Scrolling through your own friends' Instagram posts and watching their Stories can be entertaining for a while, but let's be real: There's a whole great big world out there well beyond or friend's cousin's bachelorette party and your college roommate's Sunday brunch. And Instagram just made it much easier to literally tap into its more global community with its brand new location Stories feature. By curating user-generated content added to the app from all around the globe, Instagram's location Stories allow you to become a world traveler and uncover new favorite spots in your own city without ever leaving the couch — and it uses your (public) content to help others do the same. To make sure you're giving as well as receiving, here's how to add your Instagram to location stories.
Instagram unveiled the location stories feature Tuesday, along with the upcoming hashtag stories feature. With these two new additions to the app's Explore tab, Instagram aims to use algorithms to create a personalized stream of content based on an individual 'grammer's demonstrated interests within the site. To do that on the location front, Instagram is rolling out the capacity to compile Stories pegged to specific locations — whether it be cities, landmarks, or local businesses — for users to peruse.
Here's how it works, according to The Verge: Users will see "rings" at the top of their Explore pages representing physical locations near them — a "Pittsburgh" ring will appear if they're in Pittsburgh, for example. Once opened, these Stories will display any public, user-generated content posted with the corresponding location sticker. They can also search locations to check out what's going on in, say, Portland, or Buenos Aires or Nairobi. As Bustle's Megan Shepherd pointed out, thumbing through the resulting digital collage of photos and videos is an excellent way for travelers to get to know a city like a local and evaluate the vibe of a bar, restaurant, or venue in real time before heading over.
Undoubtedly, though, there will be times when it's you who's discovered the cutest winery on the West Coast or stumbled across a prime vintage store in Athens, Ohio. In documenting those experiences, you may want to make sure that you're sharing the knowledge by making sure that your posts go into location Stories, too. Fortunately, it's a really easy process; in fact, chances are you won't have to do much (if anything) differently than you are now.
First, make sure that your account is set to public. Then add a location sticker to your post or video, and voilá. Your content is now eligible to be included in a location Story. To see whether it did appear in one, just check for the name of a location page in who's seen your story. And never fear if you decide you'd rather not share your photo or video with the public on the Story; simply tapping the X on the right hand side of the page will hide your post from the Story.
Instagram's location Stories feature has been rolling out since Tuesday, so keep an eye out for this new way to see and be seen in the world.