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Instagram testing a separate section to add hashtags to posts

Instagram goes through a lot of changes in Facebook's testing labs. While some of them are just bad, like algorithmic timelines, some end up being useful. Take this latest one, for instance, where there might be wholly separate section to add hashtags to your posts without having to keep them in your captions. 

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5

Instagram expands shopping features in Stories and Explore

Instagram is making it easier for users to buy the stuff they see brands post in Stories. The photo-sharing platform started testing the Shopping in Stories feature in June; as of today, it's available to businesses based in 46 countries. There's also a new Shopping channel prominently featured in Explore.

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10

Instagram reportedly working on a standalone shopping application

One of the easiest ways to find new products nowadays is to follow brands on social media and see what they're up to. Of those social networks, Instagram is probably the most appealing — it's all about the pictures and videos, and there's nothing better than visuals to spot what's new and cool. Instagram has been monetizing this aspect through shopping tags in posts and in stories, but the company is reportedly making a standalone shopping app.

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36

Instagram is finally rolling out support for two-factor authentication apps

With a billion monthly active users and immense cultural influence, it's surprising that Instagram is only now rolling out a fairly standard modern security feature: support for two-factor authentication apps. Still, following the better-late-than-never mentality, the the roughly eight-year-old social platform announced the feature is now rolling out, giving its users a better way to secure their logins. Along with this much-anticipated change come new public info pages about large Instagram accounts, and an easily accessible verification request form.

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22

Instagram is testing a new right sidebar on your profile tab for saved posts and settings

Instagram is testing a few different layouts these days. Over the past week, my direct message and profile icons swapped places then went back, and a new sidebar showed up on my profile tab, disappeared, and reappeared again. Now it seems that this last iteration is showing up for more users, so let's take a look at it.

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39

Instagram is adding random people's posts to your Feed again

In its ongoing quest to get your eyes on as much content on its platform as possible, Instagram is testing a new recommended posts feature in its Feed that suggests posts from accounts you don't currently follow once you're caught up on posts from the ones you do. The social media platform tested a similar feature late last year.

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22

Latest Instagram tests swap DM and profile tab positions, add quick emoji access to comments

Google is the king of server-side tests, but it's by no means the only company that does them. Instagram also uses them fairly often, and this time around, it's trying something that may make some people a bit annoyed. It's experimenting with swapping the profile and DM icons, as well as putting a row of emoji in the comments section for quick access.

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28

Facebook announces tools to help you use its apps less

In June, we found out that Facebook was developing tools to help users limit use of its social media platforms. The feature was spotted in an incomplete form in the Facebook app, and a Facebook representative confirmed that tools were coming to both Facebook and Instagram in the near future. Now, Facebook has formally announced the new features, which will be "rolling out soon."

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26

[Update: Official] Instagram adds ability to ask questions in Stories

It seems like Instagram is in the news every other day. Highlights include its new Lite and IGTV apps, though there are several Instagram app tweaks sprinkled all throughout. Now, the Facebook-owned company has added the ability to ask questions in its Stories, a feature I'm surprised wasn't already there.

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11

Instagram Stories hits 400m daily users, introduces new soundtrack feature [Updated]

If you use Instagram, there's a good chance you've tried out Stories, which lets you send timely updates to your followers in photo or video form. It's probably to blame for the waning interest in Snapchat and has had a steady stream of feature updates such as sharing from other apps. So it's not at all surprising to learn that Instagram Stories now has 400 million daily users.

With its latest new feature, which we discovered in a recent teardown, you'll be able to include a soundtrack in your Stories.

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