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Instagram Adds Stories to “Explore” with New Location and Hashtag Searches

One of the most fun features of Instagram is the app’s Explore section, which lets you find new content that matches your interests.

Instagram recommends posts you might like based on who you follow.

For me, for instance, the Explore tab consists of 95% cats and 5% baked goods :)

You can also search for new content, whether you want to search for a particular person, a hashtag, or a location.

This week, Instagram announced two new ways that they’re integrating stories into the Explore section: locations and hashtags.

These updates are rolling out over the coming weeks, as part of version 10.22 of the app.

Location-based stories will show up at the top of your Explore tab, showing stories near you.

Alternatively, you can search for any location and see a ring of stories for that area at the top of your search results. Instagram gathers these stories based on people using location stickers.

That means if you want your stories to show up in other people’s Explore searches, you should add a location sticker.

The new hashtag Explore option will work similarly. When you search for a hashtag, in addition to seeing top posts, you’ll see recent stories that have used that hashtag sticker. So go ahead and tag your stories if you want to get more views!

If your story does get added to a larger Explore story, you’ll be able to see it when you check your views.

The Explore story will be right at the top, showing how many views you received as part of that story.

You can also choose to opt out of a location or hashtag Explore story by tapping the x that shows up on your viewer list.

For those who enjoy Instagram stories, these new options should be a good way to check out new content relevant to your interests.

And for brands and other users who are always looking to connect with more people, the location and hashtag stickers should be a convenient way to rack up a few more views.


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