Instagram Face Filters Expand to Live Video

Instagram today expanded its selection of face filters to live video, allowing users to swap between filters when filming live content.

To use face filters during a live video, Instagram users can tap on the bottom right corner to browse through the filters and then apply them.

Starting today, you can play with face filters while sharing live video. Whether you're channeling a kitten or want to add some stars or rainbow light to your face, you can easily try on face filters while connecting with friends and followers in the moment.
All existing face filters are now available in live video, along with a brand-new sunglasses filter that will be available exclusively in live video for the next week. The sunglasses filter allows users to tap to change the scenery reflected in the lenses of the filter.

Instagram says face filters for live video are rolling out globally over the course of the next few weeks.

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PSA: Snapchat Still Notifies You When Someone Screen Records Privately Messaged Snaps on iOS 11

One new feature in iOS 11 lets you easily record the screen of your iPhone as you navigate around the user interface, which can be useful when trying to help someone remotely troubleshoot an iOS problem or when making videos to share online. Since iOS 11 officially launched to the public yesterday, many users on Twitter and other sites have begun to worry that people will be able to screen record their Snapchats and Instagram Direct messages without notifications warning them of such activities taking place.

While it appears that such is the case for Instagram Direct, Snapchat will still let you know when someone is screen recording your privately messaged snaps. Thanks to a tipster who emailed us this morning, we decided to test out sending both still images and videos through the two previously mentioned apps, and discovered that Snapchat treats iOS 11's screen recording feature just as it does for taking a screenshot.

After using screen recording, the sender (left) is shown in-app screenshot icons and the receiver (right) gets notified

If your iPhone is locked, you'll get a push notification saying someone "took a screenshot!" of either your photo or video, and if you're within the app then Snapchat will still display the double-crossed arrows and let you know that the receiver took a "screenshot just now." So, while Snapchat isn't able to directly tell you that it's a screen recording on iOS 11, you'll still know that your DMs are being saved. Stories, on the other hand, appear to be less abiding to the screen recording/screenshot notification system, at least for now.

Instagram Direct doesn't yet appear to have such a feature for iOS 11 screen recording warnings. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Direct lets you send disappearing photos and videos to other users, and includes a screenshot notification whenever the recipient captures the content you sent privately.

In tests on iOS 11, neither photos nor videos captured via screen recording in Instagram Direct told the sender that such an action had taken place. If screen recording becomes a bigger issue for these private messaging apps, and others like them, it's likely that developers will begin to implement more direct warning systems for users to look out for.

Take a look at our guide for iOS 11 screen recording to learn more about the new feature, and then check out our complete iOS 11 Roundup for all of the major -- and minor -- additions that were introduced in the new software update.

Thanks, Joshua!

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Facebook Turns to Instagram to Drive Engagement of Facebook Stories

Instagram is currently testing a new feature that allows users to share new Instagram Stories directly to their Facebook account. The feature, first reported by Mashable, appears to be Facebook's latest attempt to increase the visibility of Stories in its main app, essentially by getting users of its more visual-oriented Instagram network to double-post stories as Facebook Stories.

As part of the test, which is likely only a partial rollout for now, Instagram users see a new option to share their newly captured photos and videos as a Facebook Story as well as an Instagram Story, according to screenshots posted to Twitter.

The experiment appears to suggest that Facebook Stories, which the company launched in April, have failed to be a hit with the social media network's users. Like Snapchat and Instagram Stories before them, Facebook Stories let users post a picture or video onto their feed, which disappears 24 hours later.

Facing poor adoption of a feature that appears at the top of the news feed, Facebook initially tweaked the UI to look less bereft by showing ghost-like, grayed-out profile pictures of friends, regardless of whether they've ever posted a Facebook Story. But it looks like that hasn't had much effect either.

By contrast, Instagram Stories enjoy high engagement and are reportedly used by 250 million people daily. In fact, Instagram's success has allowed it to remain largely free of encroachment from its parent company until now, so Facebook's attempt to siphon off some of that success to its core app implies this could be a last-ditch attempt to save Facebook Stories before the feature's removed for good.

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Instagram Stories Expand to the Web

Instagram Stories, the feature that allows users to upload ephemeral photos and videos to a special daily timeline, is expanding to the web on both desktop and mobile devices, the company announced today.

As with Instagram Stories in the mobile app, on the web, Stories will be featured at the top of the page. Clicking or tapping into a story will allow it to be viewed. For now, Instagram Stories is view only, but in the future, Instagram plans to allow Stories uploads from the web on mobile devices.

Instagram launched Stories just over a year ago in August of 2016 to compete with Snapchat, and the feature has been highly popular with Instagram users. As of April, Instagram Stories has more daily active users than Snapchat.

The feature allows users to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Like Snapchat, it includes filters, stickers, emoji, and other image enhancement tools. Today's update also includes new weather-related filters that can be applied to photos.

