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The principle of Instagram search is quite simple – the social network relies on the keywords you use in the query to show the most relevant content.

How search works in Instagram

Also, there are three main factors that form the search results for a particular user:

The query text is the most important signal for searches. The social network tries to show results that contain the specified keyword: in the username, description, hashtags and places.

In-app actions – search results will be picked up based on what you’ve looked at recently, what accounts you’ve visited and how you’ve interacted with the content before. The accounts and hashtags you’re subscribed to or visiting are shown above.

Popularity. The more popular an account, hashtag, or location is, the higher it shows in search results. Also, the number of followers, views and likes affects the search results in Instagram. has all three at a surprisingly low price.

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Promoting in Instagram searches

Instagram also shares tips to help you boost your position in search results.

  1. Include keywords in your profile title. If you know what queries people use most often, try to include relevant keywords from those queries in your nickname and profile name.
  2. Include keywords and location in your profile bio. The principle is the same here. Your profile description should include the words that people are looking for you for. For example, if you provide repair services in the USA, it’s worth including the words [repair] and [USA] in your profile description.
  3. Use keywords and hashtags in your publications. To make your post searchable, insert keywords and hashtags in the publication itself, not in the comments.

It is worth noting here that search by post only works in English-speaking countries, but will soon begin to work in other languages. So, you need to be prepared and already make posts so that they can be found in search later.

Second – when searching, Instagram will not take hashtags into account in comments. Therefore, hashtags will need to be inserted into the post itself. Of course, this doesn’t mean that putting hashtags in posts will increase the reach of the publication, but given that it will increase the chances of appearing in search, it’s best to do just that.

Also, the article says that any accounts, posts and hashtags that go against social network rules (spamming, posting malicious content, etc.) will be excluded from search results or will be shown lower.

Instagram will soon introduce a search update and the social network will have full-fledged search results pages.

In addition, Instagram aims to show content not only based on keywords in the query, but also by meaning. For example, a search for “Space” for users in the U.S. will show space-related photos and videos. And in the example below, that query also shows a profile of astronaut Scott Kelly, even though the word “Space” is not in his name.

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How to search for a person on Instagram – the main ways

It would seem that searching for people on Instagram is a simple task that even a schoolboy can handle. But it’s not that easy if you don’t have enough information. In this article, we’re going to look at all the ways you can find a person’s Instagram account, knowing everything about him or nothing at all.

Internal Instagram nickname search

The easiest way to search for people is through the social network’s internal nickname search functionality.

Searching for users in Instagram is very simple. All you need to do is:

  • Sign in to the app.
  • Click on the magnifying glass icon located on the bottom taskbar.
  • Enter the user’s nickname in the search field.
  • Then the social network will give you everything it has for your query. The search results will be sorted by category. To find a person, you need to go to the “People” section by clicking on the appropriate icon under the search bar.
  • Already in the process of entering a nickname, Instagram will start giving you accounts and posts that match your search. If you know the exact nickname, perfect. If you don’t, don’t feel bad. It’s enough to know at least roughly or the first few letters.

Note also that this social network does not provide an opportunity to specify additional categories for searching users, such as gender, age, city of residence. Check IGInstant for more information.

Searching for people by city or place

It’s much harder to find a person on Instagram if you don’t know the nickname. In this case, a search by city or place can help.

Most Instagram users don’t hide their city of residence and also actively mark their location. If you know what city a person lives in or what places they often visit, you can use geo tags search.

To find a person by geo tags, you should:

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  1. Open the search page by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.
  2. Go to the “Places” section, located last in the top control panel under the search bar.
  3. Enter your request – country, city, street name, and more – into the search box.
  4. Click on the desired location. The search algorithm of the social network will give you a map, on which the given point will be marked. Under the map will be all the photos that are somehow related to the specified geodata.

Search by hashtags

If you know what hashtag the person you are looking for uses or have seen it under one of the publications, you can try to find the user by it.

With hashtags, everything is also very simple:

  1. Click on the search icon.
  2. In the top menu, select “Tags.
  3. In the search field, enter your query.

Finding a person in this way is quite difficult, because depending on the specified hashtag, the system may offer thousands and tens of thousands of publications posted with a similar tag.

In most cases, searching by hashtags is justified if you met the person at an event, know the place where he works or frequently vacations, or if you know his personal hashtag.

Recommended users

According to, the developers of the social network try to do everything possible so that interested users can easily find each other. To do this, the algorithm of the social network constantly selects for each user a list of recommended publications and people who may be of interest to him.

The principle of formation of recommendations is not disclosed. Most likely, there get those people who are closest to you, that is, they are liked and subscribed to by people from your subscriptions, your geodata are often the same and so on.

All this may help you find the right person on this list. The list of recommendations for subscription is opened automatically when you subscribe to a particular member or you can open it yourself by going to any member’s profile and clicking on the little arrow icon next to the “Subscribe” button.

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What to do if you can’t find the person

There are also times when you’re sure of the correct spelling of a nickname and you’ve already found a profile by it, but now Instagram doesn’t show it in the search. There can be two reasons for this:

  • The profile has been temporarily/forever blocked for violating the social platform’s terms of use;
  • The user has blocked you;
  • The user independently deleted their account from the social network.

In such a situation, there is nothing you can do except to search again in a few weeks in the hope that the account will be removed from the ban. If you have been blocked, you can view this profile from another Instagram page, as long as it is not publicly available.