Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company is introducing a new searchable and dynamic map experience on Instagram. The updated map experience will allow users to explore popular tagged locations around them and filter location results by specific categories including restaurants, cafes and beauty salons.
Prior to this update, the map experience on Instagram only included posts. With this new update, users can search the map, access filtering options and move the map around to look at what’s nearby. Meta says the new map is now available on Instagram.
The company says the new searchable map allows users to have a more immersive experience when finding popular locations and businesses around them via tagged posts, stories and guides. You can also find relevant locations on the map when searching certain hashtags.
“We’re introducing a new searchable map on IG today,” Zuckerberg said in an Instagram story about the announcement. “You can now discover popular local businesses near you and filter by category.”
You can discover a new place by tapping location tags in posts on your Feed or in Stories. You can also search the name of a city, neighborhood or place on the Explore page. Instagram also notes that Hashtag search is available for local hashtags, such as “#sanfrancisco.” You can also browse recent stories, top posts and relevant guides of tagged locations to learn more.
If you find a location that you’re interested in, you can save it and revisit it in the future. You can also share places via direct messages to friends or groups. In addition, if your profile is public, you can use location tags or stickers in your content to make it appear on the map for others to see. It’s worth noting that Snapchat offers a similar feature that allows you to post public stories attached to a specific location.
The launch of the new searchable map comes as Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan somewhat offhandedly noted that younger users are now often turning to apps like Instagram and TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps for discovery purposes. He noted that young users don’t tend to type in keywords but rather look to discover content in new and immersive ways.
By rolling out a more intuitive and dynamic map experience, Instagram will possibly be able to cut even more into Google’s core products by making the location discovery process on its app easier for users.