We all know Google as a company that is constantly testing new features with different users, and it turns out that Instagram has a similar habit. The Next Web spotted a ton of cool features the popular social media platform is working on, including a native 'Regram' button, the ability to follow hashtags, and much more.
You've probably seen some photos in your Instagram feed with someone else's handle and a little icon beside it. These were likely done using Regram, a third-party app that allows Instagram users to "re-Instagram" (hence the name "Regram") photos they like. Instagram finally seems to be working on incorporating this natively with a little icon next to the 'love,' comment, and private message buttons. Unfortunately, we have no further information on what the finished "regrammed" photo will look like, but it'll probably be something similar to what existing third-party apps do.
GIF search in stories
Judging from this test, Instagram may finally allow users to search for and add GIFs to their posts and Stories. This feature appears to be using GIPHY to source relevant GIFs, as many other services do. There's a trending page so you can use whatever GIF is hip and cool at the moment, as well as a search function up top. The final product could be pretty cool.
Much like Snapchat allows you to save your favorite Snaps in a 'Memories' section, Instagram is testing a personal archive for your stories. Once you turn the feature on, your stories will be automatically archived so that you can view them at your leisure down the line.
'Close Friends List'
If you have a small group of your best friends you share a lot of content with, Instagram will soon make sending them things easier. It's called the Close Friends List, and you'll be able to use it to share content simultaneously with a group of friends you deem worthy. They won't be notified they've been added to this group of yours until you actually send something, so you don't have to worry about having to remove someone who you've mistakenly or stupidly added. Photos and videos shared with these friends will even get a special label.
Sharing to WhatsApp
This is pretty self-explanatory: you may soon be able to share Instagram posts you want others to see via WhatsApp. Some people have been seeing a 'Share to Facebook' option for a while. I personally have neither.
Sometimes you just want to see what's trending in the world of social media. For this, 'Top Emojis' and 'Top Hashtags' sections are being tested. Soon (hopefully), you'll be able to see what the latest craze with millennials is at any particular moment.
If you've ever wanted to keep track of posts with a certain hashtag, whether it be to see photos from a particular event or simply to follow something you like, you might be in for a treat soon - if Instagram decides to make this functionality public any time soon, that is.
Pinned threads in DMs
If there's one profile/page with which you have deep, insightful conversations, you may soon be able to pin those conversations in Direct.
Automatic emojis from certain words
Emoji is a great way to spice a conversation up, right? Good, because Instagram may soon automatically transform certain words (like 'congratulations' in the video above) to emoji. I sincerely hope this is an option and not forced upon us. This sounds like it could be iOS-exclusive, but it's here for your enjoyment anyway.
These are some nifty upcoming features that The Next Web spotted, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of these remained exclusive to iOS, at least for a short time. At least Instagram isn't as Android-hostile as Snapchat.
- The Next Web