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'Instagram' Articles

Instagram Announces Mute Feature So You Can Hide Posts Without Unfollowing People

Instagram today announced the ability for you to mute accounts in your feed, so that you can hide posts from people or brands you may not want to see anymore without needing to unfollow them completely. Instagram says that the change is another update to make your feed "even more personalized to what matters to you." Account muting will be in the ellipsis menu at the top right of each post, and you can choose to "Mute Posts" or "Mute Posts and Story," to also prevent that account's stories from appearing at the top of the Instagram app. You can also mute accounts by pressing and holding on a story in the story tray, or from a user's profile. After you mute someone you can still navigate to their profile page to look at their posts, and if you're tagged by them the app will still send you a push notification. Instagram says that people will not be made aware that you muted them, and you can unmute people whenever you like. Facebook has a similar muting feature, allowing users to unfollow other people without directly unfriending them. Instagram is routinely working on new additions for its photo-sharing social network, with new digital health features like "Time Spent" usage and "You're All Caught Up" notifications said to be coming soon. In March, the company updated its feed algorithm to focus on newer posts, although many users frequently request an option to return to the simple, reverse chronological feed. Instagram says that the mute feature will be rolling out to its users "over the coming

Instagram Working on 'You're All Caught Up' Feature to Let You Know When All New Posts Have Been Viewed

Instagram has not used a chronological feed for years now, making it difficult to determine when you've seen all of the new content on the social network. Instagram may be planning to fix this issue with a new "You're All Caught Up" feature that's designed to notify users when all unseen posts from the last 48 hours have been viewed. The feature was first noticed by TechCrunch, and an Instagram spokesperson confirmed that it is being tested and will show up for a limited number of users. Instagram did not, however, share details on how it works and whether it includes every single post from the people you follow or just the best ones that its algorithm has decided to display. The new "You're All Caught Up" text is part of Instagram's pledge to offer a Usage Insights feature that will let users know just how much time they're spending in the Instagram app. "We're building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram - any time should be positive and intentional. Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it's the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously," Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom wrote on Twitter last

Instagram Now Letting Users Share Feed Posts to Stories

Instagram today added a feature that's designed to let users share posts from their accounts and public accounts that they follow directly to their story feed as a sticker. Today, we're introducing a new way to easily share feed posts to your story. When you come across something in feed that inspires you -- like a post from a friend raising money for a cause or a photo of a new design from your favorite brand -- you can now quickly share that post as a sticker to your story for your friends and followers to see.Instagram users can share a feed post to a story by tapping on the paper airplane button below a post, which is the same gesture used to send it through a Direct message. At the top of this interface, there's a new option to create a story. Tapping that option will transform the feed post into a sticker with a customized background that can be shared to a story. Like other stickers, the post sticker can be rotated, scaled, moved, and otherwise customized. Every post shared to stories will display the original poster's username to make it clear who an image belongs to. Users can also tap on a post in someone's story to see the original post and more content from the person who shared it. Instagram is only allowing content from accounts that are public, not private, to be shared to stories. Instagram users who do not want their posts shared to stories by other people can opt out in the settings section of the

Instagram to Offer 'Time Spent' Usage Insights to Promote Healthy Online Habits

Instagram is developing a Usage Insights feature for its social media platform that will let users know how much time they're spending in the app. TechCrunch on Tuesday highlighted code buried in the Android version of Instagram that reveals the new time management controls headed for the app, and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has since confirmed the features are indeed in development for the platform as a whole."It's true," said Systrom, adding in a series of tweets: "We're building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional. Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it's the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously."The upcoming feature reflects a recent trend by big tech companies to acknowledge the unhealthy habits that their products can promote, especially among younger users. Facebook-owned Instagram joins Google and Apple in a pool of companies that have recently confirmed they are developing methods to promote more meaningful engagement online and cut down on anti-social browsing. Last week, Google announced several tools for users of its latest Android operating system that would help them better manage their screen time. These include a new do not disturb mode called "shush" that makes it easier for users to ignore notifications, and a "wind down" mode that gradually changes screen color to grayscale and lowers brightness as bedtime approaches. Earlier this

Fandango Now Lets You Buy Movie Tickets Through Its Instagram Page

Fandango today added a "Buy Tickets" button on the company's Instagram profile, letting visitors to the page purchase tickets to films currently in theaters as well as pre-order tickets for unreleased movies (via The Hollywood Reporter). The move is said to be part of an overall push by Instagram into a "shoppable tags" commerce feature, and comes after the social network debuted a native payments option for select users last week. The Buy Tickets button sits to the right of Fandango's existing Shop button on its Instagram profile, and when you tap it a mobile.fandango.com page loads with movies both now playing and coming soon. You can choose a film, find a showtime, and sign into your Fandango account (or check out as a guest) to complete the purchase. "As millions of movie fans have gravitated to social media platforms to discover, share and engage with their favorite movie content, Fandango has been essential to that experience, offering ticketing capabilities and access to the most comprehensive network of U.S. theaters," said Fandango president Paul Yanover. "We're very excited to integrate ticketing into our Fandango Instagram, and look forward to working with our studio partners to help transform consumer passion into advance ticket purchases." Instagram has featured ads that users can tap and purchase items with for over two years, but it's important to note that Fandango's initiative is housed entirely on the company's profile page and won't be a sponsored Instagram post. This should make it easier to navigate to Fandango and quickly purchase a movie

