Yesterday, Instagram released an app update for both iOS and Android users — and while the quiet announcement may seem minor in the wake of the addition of the Snapchat-esque Stories, the update adds two pretty significant video features to the app’s camera.
The update now allows users to zoom while recording a video by swiping up or down. The feature is similar to what Snapchat has had for over a year, but it’s new to Instagram’s 3-to-60 second video clips. The feature was added to both the iOS and Android versions.
Apple users get one more feature — during a recording, users can double tap the screen to switch between the cameras. That means users can swap from the front-facing selfie camera to the back camera, shooting both themselves and something else of interest in the same clip.
While the update was a quiet one — without even an official Instagram blog post announcing the changes — the change could be a significant one for users that use the app’s built-in camera to shoot video.
The update is one of several changes the platform has made lately that are rather similar to Snapchat’s features. Earlier this month, Instagram introduced Stories, which, unlike a traditional post, allows users to post several things from their day, and it disappears after 24 hours — a sort of over-sharing protection that’s not unlike Snapchat Stories. The earlier update even allows users to draw on their photos, a characteristic Snapchat trait.
While Instagram’s traditional posts remain for the big moments, the Stories feature is designed for a more casual sharing, which is one of Snapchat’s defining traits.
Both the mid-recording swap between front and rear cameras and the option to zoom while recording were features introduced on Snapchat last year.
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