FEB 8, 2018:
What happened in the world of Instagram last month? Consider this your need-to-know on all the latest news and features.
The new feature for GIF lovers
It looks like Instagram is forming a partnership with Giphy to offer a GIF library in Stories, which it first tested with users in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brazil. This makes sense, as parent company Facebook has already done the same, most recently giving its users the ability to comment using GIFS using the Giphy search engine. All you need to do is search for ‘accessories’ to get GIFS that you can layer over faces, while browsing ‘effects’ will add ambiance, and ‘peekers’ display a range of pop-up GIFs. There are also text-based graphics (search ‘word art’), emojis (‘emoji’), and other themed GIFs like ‘happy birthday’.
The new feature coming your way
Instagram is testing a new ‘Type’ feature within Stories for users to share text-based messages as an alternative to photos or video, reports The Next Web, with the ability to choose different backgrounds and fonts. It’s very similar to what you can already do using the pen tool, but also sends screenshot notifications, a bit like Snapchat. Users in Japan and Europe have been given the option to select Type alongside other features like Boomberang and Live. It’s unclear whether this will be rolled out worldwide.
The new feature users are turning off
Did you know your friends and followers can now see when you were last checking Instagram – and the setting is turned on by default in the app? Luckily, it’s only the ones you interact with via private messages or those you tag in your Instagram Stories, as your activity is displayed on the messaging screen. But it’s easy to turn off, and many users have already done this. Simply click on settings, and then deactivate ‘Show Activity Status’.
What do you think of the new updates? Share in the comments!
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