Instagram's new Explore section features Trending Places and Hastags as well as curated selections of user accountsInstagram
Instagram's new Explore section features Trending Places and Hastags as well as curated selections of user accounts
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Instagram's New Search Update Makes it Easier to Explore the World

Jun 23, 2015
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Instagram's new update makes it easier to search the 70 million photos uploaded to the photo-sharing app each day.

While the shooting and sharing experiences remain untouched in version 7.0, Instagram has boosted its search capabilities, offering users a new way to discover the trending and most recent photos posted from any places, cities and countries around the world.

"Wherever something is happening, chances are you can see it here," says Instagram in a blog post published on Tuesday. "With the new Places Search, you can now peer in at just about any location on earth, allowing you to scout out your next vacation spot in the South Pacific, get a look inside that hot new restaurant or experience your favorite music festival even if you couldn’t make it this year."

The app also has a redesigned Explore feature, which will now present trending tags and trending places. When TIME tested the new feature last week, Donald Trump had just announced his candidacy for President, and the hashtag #DonaldTrump was already trending on Instagram with photos of his stump speech.

In the past, only content that had accumulated the most Likes appeared on users’ Explore tab. In April of last year, Instagram started incorporating personalized content including photos and videos “that people you follow have liked,” the company said then.

The Explore section also includes two curated sections around photographers (the best extreme sports Instagram users, for example) and interests (beautiful bridges or natural wonders). These sections will be updated twice a week by a team of in-house editors, says Instagram.

The new features, which are only available in the U.S., are the result of a year’s worth of work, according to the Facebook-owned company. They will also appeal to media organizations that have been clamoring for an easier way to unearth newsworthy photos as they are posted to the service.

The update comes a month after Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger appeared at the Wired Business Conference in San Francisco, Ca. During an on-stage interview, Krieger professed that search would unlock the social sharing app’s full potential. “There’s a lot more we need to do to make news discoverable, to make what’s going on in the world accessible,” he said at the time.

Instagram 7.0 is available now on iOS and Android.

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