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Instagram adds 'Type' mode to Stories

Instagram Stories are getting a new feature today, and it's called Type mode. From the name, you might guess that it has something to do with text, and you'd be right. It's a way to add stylized text to your Story, and it doesn't require a photo or video.

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Instagram introduces GIF stickers that you can add to your stories

Instagram updates its app pretty often, with new features coming thick and fast. Recently we've seen the addition of an activity status for direct messages and support for Android's direct share menu. Not resting on their laurels, the developers now have another new treat for everyone, in the form of new GIF stickers that can be added to your stories.

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Instagram now supports Android's direct share menu

Android's direct share feature debuted on Marshmallow and makes it easy to share links or media from any app on your phone. You can use it with most popular messaging services, email clients, and even note-taking apps like Keep. To be able to share directly to an app, the maker of that app needs to implement direct share, so there are still some apps it doesn't work with. Instagram was on that list until pretty recently, but not anymore.

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Instagram starts showing activity status in direct messages

In its quest to become the only app where you share photos, moments, and messages, Instagram is adding one new feature to its direct messages: activity status. Just like you'd see when a person was last active on WhatsApp or Telegram or plenty of other messaging services, now you can do the same on Instagram and chide them for not replying with "oohs" and "aahs" to the preettay pic of a sunset that you just posted or the kissy face you messaged directly to them. Or you know, there's one more way to track every online activity of your significant other and get many more proofs and reasons to pick a fight over "Are you still checking out your ex on Instagram?"

I guess this kind of feature isn't for me since I never started an Instagram DM with anyone, like eveeer, and my latest reply to anyone was about 16 weeks ago.

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Instagram now lets you directly nag your friends to watch your live video

What's the point of broadcasting live on Instagram if you can't prod your followers to watch you? Otherwise you're just livestreaming to the wind. To solve this crisis, Instagram today announced a new feature allowing users to send their live videos right to the Direct inbox of a follower or a group of them. It's kind of like performing a song on their front lawn and throwing rocks at their window to get them to notice.

Live videos still work as they always have, this only adds the ability to single out the users you would like to join you, giving you a way of saying, "Hey!

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[Update: Rolling out] Instagram is testing inline comments in the feed

We know Instagram is working on a lot of new and interesting things, some of which have already started surfacing, but this one is a minor yet welcome change. Some users are starting to see a new inline comment box while scrolling through the feed, which lets them quickly write down a comment and post it.

Initially, we'd thought that Instagram might be using some sort of algorithm to determine which posts this comment box would pop up in, but as one of you in the comments pointed out, it simply pops up after a few seconds of looking at any post (thanks, Yuric).

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Instagram has opened an alpha program for its Android app, and here's how you can enroll in it

If you like seeing lots of pictures of food, puppies, nature, and more on a daily basis, chances are that you know what Instagram is. And since you're reading a tech site, chances are that you're eager to try the latest and greatest features before anyone else. Well, we have good news for you: Instagram has opened an alpha program for its Android app, and here's how to enroll.

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You can follow hashtags on Instagram now, not just people

If you have a few favorite hashtags on Instagram that you keep your eye on, the only way to do so until now has been to search for them and see what's newly tagged with them (unless a third-party app had the option to follow them). Now Instagram is giving you the option to follow tags, just like you would people. It's one of the Instagram features that were leaked a few weeks ago.

Either search for a hashtag you're interested in or tap on one from a post in your timeline and you'll see a pop-up telling you that following hashtags is now possible.

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Instagram is testing a standalone messaging app called Direct

Remember how upset people were when Facebook started requiring everyone to install the separate Messenger app? Now Instagram is going down the same road, or it's at least strongly considering it. Instagram is testing a new app called Direct that replaces the messaging inbox from the main app and builds an experience around it. The new app is only available in a few countries so far, but it could be rolled out widely later.

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Instagram makes your Stories last forever with Archives and Highlights

There's a point in every person's life when they give up on trying to be the cool kid and surrender to their fate of scoffing, "kids, nowadays!" at every opportunity. I reached mine a couple of years ago when Snapchat became a thing, Twitter started being about politics and news more than fun conversations, and everyone (and their mom, dad, kids, and grandparents) was on Facebook. Now I just sigh and roll my eyes each time I see people putting more of the silliest parts of their lives online, which, as I type it, sounds quite hypocritical given this very paragraph.

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