Instagram update news: all the latest features detailed

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Instagram has 400 million users and counting. / © ANDROIDPIT

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Instagram releases update for better comment moderation – September 12, 2016

A new update to the Instagram app allows users to take greater control over comment moderation on the social platform. The update includes a customizable filter that helps users reduce spam, trolling or other negative content. This makes it easier for businesses and publishers to keep their communities clean. 

Instagram’s release notes include details on the comments tool in the Options menu that allows users to filter comments on posts that contain words the account owner considers offensive or inappropriate. There is also an update to Instagram Stories, whereby you can now add color to your text. To do this, swipe the colors above the keyboard to see more, or tap and hold a circle to choose a custom color. Simple as that. 

Instagram introduces new icon and app design – April 11, 2016

In a move away from the outdated skeuomorphic icon that has held sway on home screens for years, Instagram has overhauled its design, introducing a new icon based on a simple vector backed with an iOS-inspired psychedelic gradient. The icon will obviously stand out boldly on stock Android. Several icons presented in the video introducing the overhaul used Material Design styling, but these were ultimately discarded in favor of the more colorful alternative.

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The new Instagram logo. / © Instagram

Elsewhere, the app remains essentially the same, but color and noise has been drained from the interface in an effort to place more focus on users’ content.

Read more about the design process here.

Instagram announces interest-based feed optimizations – March 15, 2016

It turns out that Instagram is aware that you follow too many people and don’t care about most of the things they share. In a blog post, the company stated that “you may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds.” You probably won’t be that surprised if you follow 300 people and check the app twice a day, but, anyway, to combat this, it’s introducing a feature that will optimize your feed based on your relationship with the person and the timeliness of the post.

Instagram is aware that the feature may not operate smoothly to begin with, saying that it’s “going to take time to get this right”, but you can expect to “see this new experience in the coming months.”

Instagram 7.15 adds support for multiple accounts – February 8, 2016

The feature popped up on a number of devices several months ago, but now Instagram is officially rolling out support for multiple accounts to its iOS and Android apps. 

Go to your profile settings, and at the bottom, there should be an Add Account option. Once you’ve added a second account, you can switch between them by pressing on the username you want at the top of your profile page.

Instagram 7.13 adds 3D Touch feature – December 8, 2015

Several months ago, Instagram figured they could put the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch technology, which uses a pressure-sensitive display, to good use, and have a firmer press on the screen expand a thumbnail image. It turns out you don’t really need 3D Touch to do this at all; you can just use a long press to achieve the exact same thing.

So, now, on Android, you can get all the 3D Touch features the app has to offer without 3D Touch. Just long press on any thumbnail and you will get an expanded view of the image, along with Like, Comment and Share options, which you can use by sliding your finger over them while continuing to press the screen.

The feature has been implemented really nicely, with a pleasing background blur effect, smooth animations and haptic feedback when your finger moves over one of the buttons below the image.

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A zoomed thumbnail with the three options – like, comment and share – at the bottom. / © ANDROIDPIT

Instagram 7.5 adds lauded landscape and portrait modes, new filters – August 27, 2015

Millennia of art attests to the pleasing dimensions of portrait and landscape orientations, and now Instagram has bowed to the undeniable fact that the square is not almighty.

The square has been an Instagram trademark from the start, forcing a generation of photographers to frame photos with its uniform box in mind. But any Instagrammer knows that this frame can be an oppressive burden at time.

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Landscape lets you add some expanse to your ‘grams. / © ANDROIDPIT

With more and more users turning to competing and third-party apps, such as VSCO Cam, to perfectly compose their shots, it was only a matter of time before Instagram caved. The once all-powerful square is now merely one of three cropping options, and Instagram is all the better for it. The square does, however, remain the default option and photos are still cropped to a square on users’ profile pages, so the memory of its reign still lingers.

The team behind the radical move communicated their excitement about the possibilities this lends to videos on Instagram, with cinematic widescreen promising to bring an expansive drama to user’s uploads.

Three new filter options were also added: Clarendon, Gingham and Moon.

Instagram 7.0 adds Explore feature, additional search options and Top Search tab – June 23, 2015

Instagram added a whole new page for the app’s 7.0 release. Explore aims to make Instagram a place of discovery by showing you places and events that are trending through Instagram’s hashtags. There are also curated collections of photos that are updated regularly, so you can browse through hand-picked selections of thematically grouped images taken by Instagram’s finest.

In addition, the search function has been overhauled. It’s been made easier to search by place, and the Top Search lets you search through people, places and tags simultaneously.

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The improved search mode helps you find relevant photos much more easily. / © ANDROIDPIT

Instagram 6.20.0 adds three new filters, emoji hashtags – April 27, 2015

Three new filters made their way to Instagram through the 6.20.0 update. Instagram said the newcomers are “inspired by weekend adventures outdoors”. They are Lark, Reyes and Juno. Lark is intended for landscapes, saturating blues and greens, while pulling down reds. Reyes is a dusty, faded filter, so you can make your images appear as though they’ve been sat in a shed for 10 years. Juno adds warmth and glow, and is particularly intended for photos of people.

Emoji can now also be used in hashtags, which can be searched through the Explore page.

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Instagram is expanding its filter selection quite dramatically. / © ANDROIDPIT

Instagram 6.19.0 adds Color and Fade tools – April 7, 2015

Color and Fade add some useful, if overdue image-editing options to Instagram. Color lets you tint highlights and shadows independently using yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, cyan or green. Fade does exactly what you would expect, fading the image’s color, making it softer on the eye.

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The Color tool lets you choose a variety of tints to add to shadows and highlights. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to install the latest update manually

Sometimes updates spoken about here can be slow to rollout to all users. You may not see new features for weeks after they’re first said to have been released. Luckily, it’s easy to update Instagram yourself. 

The first thing you need to do is to head to Settings > Lock screen and security and ensure that the Uknown sources toggle is swiped to the right (so it’s green). 

Now, on your device, open a browser and go to the APK Mirror Instagram page. Download the latest APK and, once it’s downloaded, just press on the file to install it. Done.

What do you think of the latest features? Is there anything you’d like to see Instagram bring in with the next update? Let us know in the comments.

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