Instagram plans to feature photos and videos in future search results, Instagram head Adam Mussry announced Wednesday. The change can show a grid of photos and videos in which the keyword search can drag along with the results of accounts and hashtags, no different than the way tick talk results are displayed.
According to Moussari, search adaptation is “part of a series of improvements.” The company has used keyword searches to provide visual results – some terms may pull up pages of suggested images – but Instagram’s new plan will make them more important. Moussari writes that searching with a term like “space” will reveal the results of the suggested photos and videos with traditional accounts and hashtags, encouraging further search. Visual results will still be behind the keyword tap, but they should be more prominent and general. (Moussari changed the search experience. About 3:30 in this video.)
However, Instagram’s current keyword search is quite a hit or miss, however, it doesn’t always yield results globally or with related collections of images. That’s why Mousri says the company is also increasing the number of terms that will start with English and then move on to the results. When asked, Instagram was unable to provide a specific launch date for search optimization.
According to Museri, without any more visual or new keywords in the mix yet, the key criteria that Instagram shows are consistent results. The company has a series of “signals” that it considers when displaying results, in terms of importance:
Your text in search.. The text you enter into the search bar is the most important signal to search. We try to make sure that whatever you type is related to usernames, bios, captions, hashtags and places.
Your activity.. This includes accounts you follow, posts you’ve seen, and how you’ve interacted with accounts in the past. We usually show accounts and hashtags that you follow or visit more than you don’t.
Information about search results.. When there are a lot of possible results, we also look at the signs of popularity. These include the number of clicks, likes, shares, and followers for a particular account, hashtag, or place.
The same advice applies to how your content appears. The platform sees text, your location, and captions on individual posts in your Instagram handle and bio to determine if your content is relevant to a given search. The company also seeks to filter out content that violates its recommendations, including sensitive topics such as violence or semi-nudity. You don’t have to go far to see how Instagram has handled issues that have raised concerns in the past.
Both of these search improvements should make Instagram more usable and perhaps more appealing to keep clicking. Even surface-to-surface similarities cannot be mistaken for tick-tock: Moussari has spoken openly with the video and more suggested content on Instagram after the photo-sharing.