Yes, you are reading well!
A few days ago the company announced the details of the update that many of us were waiting for, and that it has begun to implement for users in six countries: UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada. They will now be able to search the platform using keywords.
Let's remember that until now, the platform only allowed searches for hashtags, users and locations. In other words, if you previously wanted to find “sustainable fashion” publications, you could only get content with the hashtag #modasostenible or with these terms in the accounts or biography. Now it will be possible to carry out this search by terms / keywords and you will find publications that will show content relevant to your interests, even if they do not have the hashtag.
While it's not yet clear how this service will work, a platform spokesperson says the team considers "a number of factors," including "content type, captions, when it was posted" and more to show relevant results. It also uses machine learning to "find the highest quality content that is relevant to the user." Considering, for the moment, only the publications of the feed.
This will also have an impact on brands looking to improve their performance, since if, for example, if a brand wanted to appear in relevant searches previously, it had to include the correct hashtags to enter those channels. But now, you won't necessarily have to add every possible hashtag variation to maximize visibility, as the terms you use within your copy or text will be enough, in many cases, to ensure that people find your content.
This update is a significant change. Let's not forget that Instagram has been the most restrictive platform when it comes to social listening. However, Instagram has communicated that at the moment only certain terms can be searched: "The search is limited to topics of general interest and keywords that are within the guidelines of the Instagram community."
In this last point it is important to consider, since not all keywords and niche topics can be searched in this way, which can be putting some brands at a disadvantage.
We will see how it evolves, the results it has and when it is available in the rest of the world. We will keep you update. ;)