Instagram just launched a test of a new feature called Map Search, which is currently available to users in Australia and New Zealand. Map Search is Instagram’s in-app map facility, with which users will be able to discover businesses and locations of their interest. It will further allow finding relevant information related to the listed businesses, and post public posts where the particular location is tagged.
The map icon is displayed at the top right of the Discover tab. Tapping on the icon will take you to Map Search, where restaurants and cafes will be listed primarily, followed by shops, entertainment venues and other locations.
Tapping on any of the new location markers will display further details about the place, such as its hours of operation, address, and price information. Links to the businesses’ IG profile will also be displayed, along with a grid display of public posts tagged with the location.
With Instagram making more and more efforts towards eCommerce, this is yet another addition to promote businesses by providing with a more direct connection to them via the platform. According to Instagram, more than 200 million businesses use the social platform each month and 90% of the users follow at least one business.
In addition to Map Search, Instagram is also bringing Location Stories to its platform, which is basically public Stories tagged with a location. These Stories will now appear on the map display as rounded images with the standard Stories ring around them. Location Stories isn’t a brand new feature of Instagram, as the company had once launched it in October last year, in an attempt to limit the spread of misinformation related to the presidential elections.
It is reported that Instagram will launch the test of Map Search to more regions in the future.