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Instagram could separate hashtags for less annoying posts

Annoyed at Instagrammers that post #hastags in the middle of sentences? Instagram could be testing a solution along with a handful of other new features. Doing some reverse-engineering, tech researcher Jane Manchun Wong found code that points to several potential upcoming features inside Instagram, including a dedicated spot for hashtags, the option to limit posts by geography, and an expansion of the Stories sharing.

Part of that reverse-engineered code suggests Instagram is considering creating a designated spot for hashtags when creating a new post. The move would separate hashtags from captions, leaving a separate field for hashtags, similar to the separate option for tagging people in photos (and now video). Besides removing hashtags from the actual written text, a dedicated spot for hashtags may help Instagram fine-tune existing options like following a hashtag or finding new topics in Explore.

Other code points to the possibility of limiting posts and Stories to specific geographic regions, an option called geofencing. Located inside the settings, the potential feature allows users to choose countries and regions where the post would be visible. The screenshots appear to apply to all posts, so the tool isn’t designed to share one post in one area and one in another.

While geofencing ads is a popular tool for businesses on social media, the reverse-engineered code suggests the tool could be available for more than just business accounts. Parent company Facebook has a similar tool, but for Pages. The screenshots of the reverse engineering also only show the option to select a country or continent, unlike ad tools that allow further refinement by state or zip code.

The feature that allows users to share a public post inside Stories is getting a bit wider as well — one test allows users to share someone else’s Story as a sticker in your own Story. Instagram doesn’t have the option to share like Facebook and Twitter to the feed, but the Stories format is a little more open to shares, provided the owner created a public post and didn’t disable the option in settings.

Instagram declined to comment, so for now, consider the features rumors that are backed up by the app’s code. While the code suggests Instagram is testing the features, not all tests see a wide rollout to all users. 

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
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