Instagram has finally achieved what they’ve set out to do. With their revamped search and explore features, users are able to view images of events in action and more easily browse through hashtags and geotags.
Cofounder and CEO, Kevin Systrom told Wired that, “This is our North Star–what we’ve been shooting for all along.” He describes it as, “A real-time visual pulse for what is happening in the world.”
The new Explore page (accessed by clicking the magnifying glass on the nav bar) offers three ways to browse content. First, trending places are displayed in a box across the top of the screen showing the most attention-grabbing and/or nearby events to your location. Second, users can swipe to see “curated collections” of images from the community’s most popular feeds, chosen by Instagram’s team. And third, the app will showcase and promote trending hashtags in the center of the page. The bottom portion of the Explore page will remain a collage of eye-catching images, with a new ease of accessing one photo to the next — rather than returning back to the Explore page in-between.
Their upgraded tool will let Instagrammers not only search by people or hashtag, as it does currently, but by places, as well –results will show all three categories in one place.
The new Explore page will be available to US users only, at first, prior to rolling out a more powerful search engine globally. Systrom said the new features make for, “A 100 percent visual experience that is more efficient than TV.”
Systrom with cofounder Mike Krieger exemplified the reach of Instagram with Hurricane Sandy. Not only did media outlets feature Insta-posts as part of their storm coverage, but the first place to cover what was happening ‘on the ground’ was Instagram, pooling images under the related hashtags.
The goal, essentially, is for Instagram to overtake Twitter as the primary source for news and information. Think it’ll succeed?