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'Instagram' Articles

Instagram Rolls Out New 'Pressure-Free' Updates With Vanishing Live Videos and Direct Messages

Instagram today revealed two major new updates coming to its platform, including transient live videos and direct messages, akin to Snapchat. The company has added live video as a new UI option in the story camera -- Boomerang was added there recently as well -- and the feature lets users go live for up to an hour. As with Facebook's own live video, friends get notifications when the stream begins, and can comment as events unfold. Live video will also be added into the Explore Tab, so users can see trending and most popular live videos, perhaps from news sources and entertainment accounts as breaking news happens across the world. Just like stories, live videos will disappear when the stream is over, "so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime," according to Instagram. The company is continuing its "pressure-free" mantra with disappearing direct messages, which will let users send photos and videos to friends and groups that disappear once they've been viewed. The sender will also be notified if the receiver has replayed the message or taken a screenshot, just like in Snapchat. While live video is gearing up to rollout globally over the next few weeks, the short-lived photos and videos in direct messages will begin appearing in the Instagram app today. For those who have yet to download it, Instagram is available for free on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Instagram Update Introduces Boomerang and User Mentions Into Stories

An update rolling out to the iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Instagram app today has introduced the company's standalone app "Boomerang" directly into its new Snapchat-like stories feature. Boomerang allows users to take a burst of photos that cycle forwards and backwards quickly, creating an animated GIF that they can share to Instagram and Facebook directly within the app. Today, when users swipe left-to-right to open the stories camera, there will be a new format picker under the shutter button which can be toggled between "Normal" and "Boomerang," and shared directly to their story. Mentions are also making an appearance in stories, allowing Instagram users to tag friends and family members using the @ icon normally found in comments and captions of posts. Whenever a friend taps the @ mention on a story, they'll be directed to that user's profile. Anyone who's mentioned in a story will also receive a direct message with a link to the image or video they were tagged in. Additionally, a "See More" tag for some verified accounts will help users dig deeper into that person's media content. Watching someone’s story and want to dig deeper? You may spot “See More” links at the bottom of some stories. This is a test that lets verified accounts add links so it’s easy to learn more. From discovering the latest music by Chance the Rapper (@chancetherapper) to learning about a new movie starring Dwayne Johnson (@therock) or reading a related article from Bustle (@bustle), tap “See More” or swipe up to view the link right inside the app. Instagram is available to download

Instagram Expands 'Stories' Feature to Explore Tab

Back in August, Instagram introduced a new "Instagram Stories" feature, allowing Instagram users to post temporary images and videos to their profile. Content expires after 24 hours, giving users a chance to share more casual posts that won't be permanently available on Instagram. Prior to today, Instagram users have only been able to see Stories from people they follow, but Instagram has added Stories to the "Explore" tab in the app, which will let users find interesting and popular story content from around the world. A selection of Stories are now available at the top of the Explore page, denoted by small circles and a user name, which can be tapped to display the image and video content. According to Instagram, the new Stories feature is personalized to each user's interests, much like the rest of the Explore tab. Instagram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Instagram Rolling Out New 'Save Draft' Feature to All Users

Instagram is introducing a "Save Draft" feature to its mobile app, allowing users to start working on a post and then save a copy of the edits for finishing later (via TechCrunch). The option appears if users tap the "back" button after they have added effects, filters, a caption or a location to a photo. Previously this only threw up a warning that any changes would be discarded, but now users can opt to save a draft to their phone. To return to the draft post, users need to tap the Camera icon at the bottom of the screen, then select "Library". Posts appear at the bottom of the screen under the title "Drafts". The relatively minor addition has been welcomed by Instagram users, some of whom were aware that the company had been trialling the feature among a select number of account holders since July. Trying to create a post that's just right? With the latest update, you can save as a draft & come back to it later. https://t.co/7lZ0eyNtBC— Instagram (@instagram) September 20, 2016 The draft option is also expected to be a hit among businesses and brands who use the photo-oriented social network, allowing them to prepare multiple posts in advance of

