Instagram is personalising the Explore section by introducing categories and relevant hashtags
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Facebook-owned Instagram’s Explore section will go through a sea change over the coming weeks. The update was announced at its two-day annual developer conference, F8 which took place in San Jose, California on 1 May.
Currently, the Explore section in Instagram is a messed up collection of photos, videos, and GIFs which are arranged in a random manner, based on your Instagram usage. The collection as of now does not have a set pattern and shows nearly everything and anything without keeping the user’s choice in mind. So say if you generally follow accounts to do with photography, travel, celebrities and so on, the Explore tab will show you images relevant to these categories, as well as random accounts you friends have followed (in the hope that you will follow them too). What it leaves you with is this mess of a grid.
This section is on its way to becoming clean and organised. According to the screenshot shared by Facebook in its blog post, this section will now see tiles of various categories instead of Stories. These categories will show posts which are relevant to that category. It is not certain if the user can choose those categories. In the screenshot, the categories available are of animals, photography, architecture.
The second feature is of hashtags which appear below the chosen category. The user can see relevant hashtags related to that category.
This redesigned version was tested a few weeks where it was observed that the posts without hashtags appeared in these categories. It has been speculated that Instagram could be using machine learning to filter pictures which do not have hashtags.
Apart from this, it was also reported that a separate 'For You' section would also be seen, where various curated posts will appear to the user.
To select the category, the user can swipe right or left on the tabs. Each category on the top will have its own grid which is organised.
It has been announced that the feature will be rolled out in the coming weeks.