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'Instagram' Articles

Instagram Testing Feature That Alerts Users When You Screenshot a Story

Instagram is testing a new feature that will send an alert whenever you take a screenshot of a story, effectively putting an end to the practice of covertly taking screenshots of the temporary story posts on the social network. News of the new feature was shared on Twitter by a user who posted an image of a screenshot warning message. Instagram plans to offer a one-time warning letting screenshotters know that subsequent screenshots or screen recordings will be visible to the person who posted the story. Image via Twitter user Mulan The feature is being tested with a small number of users. Participants can see who took a screenshot of their story by going to the list of story viewers and checking to see if there are camera icons next to any of the names. A flash icon denotes a user who took a screenshot. Instagram does not plan to send out notifications when a screenshot of a story is captured, but it will be visible in the list of people who viewed the story. PSA: How you get notified on Instagram when someone took a screenshot of your Stories pic.twitter.com/Iua2QeyskF— iz reading On the Edge of Scandal 🍑 (@readbyher) February 11, 2018 Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature is in testing right now: "We are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you." It's not yet clear if and when Instagram will officially introduce this

Instagram Testing Feature That Lets You Share Other People's Posts in Stories

Instagram has never offered an option to publicly re-share images and content posted by other people, but the company is now testing a feature that would let you share public news feed posts from other people to your Instagram Story. Instagram this morning confirmed to TechCrunch that it is indeed exploring such a feature, which is available to only a small percentage of Instagram users. "We're always testing ways to make it easier to share any moment with friends on Instagram," the company said. Right now, the only way to share a person's Instagram post with someone else is to send it through a direct message. As TechCrunch points out, with the option to share an Instagram post to your Story feed, you can add commentary, stickers, and other alterations to a meme, celebrity post, or a friend's photo. Instagram's Story feed, for those unfamiliar with it, allows people to post temporary content that disappears after 24 hours. Instagram is allowing people with public Instagram profiles to opt out of letting others to share their posts with a new "Allow Resharing to Stories" option that's available in the Settings section of the app. Re-sharing posts to Stories is a feature that's restricted to a small number of Instagram users at the current time, but following testing, it's likely Instagram will roll it out to all

Instagram Launches New Type Mode for Stories

Instagram today announced the launch of a new "Type" mode in stories, a feature that the company was previously testing with a small number of users. Type mode is designed to allow Instagram users to share text-only posts in Instagram Stories, and the feature is similar in design to the Facebook option that lets you accentuate text-only posts with large fonts and colorful backgrounds. According to Instagram, Type uses creative text styles and backgrounds to allow users to turn their "most random thoughts into something colorful and expressive." Type mode can be accessed by opening up the Instagram Stories camera and selecting "Type" next to normal under the record button.Tap "Type" and write whatever comes to mind -- your favorite lyrics, a silly thought or a random idea -- and play with different styles to change the look and feel. Then, you can pick different background colors, highlight words and phrases or add a background photo.The new styles introduced with the Type feature can also be used when adding text to any photo or video, and as with all Stories posts, content will disappear after 24 hours. Type content is part of Instagram version 30 for iOS, which can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Instagram Adds GIF Stickers Into Stories With GIPHY Support

Following a small test of GIF stickers within stories that began last November, Instagram has announced the feature will be available to all users beginning today. When you tap to add a sticker to a picture or video in your story, there will now be a new GIF button with options powered by GIPHY. Similar to other apps that include GIPHY support, you can browse currently trending GIF stickers or manually search for a specific one, and add it into either a photo or video story. Now you can add fun, expressive GIF stickers to any photo or video in your story. From bouncing letters and twirling hearts to dancing cats and pizza in space, these animated stickers help you make any photo or video funny, interesting or creative. Further down the line, Instagram will introduce the ability to upload photos and videos "of any size" into a story. The company said that this will ensure you never have to lose part of an image or remove a friend out of a group video. The update will be similar to custom size posts on the traditional Instagram feed, where you can pinch to zoom out and share the content in its original dimensions. Square, portrait, and landscape shots will be able to appear in their full sizes, and any extra room will get filled in with a color gradient that automatically matches the aesthetic of the image or video you're sharing. GIF stickers are launching within Instagram today in the app's version 29 update on iOS and Android, and the company said custom sized stories should be available in the coming