Instagram Update Brings Anti-Harassment 'Keyword Moderation Tool' to All Users

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom today announced that the company is "taking the next step" to protect its users from online abuse with the wide launch of a new comment moderation feature in the photography-focused social network app. Referred to as a "keyword moderation tool," the feature will let each user type in words they find to be offensive, effectively hiding any mention of them in the comment section of their posts. The comments containing the harsh language will still be available for other Instagram users, but the company believes that allowing each user to determine which words to hide from their personal collection of photos will cultivate a "positive and safe" environment. To deal with abusive accounts, Instagram already lets users swipe to delete comments, report inappropriate comments and block accounts. Systrom refers to the keyword blocking update as the "first feature" for dealing with online abusers, suggesting Instagram is continuing to keep an eye on the issue and add more protective updates to its mobile app in the future. Once the app is updated, gain access to the comment moderation setting by following the steps below: Go to your Profile tab. Tap the Settings gear icon in the top right corner. Find and tap "Comments." Toggle "Hide Inappropriate Comments" to automatically hide keywords that are "often reported as inappropriate." Or, add your own custom keywords in the text box, separating each with a comma. Tap "Done" to save your changes. After previously allowing high-profile users, like businesses and various brands,

Instagram Working on Several New Photo Features for iPhone 7 Series

Photo sharing app Instagram is set to become one of the first platforms specifically designed to take advantage of the iPhone 7's powerful new camera features. Details of the upcoming update were shared by Instagram's head of design Ian Spalter during yesterday's Apple event in San Francisco, where he demonstrated how the app would make use of several of the new phones' capabilities. First of all, the iPhone 7 Plus telephoto lens will be controllable simply by dragging a finger up and down in the Instagram camera window, allowing users to adjust the level of optical/digital zoom. Meanwhile, Apple's new Taptic Engine feedback will let users know how much zoom they've enabled when composing stills as well as during video recording. Instagram is also revising all of its photo filters to take advantage of the iPhone 7 display's wider color gamut, allowing users to see a broader range of hues in their pictures. Other additions revealed on stage included a 3D Touch action for the Instagram app icon that will let users quickly add a photo to an Instagram Story – the platform's new sharing feature aped from Snapchat. Lastly, the app will make use of iOS 10's new Live Photos API to convert the video clips into Instagram Boomerang GIFs, which play back and forth on repeat. The updated version of the app launches later this year, presumably after iOS 10 is released on September 13 and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have made it into consumers' hands. Preorders for the devices begin Friday, September 9, with shipments scheduled to start on September

Instagram Begins Phasing Out 'Photo Maps' From User Profiles

Photo-sharing service Instagram has begun removing its GPS-aggregating "Photo Maps" feature from user profiles. Some of Instagram's users may have already noticed that Photo Maps is gone when visiting another profile, with Instagram confirming to Mashable that it began phasing out the feature last week. Photo Maps will remain on your own profile tab "for now," but the company is expected to begin removing it from there as well in the near future. The simple reason behind its removal is how little the feature was used by the social network's 500 million monthly active users, especially in comparison to popular features in the app, like the Explore tab. “Photo Map was not widely used, so we've decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities," the company said in a statement. The company confirmed that geotagged locations in individual Instagram posts will remain, so "you'll still be able to click on a location tag in an individual post and see other photos from that location as well as a small map." The move is believed to be a part of the social network's move towards capturing ground from rival Snapchat, while leaving behind parts of its service that don't generate much in the way of user

Instagram Updates iOS App With Pinch-to-Zoom Ability on Photos

A small but noticeable update has hit Instagram today, with the company launching the ability to zoom in on photos within the iOS app. With pinch-to-zoom support, users can get better close-up views of Instagram posts within their feed, on other users' profiles, and in the Explore tab. Today we’re bringing ZOOM to Instagram on iOS! Pinch to zoom on photos & videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore pic.twitter.com/j1g4JQozK2— Instagram (@instagram) August 31, 2016 Users will be able to zoom in on videos in each of these locations as well, but the update is only rolling out to iOS Instagram users right now, with no word yet regarding when it might debut on Android. You can download Instagram from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link

