Instagram announced on Wednesday a new search system for its mobile app that will show suggestions for photos and videos instead of just user accounts, hashtags, and places. The feature, which is still under implementation, will make it easier to discover new posts about what the user is looking for — and looks a lot like what TikTok already offers.
The upcoming changes to Instagram’s search system were shared on the company’s official blog (via The Verge), in which it describes how search currently works and how Instagram wants to improve it. Currently, if you search for something on Instagram, you’ll only see a list with related profiles or hashtags, but no photo or video content is displayed.
What Instagram wants is to show photos and videos about what you’re looking for, which should let users discover new content that might be interesting to them. A screenshot demonstrating how Instagram’s new search will work has also been shared by the company, as you can see in the featured image of this article.
We’re also making search results better for exploration. For example, your search for “space” will show you space-related photos and videos, too. This is especially helpful when you don’t have an exact username or hashtag in mind when searching for a certain topic.
If this sounds familiar to you, that’s because this is exactly how the TikTok search works. There, you don’t have to search for a specific user. Users can simply search for a subject they like and then TikTok will show related videos. Of course, as TiKTok has become increasingly popular, it’s no surprise that Instagram wanted to follow the same path as its competing social network.
There’s no word on when the new search will be available to Instagram users, but the company suggests that it will be available first for English search results.