Instagram Adds New Feature Showing When You Were Last Active

Instagram was today updated with a new feature that displays when you were last active, with the new activity indicator accessible via the direct messages section of the app. In Direct, under a person's name, you'll now see when they last opened up the Instagram app with a message like "Active Now" or "Active 2h ago." This is similar to how other apps like Facebook Messenger work, letting people you've previously interacted with know when you're online. The activity indicator is enabled by default and appears to be limited to people you've chatted with via direct messages. According to The Verge, your online status is visible to people you follow or have previously DM'd, with the info not accessible to general followers. If you would prefer not to have your online status available on Instagram, you can turn it off in the Settings app under a new option called "Show Activity Status." If you disable the feature, no one will be able to see when you're online, but you also won't be able to see the online status of your friends. The activity indicator appears to be a feature that's been quietly rolled out to all iOS and Android users. In related news, Instagram is currently testing another new feature called "Type," which is designed to allow users to share text-only posts via Instagram Stories. The text-only feature appears to be similar in design to the Facebook feature that lets you accentuate text-only posts with large fonts and colorful backgrounds, as seen in this video shared by The Next Web. Type is not available to all users at this time, but

Instagram Adding 'Recommended for You' Posts to Main Feed

Instagram has been testing a "Recommended for You" feature that is now rolling out widely to all users, reports TechCrunch. Recommended posts show up in your standard image feed and are suggested based on posts liked by accounts you follow. When shown in a feed, these posts are denoted by a label at the top that clearly marks them as recommended, similar to how sponsored posts are handled. With recommended posts, though, Instagram shows several in a row instead of just one. Recommended posts and videos have previously been displayed in the Explore tab, but are now being featured more prominently. Instagram users now have several feed interruptions, including these new recommended posts, sponsored posts, and stories. According to an Instagram spokesperson who spoke to TechCrunch, recommended posts are meant to appear "after you've viewed all the posts in your feed." There is no disabling the Recommended for You feature, but recommended posts can be temporarily hidden by tapping the three dots at the top of a recommended post and choosing "Hide." Instagram has been slowing introducing changes that bring posts from people who aren't actively followed into the Instagram feed. Earlier this month, for example, Instagram added a feature allowing users to follow hashtags rather than individual Instagram accounts. Recommended for You is still rolling out to all users on iOS and Android devices and may not yet be available for

Instagram Now Lets You Follow Hashtags in Your Main Feed

Instagram today announced that you can now follow any hashtag the same way you can follow normal accounts. Once you do, Instagram will use its algorithms to curate "highlights" from photos posted with that hashtag and place them within your main feed. Similar to previous uses of Instagram's algorithms, if you engage with these posts by liking them or commenting, the social network will search for similar content and present it to you in the future. You'll be able to follow hashtags through searches in Explore or simply tapping on one already placed in another post. To distinguish from a hashtag post and a normal post, there will be a "prominent button" above all hashtag posts. If something comes up that you don't like, you can dislike the post via this button. Instagram said this won't completely unfollow the tag, but it will help train the service on which parts of a specific hashtag you find appealing. Image via James Bareham and The Verge Matthew Ogle led the team behind the new feature at Instagram, and he previously worked at Last.fm and Spotify. When he was at Spotify, he was the product manager that helped launch Discover Weekly, and he told The Verge there are a few similarities to the origins of Spotify's curated playlists and Instagram's new hashtag-following option. “Discover Weekly wasn’t about teaching an algorithm to understand and then recommend music. We taught an algorithm to look at what the community was already doing with this building block, the playlist, and to take the best of what the community was doing and extend it in a new

Instagram Testing Standalone Direct Messaging App, Hinting at Potential Removal of DMs From Core App

