Instagram has been spotted testing a way to add hashtags to posts without including them in post captions.
This would effectively declutter the post caption area while maintaining the discoverability of the post.
The test was spotted by computer science student Jade Manchun Wong, who has a track record of discovering test features that eventually become widely released.
Here are a couple of screenshots she shared on Twitter of the test feature.
Instagram is testing the ability to add hashtags to posts without including it in the post caption pic.twitter.com/OhQn0xcCuw
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 20, 2018
And this will be how the hashtags be shown. No more clutters!! 😀 pic.twitter.com/3SXxRDwBlu
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 21, 2018
According to the screenshots, a section may be included in the post composition area which is dedicated to adding hashtags.
When a user is viewing the post in their feed they would see the hashtags below the username of the person who published the post.
Why Would This Feature Be Needed?
In order to get posts seen by more people, users have adopted the strategy of filling the caption area with hashtags.
Filling the caption area with hashtags increases the chances of a post getting seen by other users who search for or follow that hashtag.
Since Instagram post captions have a substantial character limit, hashtag clutter has become more prevalent than on a social network like Twitter for example.
Instagram posts can include up to 2,200 characters and 30 hashtags. As you can imagine, maxing out those limits can lead to a post looking a little messy.
Adding a separate area for hashtags would tidy up the captions while still allowing posts to show up in search results.
Again, it’s just in testing at this point, but this feature could end up getting a wide release.