Instagram Update Scraps Popularity for Explore Tab

Instagram’s latest 2.5 update has swapped out their “popular” tab for a new “explore” feature which allows users to browse photos based on users and hashtags — it’s a more functional search system. Now, instead of seeing photos that have the most likes, users can search for hashtags based on events and topics, which also makes it possible for users to have wider circulation of their images.

The photo app has also been promoting a community use of the hashtag on their blog, which suggests weekend hashtag projects — most recently, #handmadeletters, pictured above and other featured hashtags.

Username searches are also easier under the Explore section with the username autocomplete feature for on people you follow.

Interestingly, the logo for the Explore section looks a lot like a compass — which begs us to speculate that Instagram might also add a search based on location, which would make sense given their existing partnership with Foursquare when geotagging photos.

This is the first major update that Instagram has made since Facebook acquired it for $1.01 billion in April this year, so a new Facebook feature is no surprise: you can now share your Instagram likes to your Facebook.

The updated app also feels slightly faster and has a subtle feature that allows you to touch and hold on the camera button to get directly to the camera roll — one less click than before.

  • BriggsBrandon

    Most of us love the idea of earning extra income or quitting our full-time jobs altogether and working from home. But aren’t all the home-based opportunities just scams? I have one trusted money making campaign, ===⇛⇛⇛⇛►Get the webpage at my profile to read the information in details.

  • mishobaranovic

    More a rebrand with added functionality.  The photos shown in Explore are still the same old Popular page photos (cats, boobs and d-list celebrities).  All they’ve done is combine it with the search function that was previously buried on your profile tab. 

  • Wallerus

    True, the popular page should just be an Explore page like Flickr’s interestingness page. Wasted button for me, but that’s just me.

  • sara

    I hate the explore page!!! I WAN’T the popular page back!!!

  • @saylermarz

    I don’t think it’s so bad….but now what do I do when I’m bored on ig? ….explore I guess lol

    Check out my photos @saylermarz

  • Alana

    I feel like the new update is a step backwards. We had both before now we only have one? Nonsense.

  • Hal

    Instagram used to be about cool photos. Update or not, and whatever they’ve renamed the popular page, it’s awash with mostly awful photos.