Following in the footsteps of parent company Facebook, Instagram is beginning a test in six countries today that will see the launch of a new standalone app called "Direct," which will be solely focused on direct messaging friends and family members. As reported by The Verge, this could be the "first step" toward potentially removing messaging features from the main Instagram app. Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay will get Direct on iOS and Android today, and if you download the app there and link it to your Instagram account, then your inbox in the core Instagram app "disappears" and can then only be accessed in Direct. Instagram currently has "no timeline" for a global launch outside of these countries, but said that its reason for segmenting off Direct in a test is to create a "best-in-class" experience for private messaging, which could not be possible inside a social-sharing application. Image via The Verge “We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that,” Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager, told me. “Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own. We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app.” Direct is said to open to a camera like Snapchat, encouraging you to send photo messages to friends, and then you can swipe to go left to see your profile and settings, or right to navigate to your list of recent

Instagram Now Lets You Highlight Your Favorite Stories Permanently on Your Profile

Instagram today introduced two new tools that it says will help you revisit your favorite Instagram Stories, as well as showcase these moments to everyone who visits your profile. To start, a new Stories Archive feature will automatically save your 24-hour-long stories into a private section of the app when they expire. You'll be able to find these in the Archive icon on your profile, which already exists for regular picture and video archive options and will now include a toggle to switch to stories. Only you have the ability to see your archived posts and stories, and the auto-archiving feature for stories can be turned off in settings. You can revisit all of your stories here, re-share any old story as a new story, create a new post, or add one to the new Stories Highlight section of your profile. Stories Highlights allows you to group old stories together in a new section that sits below your Instagram bio. Story Highlights lets you show all the sides of your personality, and you can make highlights out of anything you’ve shared to your story in the past. From the best moments of your ongoing soccer season to all the stories you capture of your loved ones, the interests and activities that matter most to you have a home right on your profile. You can tap the "new" button in this area of your profile, choose a Story from the archive, select a cover for the highlight, and name it. After you're finished the highlight will appear as a circle on your profile and will play as its own story when someone visits your profile and taps it. Instead of disappearing

Instagram Announces New 'Remix' Option for Editing Friends' Photos

Instagram today announced the launch of a new "Remix" feature for Direct Messages, which is designed to allow users to remix their friends' photos and then send them back for "fun conversations." When viewing a photo message from a friend, you can tap on the camera icon at the bottom and to create a reply. The reply includes a photo sticker of the image you're replying to, which can be moved, resized, and edited with additional stickers, text, and drawings. Instagram is also now allowing users to control replays. The new "One View" option will let friends see a message just once, while "Allow Replay" will allow friends to view the message for the standard period of time. Photos and videos sent using the "Allow Replay" option will loop automatically. Instagram says the new features are part of Instagram version 24, which is available now on iOS

Instagram's Testing a Feature That Lets Users Follow Hashtags

Instagram is currently testing a new feature that allows users to follow hashtags on the picture-sharing social platform, according to reports. Currently, Instagram users must rely on individual accounts to keep up with content they want to engage with. However the added ability to follow hashtags, first spotted by Twitter user @Social_Pip and The Next Web, could make it much easier for users to find the content they're interested in. Ok this is new. What does this do @SimonSocialMM @BizPaul @NatalieTFG any ideas? I've followed 2 but can't find what that means!! pic.twitter.com/LlCBk4Wmfv— Pippa Akram (@Social_Pip) November 9, 2017 For example, users interested in Formula 1 racing could follow the hashtag #formula1 and see the relevant content in their feed without having to actually follow the account holders who post the content. Understandably, this could quickly become overwhelming, so Instagram appears to be limiting current hashtag follows to "top posts and recent stories", as per the overlay description that hovers over the option. So far there's no indication if or when Instagram will roll out the hashtag following ability to everyone, but the feature's usefulness suggests it could make the cut sooner rather than

You Can Now Add Photos or Videos More Than 24 Hours Old to Your Instagram Stories

Instagram this week announced that users can now add photos or videos that are more than 24 hours old to Stories. Instagram removing the 24-hour limitation reflects a continued assault on Snapchat, which should come as no surprise given Instagram has essentially been copying Snapchat for well over a year. Just like you normally would, swipe up from the camera to open your Camera Roll or tap the gallery icon. Scroll to choose your photo or video, and tap to select what you want to share to your story, which still disappears after 24 hours itself. If you choose a photo or video that's more than 24 hours old, you'll automatically see a new sticker that helps you add context for when it was taken. The sticker can be rotated, resized, or removed as usual. The updated version of Instagram is available now on the App Store [Direct Link].

