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Up until now, Instagram Stories and Instagram itself have worked in generally different ways: Instagram Stories were fun blips of life for your followers to enjoy, while Instagram itself allows people from all over to find and like your photos through hashtags and the Explore feature. But now, Instagram Stories is making some major changes so you can use them to explore new places – and earn new followers.

The new location and hashtag Explore feature for Instagram Stories began rolling out on Tuesday, May 23rd.

That means, when you record and upload a story, you can use hashtags or pin your location to make the story visible to people who don’t follow you.

This update comes after Instagram added face filter and hashtag options to Stories last week.

Credit: Instagram

This could become a useful way to explore new locations: Imagine, for a moment, that you want to try out this new sushi restaurant down the street. Instead of scanning the internet for reviews (of which there might not be many, since the place is new) you can search the restaurant in stories and instantly have a feed of what other users posted from that location. You can also visit story pages for entire cities, to see what people are doing anywhere from New York to Tokyo.

Sharing your own stories publicly, using hashtags or location tagging, could be a new way to attract followers, who can come across your stories while “exploring” on Instagram.

But don’t worry: If you’re not into sharing with the whole wide world, there’s an option to keep your stories accessible to followers only.

Time to get sharing, don’t you think?