Instagram Stories Hashtag Search Feature Could Increase Trademarks

Instagram on Tuesday launched the ability to search by location and hashtag, and view related content from shared videos in Instagram posts made public within the past 24 hours.

Last year, Instagram launched "stories" in which app users could publish videos that disappears within a day. Until today the search for content by location and hashtag was limited to posts on the main feed.

Location stories and hashtag stories let users explore "what's happening around you and find stories related to your interests," according to the Instagram blog.

Since hashtags have become the method for brands to call out and locate information on specific topics, marketers have become more serious about trademarking a hashtag that exemplifies their brand.

Trademarking of hashtags grew 64% globally in 2016 compared with the previous year, according to research from CompuMark, which helps brands protect their trademarks.

Colombian-based broadcaster RCN Television S.A., with 50 registrations related to its Grita Gol football programming, applied for the most hashtag trademark applications that year.

Since the first trademark application for a hashtag was made in 2010, there have been more than 5,000 applications, 2,200 of them in 2016. Some of those include registrations from well-known international brands such as Marriott's #lovetravels, T-Mobile's #getthanked, and Hershey's #gofor2.

The research also shows that while global hashtag trademark applications are on the rise and the U.S. remains the leader in applications -- with 33% since 2010 -- the country’s total share of applications in 2016 fell to 28% compared with 35% in 2015.

The data shows that the United States remains the top register of hashtag trademarks in 2016 with 608, followed by Brazil with 226 and India with 141.

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