A new Instagram update is making the photo-sharing service more social network-y than ever. In an effort to highlight hashtags, users and places, the service has completely redesigned its Explore tab, making discovery a big component of the Instagram experience. If you’ve ever found yourself endlessly perusing the service’s infinite library of photos, the new Explore will make it easier than ever to turn 5 quick minutes of boredom into a few hours of photo-peeping.
The “explore posts” section is still there, complemented by trending places and tags, such as #arkhamknight, #nationalpinkday, and more. The update is localized to the U.S. for now, though it’ll probably become available on a wider scale later in the year. When you click on a trending place (or geographical marvel, such as “towering rocks”), you’ll see a grid of photos based on location.
Clicking on towering rocks will bring up a number of locations, such as Bryce Canyon, The Wave in Arizona, Arches National Park and more. It’s an easy way to explore the world right from your pocket.
While the new features are great, it would be even better if there was a nearby option to see what’s trending in your neighborhood. Perhaps it’s a feature that will be added later.
The new features are a great way to explore the world and see what other users beyond your own feed are posting. The Explore part of Instagram was always a nebulous section filled with pictures you may or may not like. With the update, it’ll be easier to search and discover photos based on location factors, such as tags and people.
The update is rolling out for both iOS and Android.