Instagram plans to more prominently feature photos and videos in search results in the future, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced on Wednesday. The change could show the grid of photos and videos a keyword search can pull up alongside results for accounts and hashtags, not dissimilar to how TikTok displays results.
The search tweak is part of “a series of improvements designed for inspiration and discovery,” according to Mosseri. The company has used keyword search as a way to offer visual results — certain terms can pull up pages of suggested images — but Instagram’s new plan will give those more prominence. Mosseri writes that searching with a term like “space” will pull up suggested photo and video results along with traditional accounts and hashtags, encouraging more exploration. The visual results will still live behind a tap of a keyword, but they should be more prominent and common. (Mosseri demos the tweaked search experience at around 3:30 in this video.)
Instagram’s current keyword search is pretty hit or miss, however; it doesn’t always pull up results universally or with relevant collections of photos. That’s why Mosseri says the company is also expanding the number of terms that will pull up results, starting with English and then building out from there. When asked, Instagram wasn’t able to provide a specific launch date for the search improvements.