According to Instagram, Stories on the web is rolling out starting today, but it will take a few weeks for the feature to show up to all users. Posting from the mobile web will be implemented in the coming months.

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Instagram Bug Let Hackers Access Data From ‘High-Profile’ Instagram Accounts

Multiple high-profile Instagram accounts belonging to celebrities may have been breached due to a bug related to an Instagram API, reports TechCrunch.

The bug, which has since been fixed, allowed at least one hacker to access the email address and phone number on an unknown number of "high-profile" Instagram users. According to Instagram, the only data accessed was email address and phone number, and no passwords were exposed.

It's not clear how many users were affected, but TechCrunch speculates it's a small number as hackers were only targeting celebrities.

Instagram notified all verified users of the breach in an email, letting them know the bug has been addressed and that company's security team is further investigating the issue. Instagram says verified users should "be extra vigilant" as they may receive calls, texts, or emails.

Instagram recommends all users implement two-factor authentication to as a precaution to prevent unauthorized access to their accounts even though no passwords were stolen.

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Instagram Posts With Multiple Photos Now Support Landscape and Portrait Mode

Instagram has allowed users to share multiple photos in a single post since February, but those photos have been limited to the traditional square aspect ratio, preventing users from sharing landscape or portrait mode images in a multi-photo post.

Starting today, that limitation is changing. Instagram is now allowing users to share multi-photo posts in any aspect ratio, including taller portrait mode photos and wider landscape mode photos.

After we first rolled out in February, these posts could only be made up of squares. Now, when uploading your photos and videos, you'll have more creative flexibility with the ability to share in landscape and portrait formats. To keep the experience smooth and consistent, however, all photos and videos in your post must be shared in the same format.
While there will no longer be a need to crop portrait and landscape photos when sharing them in multiple photo posts, all images in the post need to share the same aspect ratio, so there's no mixing portrait and landscape photos in one post.

Instagram says the new photo uploading capabilities are available starting today, but it appears the feature may still be rolling out to some users as it is not yet available to everyone.

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Instagram Introduces New Photo and Video Direct Message Reply Options

Instagram today announced the addition of new ways to reply to photos and videos to improve Direct conversations with friends.

When replying to a direct message of a photo or video sent from a friend, Instagram users can now reply with a photo or a video of their own. Hit the "Reply" button on a message to open the camera and create a photo to send. All replies include a sticker of the image or video you're replying to.

Now you can reply with a photo or video to specific photos, videos, and reshared posts in Direct. Your reply will automatically include a sticker of what you're replying to. Just hit "reply" to open the camera, take a selfie, and send.
Instagram is also adding an option to send a split-screen reply to a friend by tapping on the sticker that's automatically included with every reply. When tapped, the sticker will appear at the top of the screen and your own photo will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Instagram's new features are available in Instagram version 10.34, available immediately from the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Instagram Updated With Better Comment Organization

Popular Facebook-owned image sharing site Instagram is today being updated with comment threads, a small but long-awaited feature that will bring better organized comments for the first time.

With comment threads, comments on Instagram will more closely resemble comments on Facebook, with replies clearly listed under top-level comments. Prior to comment threading, all comments, even those that were replies to existing comments, were listed in one general thread with no organization.

Comment threads help you keep track of conversations and make it easy to respond to a specific thread. This update will make your feed an even better place to share interests, get inspired and connect with others.

Now, when you hit reply underneath any comment, your response will automatically be grouped right underneath it in a thread.
Instagram says these updates are part of Instagram version 24, available from the App Store today.

Instagram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Instagram Testing New Feature That Lets Live Broadcasters Add a Friend

Instagram today announced that it's testing a new feature allowing live video streamers to invite a friend to their stream.

When using live video with a friend, the screen is split into two and viewers see both streams at the same time.

Adding a guest or a friend can be done by tapping the "new" icon on the bottom right and then tapping "Add" on anyone who is currently watching an ongoing livestream on Instagram. Viewers can be swapped out at will, but live streamers can only have a single guest at a time.

Instagram says it's testing this feature with a small percentage of Instagram users, with plans to roll it out globally over the course of the next few months.

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Apple Joins Instagram to Share ‘Shot on iPhone’ Photos From Users Around the World

Apple has officially joined Instagram.

The company opened the followable account @Apple today that will exclusively feature curated photos and videos from iPhone users around the world, according to Mashable. The report said Apple won't share any ads or marketing on the account, which has already quickly amassed thousands of followers.

Apple's presence on Instagram had been limited to ads, without a followable account, and an @AppleMusic account. Apple has traditionally shied away from social networks, with blank accounts on Facebook and Twitter that, for now, exist to serve ads. The company also runs @AppleSupport on Twitter.

Apple tells Instagram followers to use the hashtag #ShotoniPhone for a chance to have their photos and videos shared in one of the galleries.

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