Finally, a simpler way to curate -themed content! Today, Instagram introduced a series of updates including new filters, and, most significantly, support for users to add emojis to hashtags, which enables mobile shutterbugs to search for photos by emoji.
With the new feature, Instagram follows in the steps of Microsoft, which added emoji search to its Bing engine in October. It’s a sign of how far we’ve come since traditional search queries merely included text; now, we search for things not only via keywords, but also via images, voice input, and now, yes, even emojis.
On Instagram, a search for a hashtagged emoji will return a montage of photos all corresponding to that particular emoji. It may sounds childish or trivial, but tagged to the insane number of images Instagram’s 300 million users upload every month, the app’s emoji search can return some interesting results, even if only revealing the proportion of photos that are tied to a certain emotion. For example, there are some 60,000 posts tagged #, whereas its happier counterpart, the smiley face , returns just 17,000 posts.
Said the company in a statement:
“Over the past few years, emoji have become part of a universal visual language. And just as we share photos and videos, we use emoji to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background. With emoji hashtags, you can discover even more by adding them to your own photos and videos, searching them on the Explore page and tapping on them when you see them in captions.”
Instagram also pushed out a trio of subtle filters–named Lark, Reyes, and Juno–and notes in its blog post that it plans to bring users new filters “more regularly going forward.”
Perhaps this news will make more of its users going forward too.