Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, explained the platform’s new search process in a recent video, where he revealed how the process of searching content using keywords works on Instagram. He further explained how Instagram ranks searches and how users show up on a search.
When users search content on Instagram using a particular keyword, a grid of pictures and videos associated with the keyword appears. The most recent hashtags and most relevant accounts and places are displayed in the 'top' section. Next, you will see all the popular accounts relevant to the keyword as well as hashtags, displayed together.
This display of content on Instagram for search is quite similar to TikTok’s, so it looks like Instagram has taken inspiration from its rival app.
Mosseri further explained how search results are extracted, which involves three main elements: the words entered in the search bar, how users engage on the platform, and the data concerning the search results. The reason why a user’s own engagement or activity on the platform plays its role here is because the search results are based on the accounts you follow first, followed by accounts that match your area of interest.
Similarly, content displayed from your account also follows the same set of rules. Details such as your interaction with others, your bio, your username, your likes, etc. plays an important role.