With just days to go until the US Election, Instagram has announced that it will remove the 'Recent' tab from hashtag searches on the platform temporarily.
Starting today, for people in the U.S. we will temporarily remove the “Recent” tab from hashtag pages. We’re doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) October 29, 2020
When you search by tags on Instagram, your results are presented in two tabs - 'Top' and 'Recent'.
It looks like Instagram's trying to give its fact-checkers a bit of an assist - by stopping the flow of hashtagged posted via 'Recent', that will mean users will only be able to see the 'Top' listing, which is based on engagement, and relevance. The posts are therefore more likely to have been vetted, at least somewhat, as opposed to being a flow of real-time updates.
Though it seems like a significant step to take. But then again, considering the broader effort by social platforms to combat misinformation around the election, it's likely a small price to pay.
That could also impact your Instagram traffic, depending on how users discover your content.
The change will be implemented for all US users from today, till whenever Instagram seems fit.