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Instagram is working on another Snapchat copycat: Nametags

Instagram Nametags Demo

Instagram has been copping Snapchat’s style for quite some time now, and — unfortunately for Snapchat — to considerable success. After all, Instagram has overtaken Snapchat as the more popular of the two photo and video-sharing apps, and even though it seems as though the Facebook-owned platform takes many of its cues from its main competitor, Instagram continues to pull out in front. The latest example of a copycat move comes as the app prepares to launch Nametags. It allows you to create a unique image that other Instagram users can scan with their in-app camera in order to follow you. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s basically the same thing as Snapchat’s QR Codes.

We’ve been awaiting the arrival of Nametags for quite some time now. Last month, TechCrunch pointed out the Nametags code in Instagram’s Android APK. But now, there are screenshots out in the wild, and more details available too.

Instagram has confirmed that Nametags is currently being tested. If you’re one of the users with access to this handy new tool, you’ll have the option of clicking a QR scanner button on your profile, which will bring up the Nametag editor. From there, TechCrunch reports, you’ll be able to select a purple Instagram color gradient background, an emoji pattern, or a selfie that you can ornament with augmented reality features. Your Instagram handle will appear in the center of this image, and eventually, other users will be able to scan this name tag to follow you.

In essence, this would make it much simpler for you to visually promote your account and, by extension, gain new followers. It could also make it easier to follow your friends — rather than asking for their Instagram usernames, you could simply scan their Nametag. And as for businesses, they could easily print out these scannable images on advertising paraphernalia or even on merchandise, encouraging customers to follow them on the social media network.

We should point out that Snapchat has had its own QR codes, called Snapcodes, since January 2015. But seeing as Instagram has more engaged users than ever these days, folks may find that Nametags is a much more effective channel than Snapcodes ever was. We’ll let you know when this new feature begins rolling out in its entirety.

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Lulu Chang
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