In­sta­gram adds real- time fea­tures

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By An­drea Chang an­drea. chang@ latimes. com

Com­ing to you live from In­sta­gram. The photo- shar­ing app an­nounced this week two im­proved func­tions that put the em­pha­sis on real time. The reimagined Ex­plore page fea­tures pop­u­lar hash­tags and places that high­light rel­e­vant, up- to- the- minute trends as they emerge. Mean­while, the more pow­er­ful search fea­ture makes it eas­ier for users to f ind the peo­ple, places and tags they’re look­ing for.

“With more than 70 mil­lion photos and videos posted to In­sta­gram ev­ery day, wher­ever some­thing is hap­pen­ing, chances are you can see it here,” In­sta­gram said.

In­sta­gram is one of the must- have apps for mo­bile users, giv­ing peo­ple ac­cess to a stream of photos from friends, fam­ily and celebri­ties they choose to fol­low. But dis­cov­er­ing new and timely con­tent has been con­fus­ing.

As a long­time In­sta­gram user, I’ve rarely touched the Ex­plore func­tion within the app be­cause it al­ways seemed to be an odd jum­ble of im­ages that largely didn’t ap­peal to me: baby pics, hu­mor posts, im­ages of ping­pong pad­dles.

In its an­nounce­ment, Face­book- owned In­sta­gram ac­knowl­edged that “there’s never been an easy way to find” com­pelling, timely im­ages. And that’s a prob­lem for the com­pany, par­tic­u­larly as more so­cial media apps high­light what’s hap­pen­ing at that ex­act mo­ment.

Venice- based Snapchat is the leader when it comes to ephemer­al­ity and has taken its own steps to ex­pand its app with more of a fo­cus on live con­tent. But Twit­ter, Periscope, Meerkat and Face­book too are very much in the live game, whether it’s broad­cast­ing live events or pro­mot­ing the latest trend­ing top­ics.

In­sta­gram’s new Ex­plore fea­ture is avail­able only to U. S. users for now, while the im­proved search func­tion rolled out to all users.

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