Today we’re excited to take another step towards making it easier for people to share their lives through photos. Introducing hashtags, now supported in the latest version of Instagram.

Yes, they work similarly to Twitter hashtags, but reinvented from the perspective of an Instagram user. Now, you can add hashtags to any of your own photos by including a hashtag in the caption of your photo or in a comment. Anyone can then tap on the hashtag in your comment to see all photos with the same hashtag.

Want to see what’s going on right now at the Sundance film festival? Check out the #sundance page, where you can browse through photos taken during this year’s festival. Better yet, if you happen to be there, just start adding #sundance to your captions, then tap on the hashtag below your photo to view all #sundance photos, including your own. This feature allows for everyone from you and your friends to strangers at a conference to contribute to an ever-growing pool of photos organized by hashtag.

As a bonus, every hashtag now has an RSS Feed associated with it, which makes it easy to subscribe to new photos. If you’re interested, simply point your favorite feed reader to http://instagr.am/tags/[hashtag name]/feed/recent.rss (where [hashtag name] is the name of the hashtag without the leading #). This will allow event organizers or anyone with a feed reader to follow along with live photos as they’re added.

You can also search for tagged photos by tapping Profile tab > Search Instagram > Tags. Try searching for #streetart to check out a great collection of street art users have started documenting.

Today, we’d also like to announce that some folks on Instagram have decided to use the new feature in some really cool ways:

Charity: Water - #charitywater

Charity: Water (@charitywater), which brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, is encouraging users to share images of water in their life using the hashtag #charitywater

Brisk Iced Tea - #briskpic

Want your Instagram photo featured on a limited edition can of Brisk (@brisk) at SXSW? Just tag your photo with #briskpic for a chance to be included. Check out the entries at briskpic.com

NPR - #love & #hate

NPR’s social media desk (@npr) wants people to upload photos capturing the ideas #love and #hate, respectively

Photojojo - #winphotowin

Photojojo (@photojojo) is giving away their amazing cell phone lenses to one random photo tagged with #winphotowin

@joshjohnson - #jjchallenge

Instagram user @joshjohnson is teaming up with Hatchcraft (@hatchcraft) on a Lomo-filter challenge — tag your best photos that use the Lomo filter with #jjchallenge to enter for a chance to win your Instagram photo printed out and framed in one of Hatchcraft’s beautiful bamboo shadow box frames

To learn more about how hashtags work, check out our FAQs.