Instagram Tries to Differ From Snapchat by Curating 'Stories' in Explore Tab

Following in the wake of a few additions to the Instagram app that largely fell in line with rival service Snapchat -- including 24-hour long posts and an "Events" channel -- recently the popular photo sharing app announced a feature lacking in Snapchat, which will suggest new Stories for users to follow (via TechCrunch). The suggestions will be based on who you already follow and the topics you care about, and will be placed atop the Explore tab in the app. Since Stories are tied to each user's full Instagram account, you still have to follow each person's full feed in order to gain daily access to their shorter, 24-hour posts. According to Instagram, 100 million users visit the Explore tab every day (out of 500 million monthly active users), making it one of the more popular parts of the app and a way for Instagram to continue bolstering Stories for anyone who may not use the feature. Snapchat's closest comparison comes in its branded "Discover" stories tab, which includes short news and entertainment updates from places like BuzzFeed, Mashable, and National Geographic. Explore enhances Instagram’s biggest talking point here — that more people already have an interest graph and audience on Instagram than Snapchat. Instagram refused to give specifics about how its version of Stories is growing, but Instagram’s Director of Product Management Blake Barnes did say “We’re really excited to see how quickly they’ve caught on, whether with everyday users or celebrities and brands.” A few users are said to have already gotten the new update, but otherwise

Instagram Apes Snapchat Again With New 'Events' Channel

Instagram has introduced a new "Events" channel in the Explore section of its app that highlights user photos and video clips captured during specific events from around the world. Currently only available in the U.S., the new channel implements an algorithm to curate media from events like sports games and concerts, based on a user's preferences and habits, according to a post on the company's site. Snapchat users may be experiencing déjà vu all over again at this point, given that the new Instagram feature is extremely similar to the rival app's Discover channel "Live Stories", where reels of photos and videos are shared publicly by users at a particular event. The addition of the new feature by Instagram certainly follows a trend. Earlier this month, the Facebook-owned photo and video sharing platform announced "Instagram Stories", which functions identically to Snapchat's Stories in that it lets users post customized images and videos on their profile, where they live for 24 hours before disappearing completely. Surprisingly, Instagram has been upfront about its recent tendency to imitate Snapchat features. While demoing its new Stories feature for TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systro admitted that Snapchat "deserve all the

Instagram Begins Experimenting With 'Save Draft' Feature for Posts

Instagram recently began testing a much-requested new feature that lets users save drafts of potential posts on the social network, instead of having to completely discard edits made to any photo (via TechCrunch). A small number of users mentioned seeing the "Save Draft" feature as far back as July, but Instagram seems to have expanded its testing phase in early August, without rolling it out wide yet. The process itself to save a draft is fairly simple: after adding any filter or other fine-tuned edits to a picture, hitting the back button now prompts users with a dialog box saying, "If you go back now, your image edits will be discarded." Users can choose to ditch the photo, or now save the draft to work on again and post at a later time. Saved drafts appear at the top of the camera roll when returning to post something to Instagram, and can be deleted permanently by tapping "See All," which shows every draft saved on the current account. Unfortunately, as one user discovered, Instagram is treating "Save Draft" more along the lines of an experimental test rather than slow public rollout and remained coy on its plans, telling TechCrunch, "We’re always testing new ways to improve the Instagram experience,” with no further details provided. The company has been updating its popular app with major additions and changes over the last few weeks. Earlier in August, it added "Instagram Stories" to its roster of photo-sharing abilities, bringing it directly in competition to Snapchat's 24-hour feed of "Stories." Before that, Instagram revealed a plan to introduce

Instagram Just Became Snapchat With 'Stories' That Disappear After 24 Hours

Instagram today announced the launch of a new feature called "Instagram Stories," which lets its users post customized images and videos onto their profile, abiding by the ephemeral rule of rival service Snapchat: every post disappears completely within 24 hours. The company said that this lets users not have to "worry about overposting" and clogging up their profile in the process. Stories will appear in a bar at the top of each user's normal Instagram feed, updating with new posts of all the same friends, family members, and popular accounts they follow. Each time someone posts a new picture or video within their Story, a colorful ring circles their profile picture. Jumping into Stories is as easy as tapping on one of those profile photos, and swiping to move back and forward through each user slideshow. Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed. Comments are allowed on Stories, but are only able to be sent through Instagram's direct message feature, because "unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public

