Evolution continues at a rattling pace at Instragam. Following last month's announcement of a major upgrade to Instagram's mobile search functionality - making it easier for users to find trending, location and theme based content - the Facebook-owned image platform has unveiled a similar upgrade to its desktop experience. Similar, though not the same, but either way, a range of new search and discovery options have been provided for desktop users - which is significant, considering they didn't even bother to have a desktop version of the app when they first launched. It also means that a range of third party Instagram apps that had been developed to plug this gap in search capability may now be rendered obsolete.
Expanding the Search
From today, when you go to the Instagram website, you'll be able to search via hashtag, location or user name for specific accounts. To do this, you simply enter your search terms via a new search bar at the top of the screen:
When you enter your search term/s, Instagram will come up with a list of suggestions matching your query:
Searching for a hashtag will bring up all images related to that tag, making it easier to find trending or related content:
Searching for accounts functions in the same way - Instagram's search will find matches based on the terms entered:
Location-based search enables you to enter any location and see what images have been posted in that location, utilizing Instagram's geo-tagging functionality:
Once you click through, the main image becomes a map with the searched location pin-pointed, with Instagram images taken at and around that location shown below:
It's a good looking an functional update, and one which will make it much easier for more people to find content - which is important, as it will widen the overall utilization of the platform, bringing more eyes to Instagram images. And more eyes means more ad dollars, in the long run.
The additional of desktop search functionality is a smart move by Instagram, and very much in line with their push to further monetize the platform. Just last week, they announced the appointment of former Lucky editor Eva Chen as their new head of fashion partnerships, a move to establish firmer ties with the fashion industry, and they've been adding more and more new features to the network over the last few months, including their much discussed "shop now" buttons which will enable users to buy products in-stream.
While the vast majority of Instagram users access the network via mobile, catering for desktop users expands the site's utility and ensures they're able to capitalize on all opportunities and avenues. And clearly there are desktop users - last month alone, embedded Instagram posts generated more than 5.3 billion impressions.
These latest changes will help continue the expansion of the fastest growing social media platform in the world right now and advance yet another piece of the ever-expanding Facebook empire that little bit further, inching along on their mission for total internet domination. Or it's a just a handy addition to an exceedingly popular app, you decide.
Main image via Evan Lorne / Shutterstock