Instagram's New Feature Is Super Cool

by Kaitlyn Wylde

If your favorite thing to do on Instagram is explore people and places you don't yet know or haven't been, you're going to be obsessed with Instagram's new location and hashtag Explore stories feature, which begun rolling out on May 23. Whether you're thinking about trying out a restaurant and want to see what the food looks like before you make a reservation or if you're thinking about visiting a new city and want to check out the vibe before you book plane tickets, the Instagram Explore page is a great place to do just that. Of course, the folks over at Instagram know that while we love the app for social purposes, it's an amazing resource tool — so they've brought us this awesome new feature.

With the new feature, you'll be able to access local stories in your explore page of people you don't follow (for instance, if you live in NYC, you'll see the "New York City" story, which will be a collection of Instagram stories from Instagram users who have tagged their stories in NYC) and you'll be able to share your own stories publicly by using location tagging or hashtags.

For example, let's say you take a story video of your dog and add the hashtag #puppiesofinstagram. Other people will then be able to find your story (so long as you keep it public) when searching for that very hashtag. Here's what it will look like for them when they search:


See how the photo above the hashtag has a story capability? Clicking that will show you everyone's stories tagged with that hashtag!

Additionally, when if you location tag your story, it will become available on individual location pages for people to watch(so long as you keep your post public and not hidden). So, let's say you're headed to New York on a business trip and are looking for some suggestions for how to spend your free time, and are thinking of trying out a new restaurant. For the purposes of this example, let's say it's The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. Instead of losing hours searching things online, just head to Instagram, search for The Loeb Boathouse, and watch their public story. Everyone who has taken a public story and tagged the location there will show up, and you'll get to check out the vibe from the comfort of your own phone!


When you post pictures and videos to your story and use hashtags and location stickers, you have the opportunity to add to the resource and help other people out. The more you share, the more you encourage other people to share and the larger the resource pool becomes. And the best part about using Instagram as a source is that you know that the content is genuine. You can use hashtags and location pins to really assess things accurately. Whether it's how a certain clothing item looks on a person or what a dish looks like without fancy lighting, referring to Instagram as a true source is super reliable.

So start pinning and tagging and add your own content to the pool!