Everything You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Explore Features

Posted on 14 Jun 2017   |   Filed under

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Explore Features

By Sophie Lowe

Over 1 million businesses use Instagram to advertise their products and services worldwide.

So, you won’t be surprised to learn that a lot of people use Instagram to search for local businesses. While there aren’t any definitive statistics available to show the number of searches on Instagram, there are countless success stories about businesses being found by Instagram users, leading to sales.

As of this month, Instagram has now added ‘Location Stories’ to the ‘Explore’ tab, which allows users to share posts from nearby or specific locations that they’re interested in. 

Snapchat has the same feature, called “Our Story,” and pulls in user photos and videos tied to specific locations or events, like concerts or sports events.

Instagram, however, is going to pull all of these ‘Stories’ together using only software algorithms instead of human curators. It means you get access to a collaborative slideshow of ‘Stories’ which have a location sticker. This lets you see Stories from strangers to get a sense for what’s happening at a certain place, such as Hyde Park in the last 24 hours, like the weather, events going on or how many people are there.

All you need to do is ensure that you’ve updated Instagram to the most recent version and you will start seeing Location Stories alongside the normal stories at the top of your feed. 

Location Stories will have a small location pin next to it to make it easily accessible and recognisable. Simply tap on the story and you will be able to view posts that were tagged in that location by either an Instagram location sticker or through location data. You can also search for location based stories in the search bar for specific locations. 

To distinguish itself from Snapchat, Instagram has additionally created Hashtag Stories which works in a similar way except that it works for particular hashtags. For example, search ‘#Instagram’, and a relevant Hashtag Story should appear. 

Among the additional features from the latest update are ‘face filters’, which are an imitation of Snapchat’s original filters. 

From a business point of view, by allowing people to search for and watch Stories related to anything, Instagram will boost viewing time, and businesses can serve their ads inside these searched ‘stories’. 

Instagram may now go on to let businesses pay to curate their location or brand story, or include promotional material.

If you are interested in finding more about how to grow an existing Instagram business account or create and grow a new one, contact one of our team at SCS Marketing & PR on +44 (0) 1252 621 293 or email info@scsmarketingandpr.co.uk 

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