#WatchThisSpace: The Evolution of Instagram Hashtags

Posted on 19/12/2017 · Posted in Palm PR, Social Media Bytes

Instagram’s fondness for shaking up the game struck the social media world again this week with the introduction of a new and potentially pivotal feature – the ability to follow hashtags in the same way you would an account.

The change is potentially a result of Instagram’s understandable desire to tame and curate how the wealth of content on the platform reaches its users and more importantly, the right users.

The goal here is to deliver content which feels personalised and intimate to an audience of millions, and as hashtags are by their nature community-led, this is perhaps the most natural route to achieve it.

In the eyes of brands and marketers, the change offers a real progression in our ability to track hashtags and target conversation with ease. Furthermore, if a user decides to follow hashtags connected with a brand or campaign, the content will be delivered straight into their feed, rather than being left to languish in the ‘explore’ section on the off-chance it is seen.

The logical next step in this evolution is the ability for advertisers to target users by the hashtags they follow and thereby refine their audience further. Progress never comes without its challenges however, and something advertisers will have to bear in mind when targeting hashtags is the multiple meanings they can have in different communities, which may dilute the volume of people to whom the content is relevant.

Regardless of the challenges, the ability to follow hashtags looks like a step in the right direction for brands and social media managers looking for ever more adaptable ways to hit the audiences they need.