Instagram has announced two new features that are designed to make stories easier to discover. The new features make it possible to find stories through both locations and hashtags.
Available now via the Instagram mobile apps, a location ring for stories that have been posted close by has been added to the Explore section. Users can find stories from their area, discovering new events that are happening where they live.
In addition to the new ring that displays local stories, it is also possible to search for other locations.
Instagram is also in the process of developing better support for hashtags. Soon some hashtag searches will contain a ring that features relevant stories.
In order for a story to have a chance of inclusion in the new larger stories, it must contain either a hashtag or location sticker.
However, a story can still include hashtags and location stickers yet be excluded from the larger stories, if desired. This can be achieved simply by tapping on the ‘X within the stories viewer list.