Instagram Makes Stories Previews More Prominent, Tests Stop-Motion Camera

Instagram today told TechCrunch that it is now featuring Instagram Stories more prominently with a larger preview box located between Instagram posts. The Stories preview box now features a tiled design that's much more noticeable when scrolling through an Instagram feed. Previously, the mid-feed box looked similar to the smaller Stories bar at the top of the feed, which Instagram says it does not have plans to replace. "We recently updated the design of the stories bar that you see while scrolling through feed. This update makes it easier to preview the stories from the people and accounts you care about."In addition to making Stories more prominent, Instagram is also testing a new Stop Motion camera tool, as discovered by The Verge. The Stop Motion tool is designed to let users take a series of photos which Instagram then stitches together into a GIF. The Stop Motion feature is available inside the Story camera alongside other options like Boomerang and the recently released Superzoom tool. Stop Motion is not available for all users at the current time, but Instagram has confirmed it's in testing.

Instagram Gains New Superzoom Feature and Halloween Filters

Instagram for iOS was today updated to add a new "Superzoom" camera feature that's designed to let users record videos that have a dramatic zooming effect. After opening the camera, Superzoom can be accessed next to the Boomerang option under the record button. Tapping Superzoom will cause the camera to automatically zoom in with suspenseful music. You can make a Superzoom of anything -- your selfie, your friend's goofy face or even your half-eaten sandwich. As always, you can send your video to your friends on Instagram Direct or add it to your story.In addition to Superzoom, Instagram is also gaining five new Halloween-related face filters and Halloween stickers, both of which will be available through November 1. Filters can transform you into a vampire, zombie, ghost, and more, while there are a range of stickers that include pumpkins, candy corn, and other spooky things. Instagram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Instagram Launches New 'Live With a Friend' Video Feature

Instagram today introduced a new live video feature for the Instagram app, which is designed to let Instagram users invite friends to join them on a live video stream. In testing since August, the new live video option splits the screen in two to let a viewer watch two people in one video feed. Starting today, we're introducing a fun way to go live with a friend. Now, you can hang out and go live together, whether you're just doing homework or catching up on your day. Live video helps you share in an authentic way, but sometimes it can be intimidating when you're on your own. It's easy to add a guest while you're broadcasting.Instagram users can add a guest or a friend by tapping the "new" icon on the bottom right of the live video feed and then tapping "Add" on anyone who is currently watching an ongoing livestream on Instagram. Viewers can be swapped out at will, but live streamers can only have a single guest at a time. When your friends are participating in a live video feed, two circles stacked together are displayed in the stories bar, and the feed can be watched and commented on just like any other live video. Instagram says the new update is available as part of Instagram version 20, available from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Instagram Widely Rolling Out Ability to Post Your 24-Hour Stories Directly To Facebook

After beginning as a small test in Portugal in September, Instagram this week is beginning to roll out a feature that lets you automatically share the same Instagram Story to your Facebook Story with the tap of a button. TechCrunch spotted the cross-platform Story syncing, and Instagram parent company Facebook subsequently confirmed the feature's rollout will be coming to all United States users this week. Instagram Stories has grown to become a big success for the company in the 14 months since it launched, with 250 million users interacting with Stories every day as of last June. In April, Instagram Stories surpassed rival Snapchat in terms of daily active users. The feature is the same across platforms, allowing you to post a picture or a video that disappears after 24 hours. Image via TechCrunch “You now have the option to share your Instagram Stories to your Facebook Stories. We’re always working to make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. While Stories on Instagram have been a hit, Facebook's launch of its own Stories tab has been less successful, with many users pointing out that little to none of their friends share on the platform. Likely because of this, Facebook soon after the feature's launch began populating the Stories tab with grayed-out profile pictures of friends so this section of the app wouldn't be as empty. With the new update, Facebook Stories should see an uptick in user engagement since it'll be easier than ever to share a quick picture or video Story from Instagram,

