TIL: Instagram knows way too much about me.
This morning, Instagram unveiled an overhauled search experience featuring a slew of new ways to find what you’re looking for (and then some) on its photo-sharing platform. I took the new search and explore features for a spin and found out that I barely follow any of my friends on Instagram and that the heavy metal band Danzig is still trending.
The new search screen displays three sections: a rotating screen of curated content, trending tags, and an exploration of posts at the bottom. Here’s a breakdown of each section and the accompanying experience.
Scrolling through the Explore Posts section reveals a delightfully random selection of photos from all over Instagram. You can view these posts as either thumbnails or as a list.
The Discover People section is perhaps Instagram’s best new feature. It serves you a list of people to follow, along with six photos from their stream.
In my feed I saw accounts belonging to friends, brands, businesses in my neighborhood, ex-boyfriends (filter those out pls), a former boss, celebrities, and even that guy that my neighbor is kind of messing around with (how does Instagram know that we know each other???). It also surfaced some entirely new people for me to follow.
Scrolling through this feed, though, was strange. It felt like Instagram really knew my network in a way that it never did before. It wasn’t that Instagram knew who all my friends and acquaintances were; rather it was the surfacing of local businesses that really surprised me — though I shouldn’t be surprised that the Facebook machine knows where I live.
Instagram now has a series of curated collections, which include photos of extreme athletes, rocky landscapes, NBA rising stars, and trending places. The collections are fairly self-explanatory, featuring content concentrated on each of the specified categories.
There’s also a fourth section called Trending Places, which showcases locations people are ‘gramming the most. At last check, most Instagramers were posting about Madison Square Garden, Las Vegas, and Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Trending Tags is Instagram’s attempt at gauging the platform’s pulse. If you’ve ever wondered what most people on Instagram are posting about, trending tags has the answer. These seemed very random and oddly insightful.
For instance, National Pink Day is trending right now. I had no idea this was a cause worth celebrating. Thanks, Instagram!
Other important trending tags including #breakingbenjamin, #danzig (the band), and #pocahontas.
Overall the new search is a massive improvement from the old one, introducing whole new ways for you to get lost on Instagram.