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Instagram Wants To Make Hashtags More Valuable



Instagram Wants To Make Hashtags More Valuable

Instagram is testing out ways to make hashtags more valuable by adjusting how top posts are ranked on hashtag pages.

Now, more recent and timely content will be surfaced in the section that curates top hashtags.

Previously, recent content was separated out into its own tab. That meant the “Top” section could’ve included content published weeks or months ago.

Instagram is removing the “Recent” tab as users can now find newer content in the “Top” tab. The “Reels” tab will remain unchanged.

The company hopes these changes will make hashtags more valuable to users, which is presumably determined by a measurable increase to engagement levels.

As we’ll get into later, studies show Instagram hashtags don’t have a significant impact on engagement. Will changing how top posts are ranked drive more people to engage with the content?

First, let’s take a closer look at how hashtag pages are changing.


Instagram Surfacing More Recent Content In Hashtag Pages

In an announcement from Instagram’s communications team, the company explains what’s changing and why:

“We’re trying out some new things to make hashtags as valuable as possible for people. A few weeks ago, we rolled out Destinations which helps connect people to more information around social causes, and now, we’re going to try something new.

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.“

Instagram shares an example of what the new hashtag pages look like.

As you can see, they look exactly the same minus the “Recent” tab.

Screenshot from, April 2022.

The streamlined hashtag pages are designed to help users find popular content that’s also timely.

With the old design you could see quality content that may or may not be out of date, or recent content that may or may not be quality.

Now you’ll find recent, quality content when searching for a hashtag.

Time will tell if this test produces the results Instagram is looking for.

Currently, there’s not a strong case for using hashtags on Instagram based on the value they provide.


Perhaps Instagram is taking note of studies like the one highlighted in the section below.

Study Finds Instagram Hashtags Don’t Increase Post Engagement

Socialinsider analyzed over 75 million Instagram posts published over the past year to determine the relationship between hashtags and views.

The study concludes there’s no significant increase to average engagement rate associated with hashtag use.

“… the number of hashtags a post has doesn’t really influence post distribution, which we calculated as the average engagement rate by impressions.

The data shows no significant differences in the average engagement rate by impressions of the Instagram posts analyzed, regardless of how many hashtags those posts have.“

That’s more or less what head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, would tell you himself if you asked him about hashtags.

In fact, he answered one such question last month in an Instagram story, saying “not really” when asked if hashtags help views.

Due to the temporary nature of stories the recording is no longer available, but social media pundit Matt Navarra captured a screenshot:

What are hashtags on Instagram for?

The purpose of hashtags on Instagram is to categorize content. There’s never been any claims from the company about hashtags increasing post distribution.

However, it looks like Instagram wants that to change.

If you stopped using hashtags on Instagram because they didn’t provide any noticeable benefits, now may be time to revisit your use of them.

Source: @InstagramComms on Twitter

Featured Image: Bibit Unggul/Shutterstock

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Instagram Is Now Putting Ads In Your Profile Feed



Instagram Is Now Putting Ads In Your Profile Feed

In a series of updates to Instagram advertising, the app is surfacing ads in more places, such as public profiles and the Explore tab.

Additional updates include augmented reality (AR) ads and multi-advertisers ads.

Lastly, Instagram is giving advertisers a selection of free-use music to utilize with Reels ads.

Here are all the details about the latest updates to Instagram ads.

Instagram Ads In Profiles & Explore Feed

Instagram is testings ads in user profiles, though only select creators will see any revenue from it.

Ads will begin to show in profile feeds for public Instagram accounts of users over 18.

The profile feed refers to the vertical scrolling experience activated once someone taps a thumbnail on a user’s profile. It doesn’t refer to the profile grid, which will remain free from advertising.


Instagram is experimenting with the ability to share revenue generated from profile ads with creators, though it doesn’t sound like this option will be broadly available.

In an announcement, Instagram states:

“As a part of this test, we will experiment with a monetization opportunity that will allow eligible creators to earn extra income from ads displayed in their profile feeds, beginning with select U.S. creators.”

No further information about eligibility criteria, or revenue sharing, is available at this time.

Another new surface Instagram is inserting ads on is the Explore home feed, which is the primary grid you land on when selecting the search tab.

See how the new Explore ads will look in the example below:

Screenshot from:, October 2022.

Multi-Advertiser Ads

Instagram’s new multi-advertiser format makes ads eligible to appear next to ads from other advertisers.

This includes, in some instances, ads from related or complementary businesses. For example, an advertisement for a wedding dress may appear next to an ad for a wedding cake.

AI and machine learning automatically determine ad grouping.

For advertisers who prefer not to have their ads appear in a carousel with other businesses, Instagram offers the ability to opt out of multi-advertiser ads.


AR Ads

Instagram is launching an open beta of AR ads in the primary and Stories feeds.

Through the AR experience powered by Spark AR, brands can encourage people to interact with the effect through their surroundings.

An example is shown below:

Instagram Is Now Putting Ads In Your Profile FeedScreenshot from:, October 2022.

Free-Use Music For Reels Ads

Instagram is letting advertisers utilize a selection of royalty-free music in Reels ads.

Free, high-quality music from the Meta Sound Collection library can now be added to carousel ads on Reels.

Advertisers can select songs manually or allow Instagram to automatically choose the best music for an ad based on its content.

Source: Instagram

Featured Image: AmbrosiniV/Shutterstock

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