To make it easier to spot fake news, WhatsApp has introduced a feature that allows users to search the web to double-check forwarded messages….
In some cases — consider breaking news as an example — it makes more sense to follow a hashtag with its wide stream of information rather than a number of individuals, right? Instagram apparently agrees.
— Pippa Akram (@Social_Pip) November 9, 2017
Akram’s tweet also suggests that more than one hashtag can be followed at any given time, but how the feature works remains unclear.
At present, Instagram does recommend Stories based on geo-location and other factors, but users don’t have control over what appears. This tweak will likely enhance this.
It also may breathe life back into the confusing, and muddled hashtag system.
Currently, Instagram hashtags are used to promote engagement and visibility across the network, but allowing users to follow individual tags may inadvertently encourage order, as users will be more inclined to use specific hashtags that more relevantly fit their content.
As mentioned before, this also gives Instagram a foot in the breaking news door.
Following individual hashtags like #FeesMustFall or #RWC2023 will bring ordered Twitter-like streaming news functionality to the social network. And with a user base of 800-million monthly users, that could become a worry for the blue bird in the near future.
As it stand, we’re not completely sure how the “follow a hashtag” functionality will be executed, or how extensive the trial is at present.
Instagram has also yet to issue a statement regarding the feature.
Feature image: Memeburn