Lemme guess: You were so excited about the new Instagram update that allows you to follow hashtags that you followed them all. I mean, literally, you followed hashtags ranging from your public interests to your innermost private curiosities, and now your feed is booming with exciting content. But then it hits you: can people see the hashtags you're following on Instagram? Is this epic flow of information your private slideshow, or can everyone see that I like to watch contour beauty videos and horrifying blackhead extractions and Australian fitness gurus talking about vegan Whole Foods hacks?! Because that would be #awkward. Not all interests are meant to be available for public opinion. Some interests are just meant for your own eyes, late at night while you're cradling your phone in your hands looking for excuses to avoid sleep.
Well, things are about to get awkward because the hashtags you follow are not private. Hashtag follows are being treated the same as account follows, though you'll notice that your follow file will be sorted in two sections: people and hashtags. If you have a public account, anyone looking through your profile will be able to see what you follow. And, if you're private, all of your approved followers will be able to see. So if you have no shame and are happy to share your love for slime videos, tonsil stone extractions, and brunch porn with the world, this news won't shake you. But if you do want to keep your hashtag exploration on the DL, you'll want to consider this news before you start following hashtags. Once you tap that alluring blue "Follow" button, the truth about your interests will be out there for all to see.
If you're not at all down with sharing your private interests with the world, don't fret — simply don't follow the hashtags that you want to keep private. Yes, it's actually that easy. If you were happy with your Instagram experience before this update, simply choose to ignore it and go back to your scheduled programming. You can still access all of the hashtags through your explore page and by typing them into the search bar — and likely, if there are hashtags that you regularly frequent, Instagram has already saved them for you in a suggested search item, so you don't even have to type them in. Sure, it's not exciting and convenient as having the content directly streamlined into your feed, but at the same time, it gives you the content you want and the privacy you want, so it's a pretty fair compromise.
But if you're not a private person and don't mind sharing your interests with the world, you might want to consider some of this year's most popular hashtags: love, fashion, photography, art, beautiful, nature, bts, cats, clouds, selfie, foodporn, rusticwedding, and dogbuns.
Or, start your own hashtags to keep your pictures organized and your followers connected. Keep all of your travel pictures together, or all of your more artistic endeavors together to make it easy for your follower to select what kind of content they want to keep up with. And can you imagine how much easier it will be the next time you create a wedding or event hashtag? Now all the wedding or event pictures will just show up in your feed, keeping you constantly updated without having to refer back to the hashtag on the explore page. Oh Instagram, constantly making changes we didn't even know we needed, making our Instagram experience easier, more connective and fun. We are truly #blessed. (Lols, I dare you to follow that.)