: Instagram
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