Instagram Plans Launch of New Comment Moderation Feature for All Users

Social media app Instagram is planning to launch a new feature that allows its users personalized control over the comments shared on each of their posts. The company has long had blanket rules for what constitutes appropriate speech on its network, but the new comment filter ability will let each user tweak specific rules to their own liking, since "different words or phrases are offensive to different people" (via The Washington Post). Some businesses have already gotten a look at the new feature, letting them automatically weed out comments and posters with specific triggering phrases. In the next few weeks, more "high-profile accounts" will get their hands on comment moderation, with the ability to also switch comments off completely on a post-by-post basis. “Our goal is to make Instagram a friendly, fun and, most importantly, safe place for self expression," said Instagram's head of public policy, Nicky Jackson Colaco, in a statement to The Post. "We have slowly begun to offer accounts with high volume comment threads the option to moderate their comment experience. As we learn, we look forward to improving the comment experience for our broader community.” Normal users will have to wait a while longer to moderate their own posts, since Instagram said it will launch the feature to all its users "in the coming months." The company is planning on using feedback from higher-volume accounts to fine tune the new feature before handing it out to its more than 300 million daily active users. Instagram is available for free on the App Store. [Direct Link] Note:

Apple Launches iBooks Instagram Page to Share Book Quotes, Reviews, and More

Earlier this weekend, Apple began promoting book-related content with a new Instagram account centered around its iBooks digital platform. The launch of the iBooks Instagram page coincided with the release of the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which the account posted about yesterday. Apple also wished author J.K. Rowling a happy birthday through its new verified Instagram page, but otherwise the content appears to largely be focused on introducing followers to fresh and notable stories through quotes, author spotlights, and unique, short videos. Some of the novels referenced so far on the new page include Blake Crouch's Dark Matter, Emma Cline's The Girls, and Wendy Walker's All Is Not Forgotten. All of the mentioned books released between June and July, so it seems iBooks will keep its promotions aimed at recently launched novels while it gains more Instagram followers in its early stages. Thank you for coming into this world and bringing so much magic into our lives. ✨ #HappyBirthdayJKRowling A video posted by iBooks (@ibooks) on Jul 31, 2016 at 10:11am PDT You can check out Apple's new Instagram account for iBooks here

Instagram Announces Automatic In-App Text Translation Feature

Instagram has announced that it is developing a text translation feature for its flagship app that will roll out in the coming month. Once live, users will see a new "See Translation" button beneath photos and user profiles which will automatically translate comments, captions, and bios into the language chosen in the app's settings. The machine translation feature will support 24 languages to begin with, but the option won't show on older comments or those it doesn't recognize the language of. In the coming month, you’ll see a translation button on feed stories and profile bios written in languages different from your own. The Instagram community has grown faster and become more global than we ever imagined. And we’re excited that you’ll soon be able to understand the full story of a moment, no matter what language you speak. To learn more about translation on Instagram, check out help.instagram.com. A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on Jun 22, 2016 at 10:00am PDT Twitter and Facebook have offered automatic translation features for a while now, so the introduction of the feature brings the service in line with the other big social networks. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has been busy tweaking its platform recently, with a new logo and a redesigned app among the changes. Earlier this week, it announced that the photo-based social network is now used by over 500 million people, with 300 million using the app every day and 80 percent of users living outside the

