Instagram location maps are now searchable, making it easier to discover places and businesses in your geographic area.
This update allows Instagram Maps to find popular businesses near you and filter businesses by categories.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shares an example of the new Maps experience, which you can see below:
Previously, the map experience on Instagram was limited to discovering posts tagged with nearby locations.
You can now discover official Instagram accounts for points of interest via the map.
Finding businesses on the Instagram Map is as simple as searching for a city name and dragging the map around.
When you find a site you’re interested in, you can save it for future reference or follow the Instagram account to keep it top of mind.
This update gives businesses an incentive to create and maintain an active presence on Instagram.
Locations are not pre-populated or submitted by the user, as they are in Google Maps. As a business, the only way to find an Instagram map is to have a professional account filled in with your contact information.
Instagram searchable maps vs. Google Business Profiles
In practice, the new Instagram Maps experience is like discovering Google Business profiles on Google Maps.
The Instagram experience is more engaging in some ways, as you can view and interact with all kinds of visual content posted by the company directly.
You can also see content shared by other customers, provided they add the appropriate site tag. The only thing the experience lacks is customer reviews.
Making Instagram Maps searchable is an important update for businesses. This comes as increasingly younger web users are turning to Google alternatives for their search needs.
Even Google acknowledges the shift in search behaviour. Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan Mentioned at a conference Earlier this month:
“In our studies, nearly 40% of young adults, when they are looking for a place to have lunch, don’t go to Google Maps or search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
Social networks like Instagram and TikTok are quickly becoming search engines in their own right, which makes the business case for social media use even stronger.
If you suddenly see an influx of new customers entering your organization, they may find you on the Instagram Map.
Featured image: Worawee Meepian / Shutterstock