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101

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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13

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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5

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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18

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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6

Instagram lets you send short voice notes in Direct messages

Instagram's foray into messaging is slowly expanding. What began as a simple messaging section for users to communicate without leaving the image-sharing app is now a quasi full-fledged messenger with support for GIFs, tight integration with Stories, video calling, disappearing media, and more. The latest addition that began rolling out yesterday is voice messages.

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8

Instagram now lets you choose Close Friends to share 'more personal' Stories with

Instagram Stories let you send disappearing messages to your friends, but until now, you had to send them to all your friends. That's changing now, though, as Instagram has announced a new feature that lets you pare your audience for certain Stories down to just a select subset of your followers.

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0

Instagram adds 'Shopping collection' for saving items to buy later

Since its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has increasingly become less about showing people your dog and more about shopping. The platform introduced more new features to that end today, including a shopping list-like "Shopping collection" that lets you save and organize products you see on the platform to buy later.

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13

Instagram is now using machine learning to detect bullying in image uploads

In one of the first announcements since Instagram's co-founders departed their company several weeks ago, the social media platform is launching new anti-bullying tools. New head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced in a blog post that the app is now using machine learning to detect harassment in photos and captions, immediately sending those posts for review. 

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12

Instagram two-factor authentication app support is now live

Securing your account logins with two-factor authentication (2FA) is a very healthy online habit to get into, but it can be annoying when services decide to only send the codes via SMS. An authentication app isn't only more convenient, it's also safer because regular messages could still be intercepted or forwarded. For a while now, Instagram was one of very few accounts I use that only supported 2FA via SMS, but proper authentication app support was promised recently, and now it appears to be rolling out.

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7

Instagram Stories now allowing longer videos by splitting them into segments

Following the rise of Snapchat, nearly every social media and messaging app introduced ways to share snippets of your day. These often include videos which are typically limited to a predetermined duration and expire after 24 hours. Instagram Stories were previously restricted to 15-second clips and those longer than this duration would be trimmed before sharing, but the company appears to be tweaking this cap.

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