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Instagram kills Direct, its standalone Snapchat competitor, merges it into main app

In order to fiercely compete with Snapchat, Facebook launched Stories on almost all its messaging platforms, beginning with Instagram. The feature was so popular it succeeded in dethroning its rival, which encouraged the company to release a standalone messaging app called Direct. Although the new software brought some extra features like exclusive filters, Instagram has decided to merge all functionalities into its main application.

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Instagram Stories camera will get makeover, influencers will be able to tag products for you to buy

Instagram has announced new features that are intended to enhance the experiences for the 500 million daily active users of its Stories feature — one of these features is available right now while the other may take some time and adjustment to get used to. The social media platform is also building a new way for users to browse and buy the clothes their favorite influencers are wearing.

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Instagram is finally working on seek bar for videos — hello 2005!

Some luxuries of our online lives can be gravely underestimated until you hit some nook or cranny of the World Wide Web that doesn't have them. Take seek bars in videos. Have you ever stopped to think how awesome they are? You can skip forward if you're not interested in what's happening now but would like to check if there's something else down the line in that video. Or you can go back and re-watch what you missed or misunderstood. None of it sounds like an indulgent ask until you open Instagram. The social platform has been averse to such an extravagant feature, but seems to be working on it now.

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Instagram Checkout lets you buy stuff without having to leave the app

Since the app is increasingly used by influencers and fashion brands to showcase clothing, footwear, and other hot products, it's no surprise that Instagram has worked to build out its shopping features. Purchase links appear in Stories, you can save collections of potential buys for later, and there's even been talk of a standalone shopping app. Wouldn't it be even more convenient if you could just shop from within the Instagram app itself?

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'Pay with Facebook' option spotted as rumors of Facebook Coin cryptocurrency intensify

Some Italian-language Facebook users have noticed a new option in the app that invites them to "Paga con Facebook" ("Pay with Facebook") alongside a Bitcoin-esque icon. At the same time, fresh rumors have emerged about the company's plans to enter the cryptocurrency space with Facebook Coin, so it would seem that we're not far away from an official announcement on the subject.

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Facebook page admins can now reply to Instagram DMs from FB, as shades of cross-platform integration emerge

Over the years, Facebook has purchased many successful businesses but has for a large part kept these services separate, at least as far as the public can observe. But now we're slowly starting to see that change, as Facebook Page admins become able to respond to Instagram Direct Messages right from their inbox.

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Facebook working on unified, encrypted backend for Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, also considering cross-platform chat

According to a report in the New York Times, Facebook is in the early stages of merging the backend of its three popular messaging apps. WhatsApp and Instagram — both acquired by Facebook after independent success — and the separated Messenger app will share the same infrastructure by the end of 2019 or early next year.

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Instagram lets you add those ridiculous Story filters to existing images and videos

Instagram nowadays is synonymous with three words: Stories, filters, and ads; and the first two are at the crux of the latest addition we spotted in the app. After allowing you to apply filters à la Snapchat while taking photos and videos for your Stories, Instagram has added the option to use those filters after the fact.

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Instagram lets users post to multiple accounts, but only on iOS for now

Instagram influencers will tell you, that life is hard. If they maintain several accounts with different scopes and specializations, it's easy to switch between one and the other, but it's not easy to post common photos and videos to more than one. They'd have to do it from scratch for each. However, that might be changing as some users on iOS have started noticing the option to share their post to other accounts they own.

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Instagram continues to absorb other platforms' features with new music suggestions in Stories and Q&A Live feature

Not content to simply absorb all of Snapchat's features, Facebook-owned Instagram is now making a play for the music recommendation/performance demographic and aiming to become a hotspot for Live Q&As. The platform has introduced a feature into Stories (the ephemeral feed at the top of the app) that lets users request, receive, and jam out to song suggestions, as well as a new, more official format for Live Q&A sessions.

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