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Instagram adds hashtags, brands already love them

Instagram hashtagInstagram -- the app all the cool kids with iPhones use to snap, filter, and share pictures -- has received an update yesterday that adds support for hashtags. These work in a similar fashion to the way they do on Twitter. You can tag a photo you share by adding a hashtag either in the caption or comment field. Each hashtag gets its own page , which you can get to by clicking on a hashtag underneath a photo you're viewing or searching for hashtags using the new search functionality that you can find after you tap on your account name in the app.

Each tag even has its own RSS feed that you can subscribe to, if you wish -- these are available by replacing "yourhashtag" from the following URL with the name of the tag you want to follow:

Basically, an Instagram hashtag is much like a photo album, only anyone can easily add pictures to it. And brands seem to love the new functionality. Instagram has partnered with Charity: Water, Brisk Iced Tea, NPR, and many others, who have already launched their own hashtag campaigns. For example, Charity:Water is asking Instagram users to tag pictures of water in their life by using #charitywater. In the future, expect many more brands to hop on this bandwagon, since it provides them with a very cheap way to promote themselves and their offerings.

Download Instagram with hashtag support from the iTunes App Store

Tags: apps, hashtags, instagram, IOS, photography