Instagram released a new version of its popular photo-sharing app today (Aug. 16), letting you map your photos and see the Photo Maps of other Instagram users.
A quick check of my newsfeed indicated Photo Maps is an instant success. Notifications like "braynelson just added 527 photos to their photo map" dominated the news.
Not everyone was happy, but that's to be expected with any major update. "Why did you update it it stinks I have no clue what to do!!" b0mflash wrote in response to Instagram's announcement.
Even so, Instagram has made it extraordinarily easy to use its new Photo Maps.
Once you've downloaded the update, you'll be prompted to add your photos to a Photo Map. Instagram has used the existing geolocation data, which may not be all that accurate, to organize your photos. If you find photos that have been included in an incorrect location grouping, you can tap to uncheck them.
Tap "Done," and stacks of your photos will appear on a world map. You can zoom all the way into a block-by-block neighborhood view. (While this may raise a privacy concern , keep in mind that users can keep any photos they'd like off the map.)
When you uncheck a photo from a location grouping, Instagram removes the photo's geolocation data, so you'll have to go back in and add the right information to pin it to another location. And, if you did not use geolocation when you added photos, you won't have any that can be mapped until you add the necessary tags.
Photo Maps also mean you can see where your friends have been. When you visit a friend's photo page, you'll see the Photo Map option has been added to the grid and single photo views.
You'll also notice that the star button to see the most popular images on Instagram has been changed to a compass icon. You can now search by user names and hashtags from this page.
Among other changes, Instagram has added a new reporting tool to let users flag photos and comments for review directly from the photo page. And finally, Instagram has improved its scrolling photo feature, so you won't see the "loading more" button — pages now scroll without interruption.