Latest WhatsApp Update Touts Instagram and Facebook Video Support

WhatsApp for iOS has been updated to support inline Instagram and Facebook video playback, according to the messaging platform's latest release notes. YouTube videos have been playable for some time in WhatsApp, which also offers a Picture-in-Picture mode for continuing to watch while switching between chat threads. However, clicking on an Instagram or Facebook video link kicks users out of the app and into the respective hosting platform. The WhatsApp changelog for version 2.18.51 indicates support for Facebook and Instagram videos has now been greenlighted by the developers, although our tests suggest the feature is still being rolled out. The group administrator functions have also been tweaked in the latest version of the app, so that group admins can now revoke admin rights from other participants. To remove an admin, select the user in "Group Info" and select "Dismiss As Admin". In addition, group admins can now choose who can change a group's subject, icon, and description. These options can also be found in Group Info under the "Group Settings" section. At the recent Facebook F8 developers conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed WhatsApp will soon support group video calling, although he offered no timeline for the feature's introduction. The messaging platform is also set to support stickers "soon", including third-party ones made by

Instagram Adds Native Payments Option for Some Users

Instagram has added a native payments feature that's currently available to some Instagram users, reports TechCrunch. The payments feature allows Instagram users to add a credit or debit card to Instagram to make purchases of advertised products and services directly within the Instagram app. Instagram already has a shopping feature through Shoppable tags, but it requires users to access a third-party website to complete payments, so it is not the same as the new native option. An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch that native payments are currently available to some users for booking appointments at locations like restaurants and salons. Users who have access to the Payments feature will find it within the Instagram settings. A Profile tab allows a Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, or Discover credit or debit card to be added to the app, while a Security tab allows users to set a PIN for authorizing purchases. A separate Activity tab lists anything that a user has purchased on Instagram. Instagram has enabled Payments for a select number of retail partners, such as dinner reservation app Resy. Businesses that use Resy can accept in-app reservations and bookings using stored payment methods. Payments will expand to other products and services in the future, according to Instagram, allowing users to do things like purchase movie tickets and other items.

Instagram to Gain Revamped Explore Tool, Video Chat and AR Camera Effects

At today's F8 developer conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled some new features that are coming soon to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Instagram's Explore tab will be getting a new look that's more focused on various topics. Facebook also plans to add a new video chat feature to Instagram, allowing two or more people to chat with each other using a FaceTime or Skype-style video chatting interface. You can use the video chat feature to chat one-on-one with someone or with a group of people, and you can chat while continuing to browse Instagram. Instagram is also gaining an AR Camera Effects platform, which will allow Instagram photos to be enhanced with augmented reality effects. It's not quite clear exactly when these new features will be coming to

Instagram Releases New 'Data Download' Tool for Downloading Photos, Videos, Messages and More

Instagram today released a new Data Download feature which is designed to let Instagram users download a copy of their photos, videos, stories, profile info, comments, and messages to comply with the European Union's upcoming GDPR privacy law. While the privacy law is only applicable in Europe, Instagram has made the new download tool, accessible here as long as you're signed in to an Instagram account, available to all of its users. An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch that while the Data Download tool is "currently accessible to everyone on the web," access via Android and iOS is still rolling out. Once a data download request is submitted to Instagram, it takes some time for the data to be prepared. The company asks users to input an email address, with a download link set after the data is gathered. Instagram says data requests can take up to 48 hours to be fulfilled. This is the first time that Instagram has offered users an option to download all of their data, including their photos that have been uploaded to the social network. Instagram parent company Facebook has had a download data option for quite some time, and people have been surprised to find what kind of data Facebook is collecting. It appears the Instagram tool will be more limited in scope, but it will include all of a user's personal

Instagram Developing Tool to Let You Download Everything You've Shared

Instagram is working on a new data portability tool that will let you download all of the content that you've shared on the social network, reports TechCrunch. According to an Instagram spokesperson, Instagram users will be able to download photos, videos, and messages using the upcoming tool. Instagram parent company Facebook already offers such a tool on Facebook, allowing you to download your photos, videos, and other content that's been uploaded to Facebook, but as of right now, Instagram has no equivalent feature. That makes it difficult for Instagram users who have shared a lot of content on Instagram to leave the platform, as the content is inaccessible and can't be transported to another photo sharing service. As TechCrunch points out, Instagram has made an effort to make it difficult for its users to get content off of the platform in the past. There are no options for saving images through simple sharing tools or tap/drag gestures. Instagram has not shared information on what will be downloadable aside from images, and it's not yet clear if downloaded content will be full resolution. Instagram says it plans to share additional details "very soon" when the tool is

