You can now search by keyword on Instagram

Keyword research on InstagramIn the last few days Instagram rolled out new way of searching on Instagram and at the moment it is only available in 6 countries, including Ireland. Up until now you could only search by Account or Profile name, Hashtag or Location. But now you can search by keyword – which means that you can find posts that have certain words in the caption. This is a big change and will be really useful for marketing because instead of trying to use up to 30 hashtags to get found, the words in the caption will also get you found.

In order to try this simply go to the search area within the app. Type in a search word eg. handbags and at the top of the results you will see some keywords / search terms with a magnifying glass next to them. You can then  select a search term and it will take you to posts that contain that search term in the caption. Two things to be aware of …


  1. What I have noticed is that it only seems to work for single words eg. Handbags. This will bring up a list of search terms that contain that word. However if I type in more than one word eg. “Handbags for sale” it doesn’t bring up the search terms. This might change in the future.
  2. According to Instagram, keyword searches will be “limited to general interest topics and keywords that are within Instagram’s community guidelines”. So not every niche keyword and topic will be searchable in this way
  3. Instagram has said that there is an algorithm that then decides which posts will appear high up in the results. The order will be  based on a number of factors” including the “type of content, captions, when it was posted, and more”. It will also look to highlight the most relevant matches to each individual user, based on algorithm calculations – which probably means that we will see posts high up from relevant accounts that we are familiar with / have interacted with.


How could you benefit from this? My advice is to type in a few words that you think you would want your posts found for and check which search terms Instagram is then suggesting to users. Make a note of the relevant ones and then try to incorporate some of these into your captions.




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November 22, 2020