Instagram 7.0, now available for iOS and Android devices, has reimagined its “search” and “explore” tools — two areas where the app’s efforts have been described by experts as lackluster.
In order to capture moments in real time and more deeply connect Instagram’s more than 300 million users, the explore page will begin to list trending tags, trending places and have curated content that changes weekly. The curated content can range from trends and street style during Fashion Week to sports during major events like next summer’s Olympics. Within trending tags and places, there is the option to search by the most liked or most recent images and video.
The update could make Instagram more relevant as a real-time platform, with content on the explore page updating every few minutes. The approach is similar to Twitter’s trending hashtags and gives Instagram a way of aggregating its most popular content and presenting it to the community in an easy-to-consume format.
According to the Facebook-owned company, 70 million photos and videos are posted to the platform every day.
To date, the search functionality was limited, allowing users to only search by name or hashtag. Before the update, it was easy to miss content that might be of interest if it wasn’t posted by someone you follow or someone one of your friends follow. For example, if someone predominantly follows designers, brands, influencers, stylists and models within the fashion industry, its unlikely they might discover an up-and-coming band.
The new search feature has three parameters — people, tags or places — or the option to do a broader search that encompasses all three. This will double search tabs from two to four.
The search update is available worldwide, and the explore page will only roll out in the U.S. to start.