Thursday , October 21 2021


Instagram will finally show content when you search for stuff — like it should

If you search for a keyword on any social media or content serving website, you expect to get suggestions for related posts, images, or videos. However, on Instagram, all you get are accounts, hashtags, and places as search results. Annoying.

Thankfully, the company is working on changing this approach. Last night, the firm’s head, Adam Mosseri, said that it’s working on a “full search result page” that will show photos and videos as results, along with tabs for accounts and hashtags. Here’s what the new search will look like:

Instagram is working on a new version of search that will show content results
Instagram is working on a new version of search that will show content results
Instagram is working on a new version of search that will show content results

The inner workings of this feature sound obvious in this day and age, but it might be a bit tricky. It’s easy for an algorithm to find posts for the keywords “space,” if the posts have the search query in their captions and hashtags. But the algorithm will also need to find posts that capture space, but don’t have the matching metadata.

Instagram said for the initial phase, it’ll concentrate on getting keyword search for the English language right, and then expand it to other languages.

As Mosseri explained in his video on Instagram, the company currently looks at aspects like text in the search phrase, your activity, and likes on the platform, as well as the popularity of posts to provide you good search results. However, for this new version of search, the company might need to look at other factors such as when the post was uploaded.


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A post shared by Adam Mosseri (@mosseri)

Instagram’s chief rival, TikTok, already presents search results in a similar format. And given how the Bytedance’s-owned app’s algorithms are regarded for their ability to surface relevant, compelling content in search results, Mosseri & Co. have a lot of catching up to do.

You can read more about Instagram’s announcement here.

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