Instagram adds two new rather significant video features in quiet update

instagram stories explore users
Gannon Burgett
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.

Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Social Media

Twitter wants you to help shape the future design of its app

Twitter is launching an app for testing new design features and it wants you to get involved. Those accepted into the program will have the chance to try out different conversation designs aimed at improving the user experience.
Emerging Tech

Professional drone racing is flying onto Twitter this summer

Professional drone racing is coming to Twitter for the first time this summer. Organizers hope the streaming deal with the social media platform will help the growing sport to further broaden its audience.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.