Today, Instagram made a giant change in the way hashtagged photos are displayed, and in doing so took a huge bite out of users’ hashtag abuse. Previously, a user could (and many did) add hashtags to their photos hours, days, even months after a photo was originally posted. This allowed for an entire new round of “likes” from people searching a hashtag and clicking on the photos most recently tagged. Now, you can still add all the hashtags you want after posting your image, but your photos will no longer appear at the top of the search. That means adding 25 fresh hashtags, 3 weeks after you posted your photo, won’t show up unless the searcher is willing to scroll through 3 weeks’ worth of images bearing that particular hashtag.
I’ve talked about Instagram and hashtags before. Yes, hashtags have their place. But after seeing so many users game the system by continuously deleting, then adding, new rounds of hashtags, it’s nice to see Instagram taking steps toward rendering this tactic useless.