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Instagram's revamped Explore section includes Stories

You'll also see improved IGTV and shopping.
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Stories are an increasingly important part of Instagram, and the social network wants to be sure you see more of them. It just unveiled a revamped Explore tab that will feature personalized Stories recommendations. You won't have to track down a specific person (or rely on the carousel on your home feed) to watch ephemeral videos. The feature will roll out in the "coming weeks," Instagram said, so don't worry if you don't see Stories right away.

The updated Explore also brings a new navigation bar with fast access to common features and tasks, including "more immersive" IGTV and Shop sections. Tap the IGTV section and you'll get a customized feed of recommended videos, while Shop now has category filters to limit your focus to goods like clothing or home decor. This update should arrive in the US starting today.

It's not surprising that Instagram would push Stories and other services in Explore -- it remains an important component of the app. More than half of Instagram users visit Explore every month, making it a showcase for Instagram's offerings. Don't be surprised if there's a surge of interest in Stories, IGTV and shopping, if just because they'll reach more eyeballs.

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Jon has been hooked on tech ever since he tried a Compaq PC clone when he was five. He's big on mobile and is one of those precious few people who wears his smartwatch with pride. He's also an unapologetic Canadian: Don't be surprised if you get an earful about poutine or the headaches with Canadian carriers.

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