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Posts tagged with "instagram"

Instagram Updates Two-Factor Authentication and Verification Process

You may not see the changes yet, but Instagram has announced that it has begun rolling out changes to two-factor authentication. The company is also changing the account verification process but not the standard by which accounts are verified.

In the wake of recent high-profile Instagram hacks, the company has added the ability to use authenticator apps to its two-factor authentication setting. Receiving a code by text message is still an option, but it’s a technique that has come under scrutiny due to its susceptibility to SIM card hacking. The new option requires a code generated by an app like Google Authenticator, 1Password, or Authy.

Instagram has also modified the account verification process. A form requesting verification will be available from the app’s settings. After a request is reviewed, Instagram will contact the user accepting or denying it.

A new ‘About this Account’ section is also being added to Instagram accounts with large followings to help users judge the authenticity of qualifying accounts. Information like when the account was set up, its country of origin, ads it runs, and other data will be listed beginning in September.


Instagram Launches IGTV Video App Featuring Longer-Form Video

Instagram announced a video service today that is available as a standalone app called IGTV. The new service will be available soon from a button in the top right-hand corner of the Instagram app’s main screen too.

IGTV features vertical video that is longer than is available in Instagram’s Stories feature. Currently, channels created by new accounts and ones with fewer followers are limited to uploading videos that are 15 seconds to 10 minutes long, but TechCrunch reports that eventually all accounts will be able to upload videos up to one hour long.

When you first open the app, it opens to a ‘For You’ section of videos from people you follow on Instagram along with a selection of popular content. The currently-selected video dominates the top two-thirds of the screen. The bottom third of the screen is a horizontally-scrolling, tabbed thumbnail interface for picking other videos. The included tabs are ‘For You,’ ‘Following,’ ‘Popular,’ and ‘Continue Watching,’ which are self-explanatory. You can also swipe between videos in a tab the same way you would in Instagram Stories.

Swiping down dismisses the thumbnails and other UI, so the video dominates the screen. A tap on the video reveals play/pause controls, a scrubber to advance or rewind the video, and buttons to mark videos as favorites, comment, share it with other Instagram contacts, copy a link to the video, report it, or hide it. Tapping the title of the video displays its description, which can include URLs that open in Safari View Controller. TechCrunch says users will be able to subscribe to channels, though that doesn’t seem to be implemented in this initial release.

Although there is currently no advertising in the app, that is coming based on Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom’s comments during the event today. According to the TechCrunch report on the event:

“There’s no ads in IGTV today,” says Systrom, but he says it’s “obviously a very reasonable place [for ads] to end up.” He explained that since creators are investing a lot of time into IGTV videos, he wants to make that sustainable by offering them a way to monetize in the future.

Overall, I like what I’ve seen in the short time I’ve been using IGTV. Only a couple of the accounts I follow have posted videos so far, but I expect that will change as creators experiment with this new outlet. One big disappointment from a design standpoint though, is that the app does not support full-screen iPhone X video.

IGTV is available on the App Store as a free download.


Instagram Rolls Out Private Stories Archive

Two important updates to Instagram's Stories feature announced today – here's Casey Newton, writing at The Verge:

Instagram is rolling out a private archive of the ephemeral stories you have posted in the app. Starting today, Instagram will begin to add your expired stories to the archive feature, which until now has been used only to house photos and videos you no longer want to display on your public profile. The stories archive, which you will be able to opt out of, is being introduced globally on Android and iOS.

The stories archive represents another feature copied from Snapchat, which introduced its own version of the archive, called Memories, last year. But the archive differs from Snap’s version in one key respect: Instagram will let you post old stories to your profile in a feature the company is calling Highlights. You’ll be able to package old stories together in the archive, give them a name, and share them to your profile, where they will appear above your other posts.

I don't use Instagram Stories as frequently as my friends (all their social updates start via Stories these days), but with an automatic archive feature combined with Highlights, it may be time for me to start posting puppy videos more often.

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Apple Joins Instagram, Highlights Photos Shot on iPhone

Apple launched an official Instagram account today, @apple. Rather than opting to promote general company news, the primary focus of the account appears to be functioning as an extension of Apple’s long-running ‘Shot on iPhone’ ad campaign.

Nearly all of the initial posts from the account are galleries featuring various photos and videos shot using iPhones. Each post’s caption reads ‘#ShotoniPhone by...’ followed by a list of the names and accounts of those who created the content, and a quote from those content creators about their work. The bio line of the account reads, “Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part.” Presumably using that tag may lead Apple to contact you about including your work in one of their upcoming collections.

