Instagram has been busy rolling out a number of new features lately – with plenty more in the pipeline which are currently being beta tested. Lets take a look at some of the new updates and a few that are expected to be coming soon.
Share feed posts to stories
Last week Instagram announced the news that they had finally rolled out the feature to allow users to share posts to stories.
“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.”
This feature was first seen being tested back in February and was considered a long time coming. Many users had already been sharing others posts on their feed and stories – either by screenshots or third party apps. This new share option streamlines the process of sharing to stories.
Sharing to stories is a simple process as explained by Instagram:
To share a feed post to your story, just tap the paper airplane button below the post, just as you would to send it via Direct. At the top, you’ll now see the option to create a story. Tap it to see the feed post as a sticker with a customized background ready to share to your story. You can rotate, scale and move the sticker — and tap it to explore other styles.
Mute: A new way to personalise your feed
This is an interesting feature as it allows users to stop seeing content from someone in their timeline – without having to unfollow them. This could be useful if you have accounts that you follow for whatever reason (such as family members or old friends) – but you don’t want to unfollow them. As it’s a measure that can be undone at any point it could prove a useful temporary fix when you want to streamline the content you see in your timeline feed (such as during holidays or busy periods).
To mute an account, tap the … menu in the corner of the post. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and stories from an account. You can also mute posts and stories by pressing and holding on a story in your tray, or from a profile.
This feature will be rolling out to all accounts over the next few weeks.
Usage Insights – Time spent on Instagram
I’m not sure I want to know how long I spend on Instagram, because I already know it’s too long!
Tech Crunch have revealed that Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed that they are trialling a new ‘usage’ feature, which will offer user insights into how long is spent on Instagram. There is much acknowledgement from media and the social media platforms of the negative impact of time spent on social media, so hopefully this is a positive step towards encouraging users towards a more balanced approach to their time online.
Add music clips to Instagram stories using stickers
Code has been discovered within the Instagram Android app that suggests Instagram could be about to introduce a feature that will allow users to add music to their stories via ‘stickers’ – in the same way that they can now add GIF’s, Polls, Locations and Hashtags.
Video Chat for messaging
Instagram is looking to improve their messaging service by introducing an option for group video chats. A feature which they say is being tested at the moment and will be rolled out soon.
To start a video chat, simply tap the new camera icon at the top of a Direct thread. You can chat one-on-one or with a small group — and you can keep the conversation going for as long as you like. You can also minimize the video and continue the chat while doing other things on Instagram.
Slow Motion & Cinemagraphs for stories videos
Focus mode for selfies!
Now you can instantly take portraits of yourself or friends that you’ll want to share — with the new “Focus” camera format.
Instagram continues to give Snapchat a run for a money with this new feature which is supposed to improve selfies by keeping the person in focus and blurring the background. Maybe not a feature for the the professional users, but something to have fun with I’m sure!