This past June, Instagram has been on an update frenzy. This is almost always good news for users because if the features work properly, then we have a lot of things to explore when playing with our favorite photo and video sharing app. And if you’ve been following news related to app updates or if you’re just a heavy IG user, you’ve probably noticed something new almost every week as it seeks to become more relevant than Snapchat or all the other media sharing apps. In case you didn’t notice, here is a quick rundown of all the new things you can do with both the main app and its off-shoot, Instagram Stories.
When you’re watching or looking at a story of your friend and you were mentioned in it, the first thing you’d want to do, after reacting to it, is to share it on your own feed or Story. Previously, you couldn’t do it or you could but you had to go through the whole process of taking a screenshot and then reposting it. But Instagram has now added a feature where you can add that content to your own story by adding it as a sticker. You can then add the text, other stickers, scale, rotate, position it, just like you would any photo. The original poster’s username would be included in the post and is tappable. This is of course only applicable to accounts that are public.
Shopping in Instagram stories
While you could already do your shopping for your favorite brands on your Instagram feed, this time around, selected brands can also now sell through their Stories. This is a result of a survey that they did in which users say that they keep up-to-date with the brands that they love not just to their posts but through their Stories as well. So now select brands are able to add selling tools in their stories so those who are interested to buy can do so easily and seamlessly.
IGTV takes its digital bow
This is probably the most major thing that Instagram has done in the past few weeks. They have launched IGTV, both a stand-alone app and also a built-in feature with the main app. It is where you can upload and watch long-form, vertical videos that are more than just 15 sconds (Instagram Stories) and more than 60 seconds (Instagram). You don’t need to turn your phone around as everything is formatted to a vertical screen and you get to explore sections like “For You”, “Following”, “Popular” and “Continue Watching”. Just like with the normal posts, you can like, comment and send videos through Direct with IGTV. While there are creator channels that you can browse through, you can also actually create your own channel and become a creator.
Chat with your friends through Video Chat
If just sending texts or stickers or emojis with your friends is not enough anymore, Instagram now lets you Video Chat. You can have a video call with as many as four friends. Just go to your existing conversation, tap on the camera icon on the upper right and once your friend or fiends answer, start video chatting away. You can also minimize the chat window in case you want to do other things on Instagram while still video chatting with them and you’re great at multi-tasking and all that.
Exploring Instagram got easier
The Explore section is now easier to navigate since they’re now divided into topic channels. The section has a tray at the top with topics that Instagram thinks you’re interested in based on previous actions. There is also a “For You” channel which is a mix of all the things that it thinks you will like. You can swipe through the channels grid by grid and when you’ve decided on a topic you want to explore, tap on it then scroll up. If you want to not see a topic in the future, just mute it by long pressing and choosing the mute option.
Add “legit” music to your Stories
Since Facebook has made several deals with major record companies and indie labels, this means that their related products will be able to let you use legit music and you won’t be punished anymore for using a popular song. You can now add Music to your Instagram Stories through a sticker from the section. Just tap on the music-looking icon and choose from the thousands of songs that its now vast library. You can also choose your music first from your Instagram camera where the music mode is under the record button. Then you can record you or your friends singing along to the song or lip syncing to it.
Instagram will now tell you “You’re All Caught Up”
Because Instagram’s feed is not chronological, it’s sometimes difficult to know if you’ve seen all that you need to see. To help you out with this, Instagram will now show a “You’re All Caught Up” message if you’ve finished seeing the important posts from the past two days. It might not be of much help if you’re following a thousand people, but at least you’ll know now if you’re….well…all caught up.
July 4, 2018 at 03:01AM