Instagram’s ‘Explore’ section is getting a makeover

Instagram is getting a revamped “Explore” section to improve discovery, the company announced this morning during the keynote address at Facebook’s F8 developer conference. The update will better organize its suggestions into topical channels based on your own interests and tastes, so you can more easily find the type of content you’re looking for.

Before, you would scroll down on the Explore page to find groups of photos and videos tied to a particular theme you may¬† like. In the updated Explore section, however, you’ll instead find buttons in a scrollable, horizontal row across the top of the page – which gets you to the topic you want to browse more quickly.

The company offered a preview of the new look for Explore on stage, showing how the page would now work.

As you’re browsing the page and land on one of the buttons – for example, “Animals” – you’ll see a set of related hashtags underneath – like “#dogsofinstagram” or “thedailykitten,” in the case of this example.

Instagram had launched the ability to follow hashtags in December, and says the feature has become a popular way people interact with Instagram content. More than 100 million people around the world now follow hashtags the company said.

In addition, millions use Explore to find content, so it makes sense to further develop this section to connect people to hashtags they’ll like.

Under the hood, the new Explore section is powered by artificial intelligence, which is being augmented with content classification and curation signals from the Instagram community to make the experience more personalized.

But as users happen upon content that’s from more public figures and accounts, they may not always act appropriately – leaving harassing or bullying messages.

Instagram says it’s addressing this with the launch of a new “bullying filter” which will hide language that’s used to harass and upset people. This filter is based on machine learning technology, and expands on Instagram’s earlier efforts with comment filtering technology.

The new Explore will be rolling out over the coming weeks.