By now, you probably know how to navigate Instagram like a pro. You follow all your favorite peeps and search your top hashtags like #makeupporn, #foodaddict, and #wanderlust to see the most beautiful travel pics, winter makeup looks, and epic grilled cheese sandwiches. Never one to settle, though, Instagram is spicing things up a bit. Now, you'll be able to follow hashtags on Instagram the same way you follow people — so all those delicious grilled cheese sandwiches will show up right in your newsfeed, sandwiched in between photos of your BFF and her dog and your cousin's selfies.
Many people forget about what hashtags are truly for. We like to be silly and use them in funny ways, like when I post a picture of my dog and hashtag it with #MyDogIsTheCutestDogInTheWorldSorryNotSorry. In truth, hashtags are used as a keyword or topic of interest. When you put the pound symbol before it, the word gets indexed by that social media platform, and becomes searchable by other people. This helps you discover new things you'll likely love — like when I'm hungry late at night and search the hashtag #comfortfood just to torture myself a little bit more.
With this latest update to Instagram, I'll get more #comfortfood right in my feed. You'll even see new content in your Stories tray.
When you search a hashtag, you'll see a "follow" button. All you have to do is tap it for the magic to begin.
In case you're not totally Instagram savvy quite yet and need some suggestions for hashtags to start with, here are a handful to get you going.
For Animals So Cute, They'll Make You Cry
This is prime toilet-time scrolling. When you're sitting on the can or perhaps bored in your cubicle at work, nothing will lift the cloud off a gloomy day like precious animals — especially if they're widdle, itty, bitty, teensy, weensy babies. Sweet lord, the cuteness.
For Nail Art That You'll Probably Never Be Able To Pull Off
Sometimes, I like to make believe that I don't live in a world where I do dishes four times a day and have to regularly pull inedible objects out of my dogs' mouths, and I get to have nice nails that don't chip after 15 minutes. And if I lived in that world — where I had a spare $100+ to spend on regular manicures — my nails would look like the pictures gracing these manicure-centric hashtags.
For The Most Unbelievable Of Food Porn
You know that feeling when you're not hungry but you're hungry? Beware: that's what these photos will do to you. You'll stay up until the wee hours of the morning knee-deep in photos of oatmeal porn and chocolate everything. It makes life better but also makes you want to cry a little. A double-edged sword, it is.
For A Healthy Dose Of Self-Love
Social media gets a bad rap for preying on people's insecurities, but there are strong, confident, body positive messages and posts all up and down Instagram that deserve your love (shoutout to Jessamyn, in the above GIF).
For Insane Make-Up Inspiration
Disclaimer: remember that these people use special lighting and may even (gasp!) edit their photos a bit before they post them. What I mean to say is don't get down on yourself if you attempt some of these looks at home and end up looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show (unless that's the look you're going for, obvi). Nonetheless, these photos are fifty shades of fleek and might give you some cool ideas to experiment with on your own.
For Outfits That Are ToDieFor
I like to pair a white t-shirt with a pair of jeans and then pat myself on the back for my remarkable sense of fashion. These folks put me to shame. Explore this unique form of self-expression and discover new looks you've never even dreamed of. Where do you think I got the idea to pair a cardigan with my jeans-and-t-shirt combo? #ItsLikeMagic
For Satisfying Your Thirst For Travel
Millennials love to travel. (And eat avocado toast.) This, we know to be true. If jetsetting and exploring are on your to-do list, these three hashtags are must-haves. If you're feeling a wee bit down in the dumps because you think you can't afford it, remember that traveling on a budget is easier than ever before. Find a cheap Airbnb, set price alerts to get the best flights, and pack your bag.