Is Instagram developing a portrait camera mode? Code points to the possibility

Update: yep.

Looking into an app’s code can offer hints of not-yet-launched features that are soon to come, and a peek into Instagram’s Android Application Package suggests the photo-sharing platform could potentially gain a new mode for the Stories camera. Decompiling the code revealed a file for a portrait shutter icon alongside existing camera modes like live and reverse, according to TechCrunch. Instagram did not comment on the code findings.

Inside the Instagram APK, there’s a new image file for a portrait shutter icon, or the graphic that’s displayed over the shutter button for each of Instagram’s different camera modes. The image is named for a portrait shutter, suggesting Instagram is considering the possibility of bringing a portrait mode to the camera.

The existence of a file inside of a code doesn’t guarantee that the feature will see a public rollout, since the tool would likely still need to go through testing. The portrait mode potential leak comes shortly after digging into the same APK code suggests a potential voice and video calling tool.

With only the name “portrait” inside the icon’s file to go on, there’s little to detail what, exactly, a portrait mode inside the Instagram camera would entail. Dual camera smartphones have a portrait mode that allows for depth effects such as blurring the background, a key part of how to shoot good portraits, so the name of the new mode suggests something similar. It’s also unclear if the feature would require a dual lens smartphone or if the tool would use artificial intelligence to detect and blur the background — similar to how Google’s YouTube Stories app is testing a background replacement tool that doesn’t require a depth map. As TechCrunch points out, however, the icon for the Rewind mode isn’t labeled Rewind, so if the feature launches, it could also launch under a different name.

Instagram has added several new modes inside the app’s Stories camera mode over the past few months, including a Type mode, Superzoom and a Stop-motion mode, joining the more long-standing options like Boomerang and Live. The changes encourage users to use the in-app camera as Instagram competes with Snapchat’s in-app camera and a slew of augmented reality filters.

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