Last week, Google senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan said rival social media platforms aren’t just cutting into YouTube’s views—they’re also sapping traffic away from Google services like Maps.
“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” Raghavan said. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
And it seems like Instagram might know that, because today it launched a new searchable map feature that lets users see tagged locations around them and filter those locations to find what they’re looking for.
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Instagram has had a map function for a while. Before today, that map only showed a user where, in their general vicinity, other users had tagged posts.
So, for example, you might be walking in a little town and happen to see that someone posted from a nearby ice cream parlor. But if you were craving ice cream, you couldn’t go to Instagram’s map and look up whether other users had been to parlors around you.
Now that the map function is “searchable,” though, it’s got filters for types of businesses like restaurants, cafes, and beauty salons, per TechCrunch.
Users can search by city, neighborhood, and hashtag, and will see recently uploaded Stories, top posts, and guides about businesses around them. They can also save places they’re interested in, and send locations to friends via DM.
That means it’ll be easier than ever for those 40% of young people to turn to Instagram when they want to find a cool coffee shop or a place to snag a bite, instead of hitting up Google.
Meta told TechCrunch the goal is to let users have a more immersive experience when looking for businesses around them. In a post introducing the update, Mark Zuckerberg said the feature allow users to “discover popular local businesses near you.”