September 17, 2021

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Instagram Introduces Keyword-Based Search; Rolls Out Guides for All

2 min read

Instagram is reportedly upgrading search on its platform to support keywords. The search tab on Instagram currently offers the ability to search hashtags and accounts only. However, that is about to change as Instagram has begun rolling out keyword-based search support for select users in English-speaking users in six countries. Separately, Instagram is also expanding its Guides feature’s availability to all users. The new Guides tab was introduced in May, but was only available to a few wellness creators initially.

The Verge reports that keyword search is being rolled out to English-speaking users in in six countries, including the UK, US, Ireland, and Canada. These users will now be able to search on Instagram using keywords, in addition to hashtags and accounts. For instance, users can now search words like ‘makeup tricks’ and ‘healthy recipes’, and get relevant results.

A company spokesperson told The Verge that search offers results based on keywords by considering a number of factors like “type of content, captions, when it was posted, and more.” Search uses machine learning to “find the highest quality content that’s relevant to you”. The report suggests that only grid posts show up for now and only certain terms are searchable. “The search is limited to general interest topics and keywords that are within Instagram’s community guidelines,” the spokesperson the publication. The Verge said that it was not able to get search results for keywords like ‘vaccine’, ‘QAnon’, ‘Trump’, or even ‘Biden’.

This is because it’s probably the first step taken by Instagram to improve its internal search, which is currently very limited. Content creators will also benefit from this, as keywords search will enable their posts to feature in results even if the specific tag is not attached.

The new Guides tab can be found in the Profile section

In a new blog post, Instagram has also confirmed that it is making its ‘Guides’ feature available to all users. The new Guides tab can be found in the Profile section. It lets users discover recommendations and other content from their favourite creators or public figures. Guides is essentially a tab within a user’s profile where they can create article-like updates from old posts and videos including IGTV videos with small captions and headers to highlight a specific topic.

These guides can be shared across Stories and in DMs. Instagram is also expanding its content support and is allowing Product Guides as well. “Product Guides may be featured in Instagram Shop, our new shopping destination within the Instagram app, so you can discover new products from people you may not already follow,” says the blog post.

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