You Can Now Poll Your Followers in Instagram Stories

Instagram today introduced an interactive poll sticker in Instagram Stories that lets you ask a question and see real-time results from followers. After you've taken a photo or video for your story, select the "poll" sticker and place it anywhere on the screen. Then, you can write a question and customize two answer options for followers to choose. Once the poll has been shared, followers can immediately start voting and see the results. Once someone has voted, they'll see which choice is in the lead at any given moment. The story and poll both disappear after 24 hours as usual. To see your own poll results, swipe up to open the viewers list for that part of your story. The menu that appears displays how many votes each option received, and you’ll also see who voted and which option they chose. Instagram Stories has also gained a new color picker for text and brushes, and an alignment tool for text and stickers. On iOS, when you position text or a sticker on your photo or video, new blue lines will appear to help you center it or avoid placing it anywhere that might get covered up when someone watches your story. Instagram version 17.0 is available now on the App Store [Direct Link] for

Instagram Grows to 800M Users Amid Continued Focus on Safety and Comment Moderation

Instagram has grown from 700 million total users in April 2017 to 800 million, as confirmed by parent company Facebook during an event in New York City this week (via CNBC). Of those 800 million total users, 500 million are opening the app and using it every day, compared favorably to Snapchat's 173 million DAUs that the Instagram rival reported earlier in August. As it celebrates this milestone, Instagram today announced a few new community-focused comment moderation features rolling out to public and private accounts, building upon the "safer and kinder" message that's been the focus of Instagram updates over the past year. Now, whether your account is public or private, you'll be able to block any other account from commenting on your posts. For public-only accounts, you'll have more granular options for choosing who can comment on your post: everyone, people you follow and your followers, people you follow, or just your followers. The company is also expanding languages that support its filter to block certain offensive comments -- in addition to English there will be support for Arabic, French, German, and Portugese. A post shared by Instagram (@instagram) on Sep 26, 2017 at 6:05am PDT Other safety-centric additions include anonymously providing mental health resources to someone on an Instagram live broadcast, and a new #KindComments campaign that includes real-life murals in various cities around the world, along with new stickers available in the app. The company has accumulated all of these features and messages into a website called Instagram

Instagram Face Filters Expand to Live Video

Instagram today expanded its selection of face filters to live video, allowing users to swap between filters when filming live content. To use face filters during a live video, Instagram users can tap on the bottom right corner to browse through the filters and then apply them. Starting today, you can play with face filters while sharing live video. Whether you're channeling a kitten or want to add some stars or rainbow light to your face, you can easily try on face filters while connecting with friends and followers in the moment.All existing face filters are now available in live video, along with a brand-new sunglasses filter that will be available exclusively in live video for the next week. The sunglasses filter allows users to tap to change the scenery reflected in the lenses of the filter. Instagram says face filters for live video are rolling out globally over the course of the next few

PSA: Snapchat Still Notifies You When Someone Screen Records Privately Messaged Snaps on iOS 11

One new feature in iOS 11 lets you easily record the screen of your iPhone as you navigate around the user interface, which can be useful when trying to help someone remotely troubleshoot an iOS problem or when making videos to share online. Since iOS 11 officially launched to the public yesterday, many users on Twitter and other sites have begun to worry that people will be able to screen record their Snapchats and Instagram Direct messages without notifications warning them of such activities taking place. While it appears that such is the case for Instagram Direct, Snapchat will still let you know when someone is screen recording your privately messaged snaps. Thanks to a tipster who emailed us this morning, we decided to test out sending both still images and videos through the two previously mentioned apps, and discovered that Snapchat treats iOS 11's screen recording feature just as it does for taking a screenshot. After using screen recording, the sender (left) is shown in-app screenshot icons and the receiver (right) gets notified If your iPhone is locked, you'll get a push notification saying someone "took a screenshot!" of either your photo or video, and if you're within the app then Snapchat will still display the double-crossed arrows and let you know that the receiver took a "screenshot just now." So, while Snapchat isn't able to directly tell you that it's a screen recording on iOS 11, you'll still know that your DMs are being saved. Stories, on the other hand, appear to be less abiding to the screen recording/screenshot notification system, at least