Hashtags are now so popular that not knowing them would most likely become a criminal offense and be punishable by law in some countries in the future. It is a very popular part of our social culture nowadays. The Oxford American Dictionary added it to their lexicon in 2010. The Scrabble Dictionary made it an official word to be used in the game in 2014.

Provided you are a user of Social media, be it Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, you must have one or two things to do with hashtags, directly or indirectly. Although, the way some people use it can get annoying. #IAmBornToConquerAndIWillForeverConquerInThisLife. Applause?

On the flip side, let us see what benefits lie within for Instagram users.

Instagram Hashtags Help You Find and Explore Relevant Content

During the last world cup, the hashtag #Russia2018 trended. Matches trended in some other hashtags too. For example, during the finals, France vs. Croatia, the hashtag #FranceVsCroatia trended. During that period, and even now (unless the creators have taken them down), one could easily get a sneak peek into what was happening at the moment without actually being at the stadium, watching it on a PayTV or browsing sports score websites.

Just log in to your Instagram account and type the hashtag. Everything that has been posted with that hashtag will show up. This will help you get updated in real time (Social media is the new Press, albeit unguided).

One unique thing about hashtag press coverage, and social media user-generated press coverage in extension, is the element of personal perspectives it brings into play.

On that, you wouldn’t have to worry about the government or big organizations influencing what you hear—Instagram doesn’t eliminate this entirely, though. When next you want to get unbiased, multiperspective, real-time updates on some current issues, the Instagram hashtag could be your perfect solution.

Instagram Hashtags Help Categorize Your Content

Sometimes, we are genuinely interested in contributing to a discussion. We type down our words, together with a photo (as Instagram insists), and share. Given, some of our Instagram followers will see and view this, but we often want a larger audience to join our part of the discussion.

Instagram hashtags do that for us. They help to categorize our content and help people who are interested to join the discussion. A hashtag like #Feminism would definitely hold so much content connected to the topic that one would be confused on the one to engage with.

Instagram Hashtags Increase Our Visibility on the Network

When you visit the Explore section on the app, you will meet the content created by people and brands you don’t follow, or even know. Probably a reason for the name, Explore. They want you to explore the other side of the network, the unknown side. Instagram’s algorithm tries to tailor the content found in your Explore section to match your interests.

This way, people end up finding content creators they like and want to follow, and eventually do follow. One major thing that makes people’s content show up on the Explore section is the hashtag. Using relevant hashtags will go a long way in drawing more traffic to your Instagram page.

Hashtags are powerful, and millions are posted every day. Find a way to make the best use of them.

Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India.