Instagram could separate hashtags for less annoying posts

Annoyed at Instagrammers that post #hastags in the middle of sentences? Instagram could be testing a solution along with a handful of other new features. Doing some reverse-engineering, tech researcher Jane Manchun Wong found code that points to several potential upcoming features inside Instagram, including a dedicated spot for hashtags, the option to limit posts by geography, and an expansion of the Stories sharing.

Part of that reverse-engineered code suggests Instagram is considering creating a designated spot for hashtags when creating a new post. The move would separate hashtags from captions, leaving a separate field for hashtags, similar to the separate option for tagging people in photos (and now video). Besides removing hashtags from the actual written text, a dedicated spot for hashtags may help Instagram fine-tune existing options like following a hashtag or finding new topics in Explore.

Other code points to the possibility of limiting posts and Stories to specific geographic regions, an option called geofencing. Located inside the settings, the potential feature allows users to choose countries and regions where the post would be visible. The screenshots appear to apply to all posts, so the tool isn’t designed to share one post in one area and one in another.

While geofencing ads is a popular tool for businesses on social media, the reverse-engineered code suggests the tool could be available for more than just business accounts. Parent company Facebook has a similar tool, but for Pages. The screenshots of the reverse engineering also only show the option to select a country or continent, unlike ad tools that allow further refinement by state or zip code.

The feature that allows users to share a public post inside Stories is getting a bit wider as well — one test allows users to share someone else’s Story as a sticker in your own Story. Instagram doesn’t have the option to share like Facebook and Twitter to the feed, but the Stories format is a little more open to shares, provided the owner created a public post and didn’t disable the option in settings.

Instagram declined to comment, so for now, consider the features rumors that are backed up by the app’s code. While the code suggests Instagram is testing the features, not all tests see a wide rollout to all users. 

Photography

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.
Computing

Google Chrome’s Progressive Web Apps will soon play nicer with Windows 10

Google is adding a capability to the Chrome browser in an upcoming release that will integrate its Progressive Web Apps with notification badges in the system taskbar in Windows 10.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings.