Instagram initially made a name for itself with its filters, but it has come very far from its early days. The social network keeps on adding new features, and some of the latest ones look awfully familiar.
Face filters is the newest feature in Instagram Stories. Just like in Snapchat, these filters apply goofy effects to your face. Whether Instagram copied it or not isn’t a matter of concern for consumers. All that matters is how well it works. The filters execute perfectly. Even in Stories, the feature works in selfie mode and ideally, you need a good front-facing camera. As long as the camera can track your face, the applied filter will move in real time. To see your face filters, start a new story, switch to selfie mode and tap the face icon next to the camera button. Flick through different filters to check them all out.
Rewind and hashtag
The new eraser brush
Instagram Stories has also added a new brush: the Eraser. It’s yet another creative tool to edit images. Take a photo in Stories and use the other brushes to add anything you want. Tap the eraser brush and erase just the parts that you want. It can be a cool way to highlight something by darkening out all the other parts of the image.
Save or bookmark
When you come across a photo that you like, you can save it for later. Instagram now has bookmarks and in many ways, this is like a better version of Pinterest. You can save any image with a single tap on the bookmark button, found at the bottom-right corner below an image or video. But the cool part is that you can make ‘collections’ like you used to on Pinterest. Tap and hold the bookmark button to add the post to a collection or create a new collection for photos like it.
Add multiple photos
A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes, you need a series of images to tell a story. Instagram now lets you add multiple images to a single post. To do this, start by uploading an image from Gallery or Camera Roll. Once you’ve selected it, tap the ‘multiple images’ button. You can add up to 10 images or videos. Tap the ‘Next’ arrow to add filters or rearrange the order of the images. There are two benefits to this. First, you no longer spam your followers with a series of images on their timeline. Second, you no longer have to use the Layouts for Instagram app to create collages. As good as that app is, it’s not the ideal way to narrate a tale.
Use Instagram offline
Android users, your Instagram app has something the iPhone app doesn’t: offline mode. It hasn’t rolled out to all Android smartphones yet, but if you have a smartphone with Android 7.0 Nougat, it should work. Instagram’s offline mode means you can take photos and edit them, and they’ll be posted automatically the next time you go online. You can also interact with your timeline while you’re offline. Like an image or comment on a post, and it will all be updated when you are online.
Instagram Windows desktop app
For a long time, Windows and Mac users have had to make do with third-party Instagram clients. The social network has finally released an official app for Windows 10, which works on both phones and desktops. But the bad news is that you still can’t upload images from the desktop app. You can browse your feed, comment and like photos, and even send direct messages to friends. Even now, the workaround hack site Gramblr seems to be your best bet to upload photos to Instagram from a desktop.
Instagram has a lot of your data, so don’t let anyone else gain access to it easily. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the essential security protocols to use for any service. And Instagram now supports it, so turn it on. In the app, go to Profile > Menu > Two-Factor Authentication > Require Security Code, and flip the toggle to switch it on. You will need to associate your account with your phone number, after which you’ll get a code to enable access.
In its constant quest to replace Snapchat, Instagram has also added a way to send self-destructing messages to friends. It’s what made Snapchat so popular in the first place. Go to Direct Messages in Instagram, and tap the Blue camera button at the bottom. Only the Blue camera sends disappearing messages, the regular Grey camera (next to any person’s name) will send permanent photos. One of the ways people cheat with disappearing images is by taking screenshots. Instagram will keep an eye out for this, and notify you if the recipient takes a screenshot of your disappearing chat.