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Google will crowdsource Android Wear watch face designs from the internet

Do you fancy yourself a designer? Well, you might be able to get your art included in an upcoming collection of Android Wear watch faces. Google is working with Paper Magazine to get design ideas from the internet. Interested? You've only got a few weeks to get your submission in.

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Instagram reaches 1 billion installs on the Play Store, the 19th app to do so

The latest app to join the rather exclusive 1 billion club on Google Play is... drumroll please... Instagram. This is quite surprising when estimates only put the number of accounts at 500 million, but I guess the downloads counter doesn't differentiate between unique installs or not. Either way, it scares me that Facebook owns the two biggest social networks in the world.

After the Facebook app, then WhatsApp, then Messenger, Instagram is the fourth of Facebook's apps to get 1 billion installs. Again, scary. Getting 1 billion installs is no easy feat - especially since at the last count Android only had 1.4 billion users.

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Instagram adds one-finger zoom to Stories, much like Snapchat did a while ago

Instagram's Stories is a blatant copy of Snapchat Stories, so it's not really a huge surprise to see another feature carried over. In this update, Instagram is getting one-finger zoom - simply hold the record button and slide your finger up or down to zoom. Wonder where they got that idea from?

WHAT'S NEW

  • We have a few improvements to Instagram Stories!
  • Zoom with one hand as you're recording a video. Slide your finger up while holding the video record button.
  • Lots of bug fixes and improvements to make stories even better (and faster).

There's not really much more to say on this, other than in practice it works well.

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Instagram now tells Stories too

Kids these days love Snapchat. That's my understanding, anyway. And news like this only feeds into that impression. Instagram is now introducing Stories, a feature similar to one Snapchat launched three years ago.

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Prisma photo filter app now out of beta and available to all on the Play Store

Prisma, a new photo app that's been quite popular over on iOS, was in beta on Android and then transitioned to a non-functional state before we could even report on it. But that's okay: it's out of beta now and on the Play Store. The app applies a series of "artistic" filters to users' photos, then allows them to share on Facebook, Instagram, or the other usual suspects via the Android share menu. Prisma is free and available on Android 4.1 and up.

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Instagram now has 500M registered users, of which more than 300M use the app daily

Instagram's filters may have set the bar low for "photography" but, by doing so, they democratized something that many users were either too afraid to attempt or deemed too complicated and demanding. The app has gone from being known for crappy photos of daily meals to becoming the place where audiences can find and follow brands, popular or esoteric interests, and niche hobbies.

Now, it's celebrating more than 500 Million registered users. But even if that isn't as impressive as Facebook or WhatsApp or other popular social networks' numbers, retention and loyalty are super high. More than 300 Million users visit Instagram daily, which means that of every 5 users that have signed up to the site, Instagram was able to convince about 3 of them to come back and check it out each day.

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Instagram Announces New Icons, Makes App Redesign Official

Instagram is ditching its standard retro camera icon. In its place is a new hyper-colorful icon with a simpler representation of the camera. The company's other app icons are getting a similar makeover, and the simplified UI we first glimpsed a few weeks ago is official as well.

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[No Food Jokes] New Instagram UI Rolling Out For Some Users

If you're a regular user of Instagram, you may soon notice some nice changes to its look. The photo sharing service appears to be quietly rolling out a tweaked UI to some users, likely via a server-side switch. There hasn't been any official announcement from the company yet, but on the surface it looks like a lot of the blue has been toned down in favor of black, and there are new icons for the photo controls.

instagram_1 instagram_2 instagram_3

Normally this would be the point where people would put in a cliché joke about people taking pictures of their food, but I'm going to refrain because I actually love Instagram.

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Instagram Now Supports Longer 60 Second Videos (And Multi-Clip Editing On iOS)

Instagram is about more than showcasing what you had for dinner. Since 2013, users have been able to upload videos to the hugely popular photo sharing service, and now Instagram has announced that it's increasing the maximum length of these from 15 seconds to a whole minute.

iOS and Android users will be able to share longer videos starting from today. This will gradually be rolled out to all users over the coming months.

According to Instagram, the change is due to a surge of people engaging with video content, with time spent watching videos through the app having increased by more than 40 percent over the past six months.

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Instagram Will Switch Its Feed From Chronological To Show You Relevant Posts First

Raise your pitchforks and prepare to be outraged. Instagram is following in the footsteps of its big brother / master Facebook and working on switching its feed from chronological order to algorithmic. Maybe it was awed by how much love Facebook users felt toward that change in their feeds and it wanted a piece of the pie.

All sarcasm aside, there's an argument to be made about showing relevant posts first in social networks. If you don't religiously log in every few hours to see what's new and you just occasionally check it out, which is how I personally use Instagram, it would make sense to see content you're most likely to interact with first and not the latest blurry breakfast croissant or random shot from that friend you follow out of obligation, not interest.

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