Instagram hasn’t been big about pushing trends or famous users, but it’s focused on your network of people you follow. A new update is making the app more of a social network by featuring hashtags, users, and places all on the discover tab. The tab used to only surface photos and videos based on who you followed and the photos you’ve liked in the past. Now it’s about surfacing hashtags and trending photos or users.
If users tag their photos you can see all the photos from a trending place like Time Square in New York. The grid of photos based on location has been in the app, but it was hard to find a location to see what photos have posted. It will now show trending images based around events, which means you’ll have eyewitness photos and videos when something happens. “The new Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real-time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe,” the company wrote on its blog.
The update makes the discover tab more useful and really makes the Instagram app a place where you can kill hours instead of just a few minutes. The update is available for iOS and Android right now. The new features are limited to the United States right now, but will roll out to other countries as the company works to “fine tune the experience.”
Tell us in the comments below what you think about the new discover app!