I love Instagram and I admit that I'm obsessed with Instagram Stories. The app comes up with new features every month and, at times, it’s hard to keep a track of them. Earlier this month, the social media app released a major update that lets you highlight and archive your Stories.
There are several new features that have been released for Instagram this holiday season. Here's a list of some awesome new features that you should know to be on top of your Instagram game.
Instagram is helping you enjoy the holiday season with a new set of stickers and face filters. You also have new stickers for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
Jazz your stories up with season stickers like hot chocolate with marshmallow, snowman, cute penguins, and more. There are three new festive filters to enjoy as well featuring a frosted glass effect, holiday makeup, a gold-and-silver balloon overlay complete with digital confetti, and much more.
You can access these face filters by swiping right to open the camera in the app and tap the face icon in the bottom-right corner. Go on, spread some holiday love and cheer.
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2. New Superzoom Effects
The Superzoom feature lets you record a 3-second video where the camera quickly zooms in on the subject in focus and the app adds tense music for dramatic effect. With the latest update, you will now see a music icon on top of the Superzoom button. Tap on it and you will see three different effects — Bounce, Beats, and TV Show.
The Bounce effect zooms on the object and adds a cartoonish background noise while Beats adds a background music of a party. Meanwhile, the TV Shows effect zooms on a person and offers an old romantic movie or TV Show vibe.
3. Follow Hashtags
You can now follow hashtags on Instagram. This opens another door for you to discover theme-specific photos, videos, and people. The aim is to make your favorite content easy to discover.
You’ll now see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. Open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. All the top posts from that hashtag will be displayed in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar.
You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.To explore more hashtags, the platform even lets you check out the hashtags other people follow in their profiles.
The Remix feature on Instagram lets you doodle on your friends photos. Once someone sends you a photo directly, tap the camera icon in the bottom of that message to reply. Take a snap and send it back.
The original picture sent to you will be included within the photo you reply with. You can now draw, add stickers and text on the original photo. It even lets you move and resize the photo.
5. Request to Join Live Video
Instagram already allowed users to run live video streams and add guests into their videos. However, you could only invite those who were actively watching the stream. Thanks to a new update people can now request to join your live video.
Anybody who wants to join the live video can simply tap the “Request” button in the comments section. Once you send a request, you'll get a confirmation after it’s accepted. Now, your screen will split in half and you'll be able to hang out live.
Features That are Being Tested
In addition to the aforementioned new features, Instagram is also testing a native Regram button. As the name suggests, the app will allow users to reshare images or video to their device from their own account without using a third-party app.
Another feature at work is the new GIF Search for Stories which allows users to search and add GIFs to their Stories or regular posts. The Regram button would be a great and much needed addition. However, I hope Instagram stays away from GIFs as I don't think it will go very well with the aesthetics of the user interface, which is more polished than Facebook and Twitter.
Up Your Instagram Game
These are some nifty features that will help you experiment with your Instagram photos as well as Stories. Are you thinking of different scenarios where you can use these features? We'd love to know.