Instagram’s got a whole new bag of tricks after a major update which is spread across iOS, Android, and Windows 10. Not only that, the company has officially confirmed that it’s working on live videos.
Starting off with Boomerang, the tool lets you record a burst of photos which Instagram then stitches together into one short video. This then plays forward and backward, just like a boomerang. To access the feature, you’ll have to swipe right from your feed to open the stories camera.
You’ll find a Boomerang mode within the new format picker underneath the red record button. After capturing your masterpiece, you can share the resulting mini video to your story. Instagram is also making it easier to mention people in stories.
Instagram is now moving mentions beyond captions and comments to the story itself. When adding text, you just have to type ‘@’ followed by your friend’s username. The name will show up underlined in a story, allowing any who taps on it to travel to their profile.
Moreover, if someone mentions you in their story you’ll get an alert in Direct or a notification in your message requests if you don’t follow them. Selecting this pop-up takes you straight to the story as long as it’s live. Finally, Instagram is testing a new See More link which shows up at the bottom of stories.
See More basically acts as a gateway to more content or information from verified accounts like Bustle and Dwayne Johnson. In related news, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has confirmed that the app is toiling away at live videos. He told The Financial Times that the format is exciting and will enhance what it’s doing.