Instagram Updated With Share Sheet Extension for Quicker Sharing

A minor Instagram update released this morning lists only bug fixes in the description, but has quietly added a long overdue feature - a share sheet extension. With the new version of Instagram, it's possible to use the "share" feature in Photos or another app that supports share extensions to upload content directly to Instagram without needing to open the Instagram app. When viewing images in Photos, selecting an image and then tapping on "share" now brings up Instagram alongside other sharing options like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Selecting Instagram will allow users to write a caption before sending the image to Instagram. As MacStories points out, Instagram's share extension is limited. Adding a caption to a photo is the only option, with no available photo adjustment tools or options for adding locations and people tags. Instagram can be added to the share sheet through the Photos app by tapping on share, selecting the "More" button, and choosing to toggle on the Instagram option. Once that's done, Instagram will always be available in the share sheet of any app with share functionality. Instagram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Third-Party Instagram Apps and Websites Cease to Work

Last November, Instagram announced much stricter rules for accessing its API, effectively putting an end to dozens of both legitimate and questionable third-party apps and websites that integrated with the photo sharing service on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other devices. Instagram began reviewing new and existing apps before granting full API access starting December 3, 2015, but the changes for apps created before November 17, 2015 only went into effect on Wednesday, rendering any remaining third-party apps that implemented photo feeds virtually useless. Third-party websites that enabled users to search Instagram photos and hashtags, such as Gramfeed and Mixagram, also ceased functioning on June 1. "Goodbye! As of June 1st 2016, Gramfeed will no longer function. To conform with the Instagram API Platform changes, Gramfeed had to be transitioned to a new service called Picodash and is focused on providing the search and social media management functionality to brands, publishers and journalists." Instagram's new Platform Policy is available on its developer

Instagram Updated With Brand New Icon and Flat Design

Instagram has been updated today with an all-new colorful icon, moving away from its iconic brown and beige logo that still had an iOS 6-style skeuomorphic design, long after many popular developers have since adopted flatter aesthetics. "Today we're introducing a new look," the company wrote in a blog post. "You'll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form." The app itself has also received a major redesign with a flatter black and white appearance in line with the overall look of iOS 9. Instagram says "the simpler app design puts the focus on your posts and keeps your features in the same place." Instagram is free on the App Store for iPhone. The version 8.0 update should be rolling out worldwide for all users today. Instagram's other apps Layout, Boomerang, and Hyperlapse have also received new icons.

Instagram is Testing a Flatter, Simpler Design for iPhone App

Instagram has selected a group of users to test a version of its app with an overhauled design, which can be seen in a series of screenshots sent to MacRumors by reader Sebastien. Unlike the previous Instagram design, which utilizes a white feed bookended by blue and black borders and blue accents, the new design features a more monochromatic look. The new color scheme appears to be part of an effort to help photos, specifically color photos, pop more in a user's feed. The icons have also undergone design changes. The camera button on the bottom bar is no longer singled out with a blue box around it, and the camera button in camera mode is now a grey ring rather than a blue circle. The activity button on the bottom bar is a simple heart rather than a heart in a speech bubble and the profile button on the bottom is the outline of a person rather than a user's photo. Instagram tells Mashable that the company often tests "new experiences with a small percentage of the global community" and that this test was "a design test only." It's unclear whether this design will become official in a future update or whether the company decides to not move forward with it. More recently, Instagram has been making tweaks and changes to how its app works. Two weeks ago, the company added video channels to its "Explore" feature. Before that, it expanded video clips from 15 seconds to 60 seconds and announced that it would introduce an algorithm-based feed. Instagram is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Instagram's 'Explore' Feature Updated With New Video Channels

Instagram today updated its built-in "Explore" feature with a revamped look and new content that includes dedicated video channels. A personalized channel called "Videos You Might Like" aggregates videos from around the world, and Instagram's Explore grid, designed to let users find content built around hashtags, events, and specific locations, will also include some featured channels focused on video. Explore, for those unfamiliar with the feature, is Instagram's content discovery tool. Content displayed in Explore, including photos and videos, is based on a user's interests and accounts already followed. Liking images or choosing "See Fewer Posts Like This" refines the feature to further match each individual's tastes. The video updates to Explore will be available over-the-air in the newest version of the Instagram app. Instagram is rolling out the video feature to users in the United States today, with plans to bring it to additional countries "soon." Instagram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. The most recent version, 7.20, was released earlier this week. [Direct Link]