Instagram adds location and hashtag stories to Explore tab


Facebook Inc.'s apps, including Instagram, have broadly copied Snapchat's popular "stories" feature, where people can upload video clips of their day that can be viewed for 24 hours.

The new location stories will appear when you're near that current location and other Instagram users are posting with the format and tagging location.

The photo and video sharing app said the new feature will also enable "friends of friends" who are nearby to contribute and view the Story using location-based technology called geofencing. The snaps will be seen to those who are invited or allowed to see the story which is the custom feature of Snapchat.

The update started rolling out to users Tuesday and many were already using it. Then yesterday we spotted Location Stories appearing in Explore and predicted that Story Search would come next.

Check out the new feature in action, with help from Victoria's Secret models Jasmine Tookes and Martha Hunt, natch... You can also invite nearby Snapchat users to participate if it's, say, a public event, like a high school prom or college graduation. To try it, all you have to do is click the "Create Story" icon located on the top-right corner of your page.

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The Story roundup will contain any and all stories from people around you.

The Instagram "Explore" page now shows you top posts, a map and the story for the location you search.

TechCrunch broke the news about Instagram testing Location Stories last week.

How you can tell if your photo or video was added to a location or hashtag Story. But once you do submit it, Snapchat will look at the text captions, emojis, stickers, lenses, geolocation, and meta data plus use machine vision to detect objects or scenes in the Snap to algorithmically index it for search.

The update comes as Snapchat's user growth is slowing amid a heated battle with the Facebook-owned Instagram. Now, the app stands to lure even more users to its Stories as the feature as users can now effectively find and watch new Stories for as long as they want.