Instagram update turns it into an even better holiday planner

Instagram's new maps feature letting you find places near your favorite destinations
(Image credit: Meta)

If you’re looking for a new place to grab a bite to eat or get your hair done then forget turning to Google Maps – it’s time to open up Instagram.

The photo and short-form-video-focused social media platform just got a new update for its maps feature that makes it even easier to find popular spots, whether they’re nearby or in a potential holiday destination.

To open the app’s updated map you can either use Explore to search for specific services or to search in a specific area, or you can tap on a location tag on a post or a story to find other nearby destinations.

Once on the map, you can move around to find spots and view Instagram content that’s been tagged there, or, if you’re after something specific, you can use filters to find bars, hotels or salons, among other things.

The map update should already be rolling out to Instagram users on Android and iPhone, so you probably have it downloaded, but to be sure we’d recommend heading to the Google Play Store or App Store to check if your app has an update waiting to install.

Analysis: Instagram is your new holiday planner

With Instagram’s focus on aesthetics, it can be a great way to search for holiday destinations – and with this new update to maps we can see it becoming an even better option, as it will let you find popular and hidden-gem cafes and restaurants to help make your trip feel that little bit more special.

And it’s not just holidays – these apps are becoming the perfect tools for all sorts of major events. If you need more evidence, check out our Software Editor Daryl Baxter’s article on how TikTok helped him plan his wedding.

A traveller carries their phone and a coffee

Will you travel using Instagram or Google Maps? (Image credit: Shutterstock / Kite_rin)

We’re not the only ones starting to look beyond more traditional reviews and searches. As noted by Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan during Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech 2022 event, more and more people are turning to lifestyle apps to find what they're looking for (via TechCrunch).

Raghavan revealed that, according to Google’s internal studies, “almost 40% of young people” (those between 18 and 24, in the US) don’t turn to Google Search or Maps, they go to TikTok and Instagram.

Given this trend, it's no surprise that Instagram would want to capitalize on this interest and improve features like maps. We’ll have to wait and see what updates it rolls out next, but don’t be surprised if discoverability continues to get plenty of love.

Looking for reasons to stick with Google Maps? Here are five great hidden features that Google Maps can offer you.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.