Instagram updates Explore with new location and hashtag stories

Instagram’s Explore tab already features search and discovery for finding new photos and videos on the service, and now the social network is introducing new location and hashtag stories.

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. Hashtag stories will appear from search results and include stories that use specific hashtag stickers.

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You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. These stories come from people who have used location stickers on their stories. You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.

These new story features pull from everyone using geolocation stickers and hashtag stickers in stories, and Instagram says you could be included in the group story as well when using location and hashtag stickers.

Of course that also means there needs to be a way to opt out if your account is public but you don’t want your stories included with hashtag and location stories that are more discoverable. Here’s how:

If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list.

Instagram says the new location stories feature is a part of version 10.22 for both iOS and Android, while hashtag stories will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

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