Instagram is removing the 'Recent' tab on hashtag pages for some users as part of a small test, the company announced on Tuesday. Currently, when you select a hashtag, you're taken to a page where you can parse through the content that has been posted using that hashtag via three categories: Top, Recent and Reels. With this change, some users will now only see the 'Top' and 'Reels' tabs on hashtag pages.
The company notes that the test is rolling out to a small group of users. The change could be seen as a way for Instagram to further promote Reels, its TikTok rival, while also focusing on surfacing posts that are receiving the most engagement on the platform. It may be an unwelcome change for users who would like the option to follow along with newer content in relation to hashtags.
"We want to see if this helps people connect with more interesting and relevant content on hashtags, while also keeping them across what’s current," the company said.
For a small group, we’re testing more recent and timely content in ‘Top’ and ‘Reels’ tabs in hashtags, and removing the ‘Recent’ tab. We want to see if this helps people connect with more interesting and relevant content on hashtags, while also keeping them across what’s current. pic.twitter.com/nLb6BiFRws
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) April 19, 2022
Instagram says the new test is part of its efforts to "make hashtags as valuable as possible" for its users. The test comes a few weeks after Instagram began testing a new feature that aims to make it easier for users to discover and support social causes directly through hashtags. Now, when you search for specific hashtags associated with certain social movements, you’ll have the option to support them through new options.
Once you get get to a hashtag page, you can select “Support” to learn more about the movement. There’s also a “Spread the Word” button that lets you share the hashtag page with your friends via a DM. The company says the feature will also make it easier to raise awareness for these causes through a “Create a Fundraiser” button that can used to start raising money on behalf of a cause.
These two recent tests show that Instagram is looking to revamp and enhance hashtags on its platform. Given the company's focus on hashtags, it's possible we may see more similar tests in the coming months.