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Instagram's website now lets users search hashtags, locations

The photo-sharing app amps up its website with a new search feature that lets users discover people, places and hashtags just like they do on its smartphone app.

Instagram is revamping its website to mimic its mobile app. Instagram

Instagram's website is finally catching up to its mobile app.

The photo-sharing social network announced Monday that it's updating its website with a comprehensive search feature. Before today, Instagram users on the Web could only browse photos and see who liked the pictures. Now, users will be able to click on and search hashtags, locations and user accounts -- just like they do on the smartphone app.

"Today we're bringing search capability to our Web experience," an Instagram spokesperson said. We've "better aligned our Web experience with our mobile app in a way that's faster, cleaner, and more beautiful."

Instagram, which was bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, is one of the world's most popular social networks with more than 300 million monthly active users. The application allows users to snap photos and share them with friends, as well as apply filters to add artistic flare. To keep its growing cadre of users engaged, Instagram has been adding regular updates over the past several months. In June, the social network included an to let users find real-time news and events. And earlier this month, it began letting users share high-resolution photos.

It's been about three years since Instagram first launched on the Web, but its Instagram.com site has always been fairly simplistic. Besides amping up search for the Web, today's new feature will also build out the landing pages for locations and hashtags. So, for example, when a user clicks on a "Yosemite " location tag on a photo, they'll be taken to a landing page with all photos tagged "Yosemite ." Users will also be able to to see "top posts" when they search locations and hashtags.

"While Instagram.com is designed to be complementary to the mobile apps, it's important to the global conversations that happen on Instagram," said the Instagram spokesperson. "Instagram.com allows you to view Instagram content from anywhere, and brings the Web at large into the Instagram community."