Instagram briefly tested a feature that allows users to follow hashtags.
The ephemeral feature was first spotted by Instagram user Pippa Akram (@Social_pip), who posted a screenshot on Twitter.
Facebook and Instagram, however, did not issue any statement on the new feature.
According to The Next Web, it appeared that the feature was briefly available to a limited number of people.
The feature showed up on the Instagram account of a member of TNW team but disappeared after some time.
The photo and video-sharing site allowed selected users to search for a hashtag and then follow it.
TNW said the hashtag-following feature could become “a handy feature.”
“Say you want a regular influx of cute cat photos, but can’t be bothered to search for them or follow their owners….Or perhaps you just want to follow a niche topic, and don’t know who to follow – so why not just follow the topic itself?”
TechCrunch believes that Instagram is out to promote posts that are expected to produce “a lot of engagement.”
TechCrunch said that based on Akram’s screenshot, the new feature tested by Instagram is not expected to radically change a user’s feed.
“The service is going to select popular and recent posts. And you’ll once again be able to follow things based on your interests and not your social graph.”
Meanwhile, Androidheadlines.com said since the feature was just tested on some users “and seemed to be swept away as quickly as it rolled out, there’s no telling whether that would be the final form that it would take.”
“Still, since it was rolled out to some end users, even if only briefly, it’s likely quite close to being ready for primetime.”
For now, we’ll have to wait until the feature is rolled out to all Instagram users.
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