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 Search & Explore, 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:

On the Instagram app for iOS or Android devices

  1. Go to your profile and tap .
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Security, then tap Clear Search History.
  4. Tap Clear Search History.

On your computer or mobile browser

  1. Go to instagram.com on your computer or mobile browser.
  2. Click and then click .
  3. Click Privacy and Security > View Account Data.
  4. Below Search history, click View all.
  5. Click Clear Search History > 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 (iOS) or(Android) above the post.
  3. Select See Fewer Posts Like This.

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

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To remove a topic channel from Search & Explore:

  1. Tap to go to Search & Explore. Topic channels appear below the search bar at the top of the screen (example: Food, Animals, Style).
  2. Press and hold the topic channel you'd like to remove.
  3. Tap Mute [channel name]. This sends the channel to the end of your topic channel list, which you can view by swiping left.

To unmute a topic channel, press and hold it, then tap Unmute [channel name].

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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

Activity displays likes and comments on your own posts.

On an iPhone or Android device

If you're viewing Activity on an iPhone or Android device, Activity can also help you stay up-to-date on recent activity from people you're following (example: letting you see the photos and videos that your friends are liking and commenting on).

To see activity from people you follow, tap at the bottom of the screen, then tap Following at the top. To see your recent activity, like people who've followed you or liked your posts recently, tap You. Keep in mind that the Following tab won't work for accounts that follow more than 1000 people.

On the web

To view your Activity notifications on Instagram on the web, tap or click at the top of the screen.

Your activity on Instagram will be displayed in Following for anyone who follows you. If your account is set to private, only the people you've approved to follow you will see your activity.

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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. 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 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 and stories that have been shared with the corresponding hashtag or location. Learn more about hashtag and location pages.

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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 Posts above Most Recent. 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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Hashtag and location pages include public photos and videos that were shared with the corresponding hashtag or location. You can tap at the top of these pages to see public stories, and scroll down to see public posts.

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.

Learn more about using hashtags and adding locations.

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

In the Most Recent section, photos and videos 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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