Instagram’s Explore tab used to to be the only way you could poke your head outside of the circle of people or brands you follow. But as the Instagram team announced Tuesday on their official blog, the photo-centric social media app will let users follow hashtags alongside their friends and favorite influencers.

This will allow you to keep up with topics or content that you care about by simply following a popular hashtag. Instead of having to scroll through endless ‘grams to find something that piques your interest, you can have stuff you care about come straight to your feed. And here’s how to get started.

How to Follow Hashtags

First, pick your favorite hashtag. We’re going with the always-relevant #tbt. Because who wants to see Throwback Thursday posts of just their friends? We have to get some random throwback into our feed.

Now when you search a hashtag a blue “Follow” button appears directly below it, just like it would for a standard account. Under that you’ll find a stream of the top posts regarding that hashtag. Now you can be up to date with pretty much anyone who is throwin’ it back this Thursday.

Of course with any new social media feature, there are some kinks. People on Instagram constantly use a plethora of hashtags to boost how many people see their pics and in return get more likes. You know who you are.

This picture of a person standing in front of a ferris wheel is great, but it’s not even close to a throwback. Instagram will need to implement some kind of spam filter that allows it to scan through images to verify if the post is relevant to the tags it includes. After all, we want #tbt, not #londoneye. There’s also the question of making sure less scrupulous users don’t use this new feature to spam popular hashtags with unwanted content.

I guess that will have to wait for the next update.


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