Instagram’s latest update aims to make it easier for users to find local businesses or attractions by adding a searchable map that lets you “discover popular local businesses near you”, according to an Instagram Story from Mark Zuckerberg, The Verge reported.
The map will show you a list of places nearby and will let you see posts about a certain place or only certain types of business.
How do you get to the map? The Verge reported that there are a few ways to do that – if someone tags a place in a post or story, you can tap on the tag and hit “see location” to get to the location’s page. If you move around on the map, you’ll then be able to search the area to see what’s nearby. You can also search for places (including entire cities) in the Explore tab. Tabbing on a place search result will take you to it on the map.
The Verge also reported that after you have searched an area, you can use filters to narrow down the search result so you only see restaurants, bars, parks, or other types of places. You can save locations to check them out later.
TechCrunch reported that Instagram 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.
According to TechCrunch, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg posted on Instagram: “We’re introducing a new searchable map in IG today. You can now discover popular local businesses near you and filter by categories”. The post incudes what the map looks like. There is a “share” button at the top of the map, helpfully pointed out with an arrow that comes from the text.
Hashtag search is also available for local hashtags, such as #sanfrancisco. If your Instagram account is public, you can use location tags or stickers in your content to make it appear on the map for others to see.
Why is Instagram offering this feature now? According to TechCrunch, 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. Perhaps Instagram realized that they need their own, searchable, sharable, map for the young people who use its app.
The Searchable Map follows Instagram’s recent addition of allowing users to buy products from small businesses directly through the app. People can pay with Meta Pay and track their order in chat on Instagram in the US. The payment system is PayPal, which can sometimes be problematic for sellers who are hit by a scammer.