Using a correct hashtag makes your post easily discoverable and will help reach your target audience. Instagram now allows the users to follow that #tags which means if your content is catchy and memorable, your post will find its way on users feeds. According to research, a post with at least one hashtag has 12.5% more engagement than a post without any hashtags.
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You’ve noticed a change in your Instagram account, haven’t you? Instagram refined its algorithm in 2016 and since then users’ feeds have not been the same. In order make the app more “user friendly” (that’s the company’s perspective… from the users’ side, the jury is still out) Instagram started displaying content based on a user’s preferences and interests, instead of a chronological feed displaying content based on the time of its posting.