Four awesome new Instagram features

We run the rule over the latest Insta additions...
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Four awesome new Instagram features

If you love Instagram, you’ll love their latest raft of updates, making it more personal, more useful, and simply… more fun. Here are just some of the exciting changes you can expect to see …

Browse via Channels on the Explore page

The Explore tab has always been pretty good at showing new content based on the photos and videos you like, but the randomised collage layout can seem disorganised and tricky to follow. So, not only is the Explore page getting a big redesign, you’ll soon be able to explore by topic.

Facebook’s clever AI picks up on the photos and footage you engage with, and groups these into relevant genres. This means that what you see is personalised to your interests, and your interests are understood more accurately by the app. It’s a much more effective way to see the things that interest you than following hashtags.

If you’re football crazy, tap the ‘Sports’ channel to only see pictures related to the beautiful game. Or, if you love discovering structural gems, tap on ‘Architecture’ to reaffirm your love for grand design.

Group video chat

Yes, you read right, video chat is coming to Instagram. Until now, many users have been using live video to talk with friends, but that’s set to change. With the new update, you’ll see a brand new camera icon appear in your direct messages. Find it in single chats and on group message boards, tap it, and get chatting to your mates.

It won’t stop you from finding new posts as you go like it did before, either. Minimise the video chat so that it appears as a small window on your screen, letting you see and talk to your mates while you scroll, follow and like away.

AR Camera Effects

For the past year, Facebook have encouraged developers to create their own augmented reality filters for the app, and now Instagram users are being encouraged to get creative. Not only that, but Instagram are developing the tool as a way for users and influencers to engage with their followers.

Let’s say you’re an animal lover and your favourite pooch’s Instagram account (yes, it’s a thing) has just released a funny AR filter – only you and other followers will be able to use it when you want to share a photo. And if you’re looking to grow your own follower base, your followers’ friends will be able to find you when they see your filter being shared. See what you can create – you never know; you could go viral!

Directly share your Spotify activity and GoPro footage

It’s always good to find a new song or album recommendation on Instagram, but sharing the track you’re listening to on Spotify has always involved screenshots and cropping, by which point the song is over.

Well thanks to improved cross-app integration, you’ll have the option to share what you’re listening to direct from Spotify, so you can be more spontaneous and get your followers into that soundtrack you have on loop.

It’s not just Spotify though. Adventurers and adrenaline junkies will be able to share their GoPro footage directly too, so expect the stories you see to get even better.

What do you think of the new features? Are you excited to video chat to your mates, or were you already settled in story mode? Let us know in the comments below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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