Over the past year Instagram has been working to reinvigorate the Explore tab, which is the app’s place for showing you personalized content. What started as a simple algorithm to determine photos you may enjoy has evolved into a full-fledged discovery platform to show you photos and videos that will want to make you spend more time in the app.
A major part off this initiative was Instagram’s “Picked For You” feature, which put 20 custom channels inside Explore based on topics Instagram thought you’re interested in. And while these channels could be entertaining, most of the content was evergreen and not based on a time-sensitive current event like a concert or sporting event, both of which are extremely popular types of content on social media in general.
So today Instagram is launching a new video channel within Explore called Events.
The channel will be personalized for each user and feature videos from concerts, sports games, and other live events depending on what’s happening around the world, what types of live events users are interested in, and what type of accounts the user follows.
Any real-life event can become an event inside Explore as long as it’s popular enough amongst users and there is enough content to create a channel.
Like other explore channels, content will be sourced from users (who take video and tag it with the event location), meaning the video you take of your favorite band could be featured to users around the world.
Customized event channels seem like a great way for Instagram to compete with Snapchat’s discover channels, which also features curated users-generated videos from major events around the world.
But because Snapchat’s discover channels are still curated by hand, there’s a limit to how personalized the channels can be.
For example, a Snapchat channel on Coachella definitely isn’t interesting to every user on the platform. But if Instagram can show a Coachella channel specifically to people who follow music festival accounts they will have a much better shot at actually getting those people to spend time watching the content.
Events will launch today in the U.S for now, and should roll out to users in other countries soon.