Instagram gets more Twitter-y with trending photos

A new photo feed highlights popular events and places from around the world

Instagram's app

Instagram's app

Instagram, the popular app for sharing photos with friends, is broadening the reach of those photos.

On Tuesday, the Facebook-owned app significantly expanded its service with new features around search and trending topics. The changes are aimed at letting users discover photos and videos related to popular events and places, and letting users more easily find photos taken in particular places.

The changes are aimed at making Instagram not just an app to see friends' photos, but an app for seeing other people's photos related to local or global events. The changes put Instagram's app more squarely in competition with Twitter, already known for its real-time feed of tweets around events, including photos and videos.

Users can access the changes to Instagram by tapping the magnifying glass icon in the app. On that page, the feed will feature trends as they happen in real time. On Tuesday, the new Trending Places feed included photos taken in various locales in and around San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York City and the SeaWorld theme park in Orlando, Florida.

The changes also include trending hashtags that users can click on, which on Tuesday included tags for the Coachella music festival, the upcoming Independence Day holiday, and the recent death of film composer James Horner.

There are also curated feeds of photos that Instagram says it will update regularly. On Tuesday, those feeds included photos and videos of extreme athletes and towering rocks.

The new search function, meanwhile, lets users search for specific places. It unifies the app's various modes of search across people, places and hashtags.

Instagram's curated feeds will initially roll out only in the U.S., while the search function is available to all users worldwide. The changes apply to Instagram's app on iOS and Android.

With more than 300 million users who log in monthly, Instagram has grown massively since Facebook paid US$1 billion to buy the mobile photo service in 2012. Instagram had about 80 million users three months after the acquisition.

Facebook has been slow to place ads in the app, only recently expanding the types of photo and video advertisements available to marketers.

The new features announced Tuesday could eventually become a platform for brands to place ads tied to relevant places or events. Instagram rival Snapchat already does something similar through its live events feed, which lets marketers pay to promote their brands with photos and videos taken by users during live events.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetsearch enginesvideomobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesInstagram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?