Instagram brings editing tools and more of your friends to the foreground

Photo captions and locations can now be edited after posting

Instagram's "explore" tab now features two feeds for finding more photos and accounts to follow.

Instagram's "explore" tab now features two feeds for finding more photos and accounts to follow.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it's worth fewer with a lousy caption -- and let's not even get into hashtags -- so Instagram is trying to help users clean things up.

Photo captions and their locations can now be edited after posting, Instagram said Monday. The changes come courtesy of a larger update to the app on both iOS and Android. You can access the tool easily by clicking the "..." in the bottom right of the post, and selecting "edit." Caption editing has been one of Instagram's most requested features, the company said.

That makes sense. How many times have you posted a photo and thought of a better caption later? (The change, to be clear, only lets you add or edit your own caption, not the comments posted by friends.)

The update also includes some new tools aimed at making it easier to find friends and other photographers outside your usual circle. Search has never been that great on Instagram, but the Facebook-owned app is trying to change that. The app's "explore" tab, which used to look like a compass, is now a magnifying glass. Tapping it produces two feeds: photos and people.

The people feed suggests accounts users might like, based on a variety of signals like whom they follow, are connected to, and what photos and videos they like on Instagram.

The photos feed displays photos and videos that people users follow have liked, or that a large number of people have liked. They're not just posts from people in an extended network -- they're photos that have gained traction on Instagram more broadly. This could be Instagram's way of trying to appeal even more to professional photographers, by highlighting their work.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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Zach Miners

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