While the focus of the account may change in the future, Apple’s current strategy of tying together its photography marketing campaign with the real work of photographers on Instagram is an effective, thoughtful use of the platform. By connecting with content creators and highlighting their work, Apple is not only fostering an environment of social connection among both amateur and professional photographers, but it’s also promoting the iPhone’s strengths as a camera.


Instagram Launches Snapchat-Style Face Filters and More

Instagram has announced several new features rolling out today, chief of which is another major borrow from Snapchat:

Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.

From math equations swirling around your head to furry koala ears that move and twitch, you can transform into a variety of characters that make you smile or laugh. To see our initial set of eight face filters, simply open the camera and tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner.

The initial batch of eight filters is smaller than what's available on Snapchat, and it remains to be seen how often new filters will be added, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot more growth in this area. Snapchat's advantage is not only in the number of filters, but also in its recent expansion of filtering technology in the form of World Lenses – and Instagram has made clear its commitment to beating Snapchat at its own game.

Also launching today is a new "Rewind" camera format to play videos in reverse, a hashtag sticker that can be used when crafting Instagram Stories, and a new eraser brush to complement the set of existing drawing tools.


Instagram Adds Tools to Organize Saved Posts into Collections

Instagram has a new feature rolling out this week to enhance the current tool that enables saving other users' posts:

Starting this week, you can save posts into private collections. Tap and hold the bookmark icon underneath any post to save it directly to a collection. You can create and name a new collection when you save a post, or you can add it to one you’ve already created. You can also create a collection out of your existing saved posts. Tap the plus icon in the top right corner, give your collection a name and select the saved posts you’d like to add.

You can find your collections on the saved posts tab on your profile. Just like all saved posts, your collections are private — only you can see them.

While some of Instagram's biggest new features of late have appeared focused on targeting Snapchat, the ability to save and organize posts into collections brings Instagram closer into Pinterest's space. Although all collections of saved posts are private at the moment, it wouldn't be too surprising to see a future option to make select collections public.

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Instagram Posts Expand to Include Multiple Photos

Today Instagram announced a new feature that will be rolling out to all users soon: the ability to share multiple photos or videos within a single post.

Here's how it works:

When uploading to your feed, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. It’s easy to control exactly how your post will look. You can tap and hold to change the order, apply a filter to everything at once or edit one by one. These posts have a single caption and are square-only for now. On your profile grid, you’ll notice the first photo or video of your post has a little icon, which means there’s more to see.

As you browse your feed, a post that contains a collection of photos or videos will show a number of small dots underneath the first image, with each dot representing a photo or video you can swipe through.

This update comes with Instagram 10.9, released yesterday, but isn't yet available to all users. According to TechCrunch, it will roll out globally over the next few weeks.


Instagram is Rolling Out Live Video and Enhanced Direct Messages

Instagram announced two new features today. The first is live video in stories. Swiping right opens stories mode, a feature similar to Snapchat stories, which was introduced in August. Instagram is rolling out live worldwide video over the next few weeks. When you begin broadcasting live, your followers may receive a notification that you are live. In addition, Instagram says that:

When someone you follow starts a live story, you’ll see “Live” under their profile photo in the stories bar. During the broadcast, you can comment and like as much as you want. You can also check out new live stories on Explore. Tap “Top Live” to see exciting live stories happening at that moment and swipe right and left to easily skip around.

Comments can also be turned off altogether. When you are finished recording, your live story disappears.

Images courtesy of Instagram.

Images courtesy of Instagram.

The second feature rolled out by Instagram is disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct. Regular direct messages, which have been around since last year, will continue to work as they have in the past, but now you can also take a picture or video from within the stories UI and tap the right-facing arrow button to send it to a friend or group. After the photo or video has been viewed, it disappears. If the recipient takes a screenshot, you are sent a notification.

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Instagram Adds Boomerang Mode, Mentions, and ‘See More’ Links to Stories

Instagram Stories continue to evolve with three new features introduced today. The first is called Boomerang. Swiping below the shutter button in the Stories UI switches between ‘Normal’ and ‘Boomerang’ mode. Tapping the shutter button in Boomerang mode takes a burst of photos that is turned into a short video that is played continuously forward and backward.

Instagram also added Mentions to Stories that work just like they already do in captions and comments. Add ‘@‘ followed by a username to an Instagram Story and the username becomes a link that will take you to the person’s profile. The person mentioned also receives a notification that they were mentioned in a Story.

Finally, verified Instagram users can add a ‘See More’ link to Stories that opens an external web page inside the Story. ‘See More’ links are described by Instagram as a test feature. To try them, Instagram suggest checking out the accounts of Duane Johnson (@therock), Chance the Rapper (@chancetherapper), and Bustle (@bustle).

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