Exploring Photos and Videos

Search & Explore

We’re always working to update the types of photos and videos you see in Search & Explore to better tailor it to you. Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like.

Learn more about what you can do if you see posts you don't like in Search & Explore.

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If you see a post in , it doesn’t mean that everyone else is seeing it. We’re always working to update the types of posts you see in Search & Explore to better tailor it to you. For example, we may show you photos and videos that people you follow have liked or are liked by a large number of people.

If your account is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see photos you've shared in Search & Explore.

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Instagram saves searches in Search & Explore to make it easier for you to find your favorite accounts and hashtags again quickly. To clear your search history:

Instagram app for Android and iPhone:
  1. Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
  2. Tap in the top right, then tap instagram-settingsSettings.
  3. Tap Security, then tap Clear Search History (iPhone) or Search History (Android).
  4. Tap Clear All, then tap Clear All to confirm.
Instagram.com from a computer:
  1. Click your profile picture in the top right corner, then click instagram-settingsSettings.
  2. Click Privacy and Security, then click View Account Data.
  3. Below Search history, click View all.
  4. Click Clear Search History, then click Yes, I'm sure.
Instagram.com from a mobile browser:
  1. Tap your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
  2. Tap instagram-settingsSettings in the top left.
  3. Tap Privacy and Security, then tap View Account Data.
  4. Below Search history, tap View all.
  5. Tap Clear Search History, then tap Yes, I'm sure.

Keep in mind that clearing your search history is temporary, and that searches you clear may reappear in your history after you search for them again.

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Some accounts, like alcohol brands, post content that’s meant for older audiences. These accounts may choose to restrict their content to people who are over a certain age. To determine whether you're able to see a restricted account, we may use information you provide on Instagram or on Facebook (our parent company).

You may need to update your Instagram app to the most recent version to see restricted accounts.

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If you see a post you don't like in Search & Explore, you can choose to see fewer posts like it:

  1. Tap the post.
  2. Tap (iPhone) or(Android) above the post.
  3. Select Not Interested.

If you see something that doesn't follow our Community Guidelines, you can select Report and follow the on-screen steps.

Keep in mind that your report is anonymous, except if you’re reporting an intellectual property infringement. The account you reported won’t see who reported them.

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If a blue dot appears next to a search result, it means it's an account that has shared posts you haven't seen yet.

Learn more about discovering posts in Search & Explore.

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Activity, Hashtags and Place Pages

You can add hashtags in the caption or comments of your post. If you have a public account and add hashtags to a post, the post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag page.

To tag a photo or video with a hashtag:

  1. Take or upload a photo or video.
  2. Choose to add a filter, then tap Next.
  3. Tap Write a caption... and type # followed by text or emoji (example: #flower).
  4. Tap Share.

If you want to add a hashtag to a post you've already uploaded, edit the caption or include your hashtag in a comment on your photo.

After you tag your post with a hashtag, you'll be able to tap the hashtag to see a page that shows all photos and videos people have uploaded with that hashtag.

Things to keep in mind:

  • When people with private profiles tag posts, they won't appear publicly on hashtag pages.
  • Numbers are allowed in hashtags. However, spaces and special characters, like $ or %, won't work.
  • You can only tag your own posts. You can't tag other people's photos/videos.
  • You can use up to 30 tags on a post. If you include more than 30 tags on a single photo/video, your comment won't post.
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You can follow hashtags on Instagram to stay connected with interests you care about.

To follow a hashtag:

  1. Tap any hashtag (example: #flower) you see on Instagram.
  2. Tap Follow. Once you follow a hashtag, you'll see its photos and videos appear in feed.

To unfollow a hashtag, tap the hashtag and then tap Following. You may need to tap Unfollow to confirm.

Learn more about searching for hashtags and using hashtags on Instagram.

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To see hashtag and location pages, log into the Instagram app for Android or iPhone.

To see the page for a location or hashtag, you can search for it or tap the hashtag or location that appears on a post.

Hashtag and location pages include public posts that have been shared with the corresponding hashtag or location. Learn more about hashtag and location pages.

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Recent posts from all hashtags may be temporarily hidden to help prevent the spread of possible false information and harmful content related to the 2020 US election. Instagram is committed to reducing the spread of false information and giving people accurate information about voting.

We may remove the Top or Recent posts in a hashtag page if people are using the hashtag to post content that goes against our Community Guidelines. Learn more about our Community Guidelines.

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At the top of some hashtag and place pages you may see a section called Top. Top posts appear on trending hashtags and places to show you some of the popular posts tagged with that hashtag or place.

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Hashtags on Instagram may not be searchable if they're consistently associated with content that doesn't follow our Terms of Use or Community Guidelines.

We review these hashtags periodically and may make the hashtag searchable again if the content associated with particular hashtags changes over time. We encourage people to report inappropriate hashtags by using our built-in reporting.

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To see hashtag and location pages, log into the Instagram app for Android or iPhone.

Hashtag and location pages include public photos and videos that were shared with the corresponding hashtag or location.

If your account is set to private, only your approved followers will be able to see posts you've shared, and photos and videos from your story won't appear on hashtag or location pages.

Note that you can’t view hashtag and location pages from the Instagram Lite app, but you can still add hashtags and a location to your posts and stories. If your account is set to public, people on other devices will be able to see your posts on hashtag and location pages.

Learn more about using hashtags and adding locations.

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On some some hashtag pages, you may see:

  • A Top section. Top posts appear on trending hashtags to show you some of the popular posts tagged with that hashtag.
  • A Recent section. Recent posts tagged with that hashtag appear in the order that they were posted.

Keep in mind that if you add a hashtag to a photo after it was posted, the photo will still appear on the hashtag page according to the time it was originally posted, not the time the hashtag was added.

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