Joe Meloni

TechCrunch recently reported that photo-sharing app Instagram has rolled out a series of new features and tools for its users in an attempt to become more social. Previously, the app allowed users to take photos, alter them with retro-inspired effects and share to social networks. The new features include an Explore capability that enables users to search the network for specific users and hashtags, which could fuel discovery among brands posting Instagram images.

Instagram has become increasingly popular in the last year due in part to its integration with multiple social networks. Brafton recently reported that Facebook acquired Instagram and moved its developers in house, however, users will still be able to share content on different networks. The first step of this Facebook integration seems to have come with the update, which will help users who Like content on Instagram to see this data on Facebook as well.

The latest version, 2.5, also includes a streamlined profile layout and faster, more capable commenting features for users.

Companies looking for a high-quality tool for sharing visual content as part of a social media marketing campaign can now be sure that Instagram will make it easier for users to locate their account thanks to the Explore function.

Visual content is increasingly important for social marketing campaigns as well as the platforms competing for market share. Brafton recently reported that Pinterest’s success is largely due to its focus on visual content, while Twitter has made adjustments to its profile structure that allow users to view images directly on their activity streams.