Instagram is tapping into aggregating its own live and viral coverage. The photo-sharing app updated its "Explore" page to highlight trending hashtags and places, the company announced in a blog post.
The new page lets Instagram users discover content -- as in photos posted on the app -- based on what hashtags are trending on the network, and it feeds curated content by the Instagram community. For example, the debut featured a feed called "The First Debate," which showed the verified Instagram accounts of 2016 presidential contenders, including scottwalker, cruzforpresident and marcorubiofla.
"The new Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe," the blog post reads.
Live content has been a crucial feature of Facebook and Twitter. Microblogging site Twitter popularized the hashtag, and Facebook later mimicked with trending topics accessible on the side of the desktop version of Facebook and on the search function of the mobile app. Twitter has planned to introduce more human curation into its live events with its "Project Lightning" initiative. Now, Facebook-owned Instagram is pulling from the live conversation. And beyond Facebook and Twitter, the app primarily relies on visuals-based feeds.
"Rich visual content captures everyone's unique take -- not just what the community is talking about, but also what they're doing and seeing," Instagram's blog post reads.
As the blog emphasizes, the feeds that the Instagram team collects will be "curated." The "Explore" tab will regularly feature content from accounts and places the app deems interesting. Other than "First Debate," Instagram's update included collections from "Intrepid Roadtrippers," "Milan's World Expo," and "New People."
Instagram introduced as well more search functions in the update. The app now allows users to check public Instagram content based on location. That function seems to mimic Facebook's own entry into live events as unveiled over the weekend at the Lollapalooza music festival, and what Snapchat has been doing with "Live Stories" -- a curation of user-submitted photos and videos -- since June 2014.
Instagram has 300 million active users, as reported by Facebook's second-quarter earnings call in July. More than 70 million photos and videos are posted each day to the app. The social networking giant has recently introduced more money-making strategies to the app. On Tuesday, the company introduced a new ad-making tool for brands.