Instagram has added new features to the Stories feature on its app. Boomerang, which is a separate app from Instagram for videos, will now also be integrated into Stories features. Instagram is also adding new features like Mentions and testing ‘See More’ Links inside Stories. These updates are a part of Instagram version 9.7 available for iOS, for Android and for Windows 10 version of the app. So what does the latest Instagram update bring for users? We take a quick look.
Boomerang will let users turn a burst of photos into a mini video of sorts. The feature is now a part of Stories. When you swipe right from your feed on Instagram, the Stories camera opens up. Now the record button in Stories will have two options at the bottom: Normal mode or Boomerang.
Slide to choose Boomerang and the camera will then stitch together a burst of photos into a quick video that will play forwards and backwards. Boomerang is best tried with moving objects rather than stationary ones, else you won’t be able to see the difference. It’s like a loop video, that goes ahead and then rewinds. This is similar to one of the filters in Snapchat, which lets users put their Stories in a rewind mode.
Instagram will also let people mention their friends in the Story. Mentioning people in Stories works the same as it does in regular captions and comments. So when you create a Story and you add text, you can just type “@” with the username. Then just add person you wish to tag. This username comes underlined in the Story. If your other followers tap the mention, they will see a pop-up that takes them to the profile of the person tagged.
Users will get also notification in Direct Messages when they are mentioned in someone else’s Story. They can just tap the preview to go straight to the Story and see it. If someone you don’t follow mentions you, the notification will come in your message requests.
Instagram is also testing ‘see more’ links where a user will be taken to a separate web page inside the app straight from the Story itself. This will appear at the bottom of Stories. For now this is in test mode, and only for verified accounts to add links in order to discover more details about a story.
For instance if you’re following big fashion labels on Instagram, you are likely to find a ‘See More’ at the bottom of their stories. Swiping up on ‘See More’ will take you to a special link page with an article in Instagram.
Instagram might have copied Stories from Snapchat but it looks like the company plans to strengthen this feature in order to boost usage. Let’s not forget that Instagram still has a lot more daily active users compared to Snapchat, and while Stories on the Facebook-owned app might not have funny filters, it is a lot easier to navigate.