Instagram Launches New 'Focus' Feature for Portrait Mode-Style Photos

Instagram today announced the launch of a new "Focus" mode, which is designed to allow Instagram users to take portrait images with a softly blurred background. The feature is available as a new option next to "Superzoom" when you open up the camera. It can be used with the front or rear-facing cameras, and Instagram says as soon as someone is in the shot, the person will stay in focus while the background becomes blurred. Focus mode only works with a person in the frame. Focus mode can be used with either photos or videos, and it's designed to be similar to the Portrait Mode feature available on Apple's newer dual-lens devices. While Portrait Mode is a hardware-based feature available on the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, Instagram's Focus mode is software based, making it available on a wider range of devices. Instagram says Focus works on the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and "select Android devices." In addition to Focus, Instagram is also adding a new @mention sticker on iOS devices so you can use a sticker to tag your friends using the stories camera. Both Focus and the new Mention sticker are available in the latest version of Instagram, which can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Instagram Disables Several APIs Used by Third-Party Apps

Along with multiple privacy-related API changes being made to Facebook, Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced that it has disabled several Instagram Platform APIs as of today, disabling certain Instagram features that are available in third-party Instagram apps. Third-party Instagram apps will no longer be able to use APIs that provide access to follower lists, likes, relationships, and public comments.To continuously improve Instagram users' privacy and security, we are accelerating the deprecation of Instagram API Platform, making the following changes effective immediately. We understand that this may affect your business or services, and we appreciate your support in keeping our platform secure.In the future, other APIs will be disabled. Starting on December 11, 2018, Instagram will no longer allow apps to read public content, and in early 2020, apps will not be able to read a user's own profile info and media. These APIs are all part of Instagram's older platform, and it has already been working towards transferring developers to a newer, more restrictive platform. As TechCrunch points out, Instagram had originally planned on deprecating the APIs in July and December of 2018, but suddenly moved the timetable forward in the wake of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal. While the remaining APIs won't be disabled fully until 2020, Instagram has implemented rate limit reductions on them as of last weekend to limit access. Instagram previously allowed 5,000 API calls per user per hour, a number that has been cut down to

Instagram Eliminates Apple Watch App

Instagram today became the latest company to ditch the Apple Watch, eliminating its Apple Watch app in an update that was released this morning. In a statement given to French site iPhoneAddict, Instagram said the Instagram Apple Watch app was built using the watchOS 1 SDK, which was obsoleted by Apple on April 1. Rather than putting effort into rebuilding the app, Instagram has decided to end support for the wrist-worn device. "The Instagram app for Apple Watch will no longer be available as a stand-alone experience once users upgrade to Instagram version 39 on iOS, released April 2, 2018. We are committed to providing users with the best experience with their Apple products and we will continue to explore ways to achieve this on all platforms. Users with an Apple Watch will continue to enjoy a great Instagram experience through various rich and varied notifications. "Apple last year began notifying developers that Apple Watch apps need to be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later as of April 1, 2018. Apple first began requiring new apps to use the watchOS 2 SDK in June of 2016, and watchOS apps that continue to use the watchOS 1 SDK can no longer be updated. Apple now requires all new watchOS apps to be built using the watchOS 4 SDK. Instagram has had a watchOS app available since 2015, and it was one of the first companies to support the Apple Watch when it first launched. The app was designed to let you view and like photos from the social network on your wrist. Instagram features will continue to be available on Apple Watch, but through

Instagram Now Allows Live Hashtags and Profile Links in Your Bio

Instagram today made a change to user bios, allowing "#" hashtags and "@" links to other Instagram users. Starting today, when you add a @ or a # to your Instagram bio, it will become a live link that leads either to a hashtag page or to another profile. Instagram says it has implemented this change to allow users to better express themselves and their interests in their profiles, adding information like #guitarlover, #pencilsketching, #makeuptutorial, and more. To add a hashtag or link in your bio, you need to navigate to "Edit Profile" and select the "Bio" section. When typing a # or a @ here, you will see a list of recommended hashtags and accounts. Selecting a hashtag or an account you want to add will automatically link it in your bio. For privacy reasons, Instagram says that when you mention someone else's profile in your bio, they'll receive a notification and can remove the link to their profile if

Instagram Code Suggests Upcoming Voice and Video Calling Features

Evidence has emerged that Instagram is planning video calling features for the social media app. TechCrunch has unearthed icons from the Android version of the app that seem to point to the new calling and video calling functions likely destined for Instagram's Direct messaging system. Files named "call" and "video call" with phone and camera icons were dug up in the app's Android application packages (APKs), which can often reveal components for unreleased functions that are present but not yet live. The company has been improving its private messaging capabilities at a steady rate, most recently adding live video support. Instagram has also been testing a new standalone app called "Direct" that will be solely focused on direct messaging friends and family members. The addition of voice and video calling would put Instagram in competition with Snapchat on yet another front. Apart from Stories, Instagram has been working hard to outdo Snapchat with other new features like replay privacy controls, which the latter doesn't currently

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