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Instagram

  • Your Instagram friends now know when you’re online

    If you thought Instagram was a place where you could silently stalk people, think again. The latest tweaks introduced by the social network will ensure your friends know when you're online and "available to chat". "When your friends are active on Instagram, you’ll see a green dot next to their profile picture in various spaces within the app, including the Direct inbox and your friend list when you share a post from feed," the company writes in a blog post. The status dot will only be active on those people you follow, or others you've DMed in the past, so be sure...

  • #InMyFeelingsChallenge is Instagram’s latest dance fad inspired by Drake

    Drake's 25-track album Scorpion may not be as revolutionary as some of his earlier work, but there's no doubt its as popular as sliced bread. It's his eighth chart-topping album and racked up over a billion streams in its first week on the internet. But there's another reason why this album is so popular, and it's got to do with one song in particular. "In My Feelings" is typically Drake, meshing R&B and hip-hop seamlessly to create one head-bobbing summer banger. But it's also spurned an entirely new dance phenomenon. Initially dubbed the #DoTheShiggy challenge, the fad was created by Instagram comedian...

  • Instagram Stories gets more complicated with ‘questions’ sticker

    Instagram has released a new “questions” sticker option for Instagram Stories. This is an interactive feature that will allow users to post “prompts” on their stories to increase audience interaction. Viewers of your story can tap on this sticker to ask you questions about your post. You can see these responses in your list of viewers. To reply, all you have to do is tap on the question of your choice. A new story, with your response, can then be created. "The questions sticker gives you another easy way to get closer with all of your friends," Instagram writes on its...

  • KFC South Africa’s hilarious World Cup ad hits 9GAG

    Congrats KFC South Africa, you're now 9GAG famous. The website laced with memes and funny videos posted a clip of KFC South Africa's pre-World Cup advertisement, featuring a footballer "making a meal" of a tackle. And no, surprisingly, Neymar isn't starring in it. The clip was published to 9GAG's Instagram account of some 45.6-million followers early Thursday. The post has since amassed more than 3.5-million views, 60 000 likes, and more than 13000 comments. KFC South Africa must be loving the free publicity too. Its Instagram account in comparison has just 24 000 followers in total. If you haven't yet seen the ad, watch...

  • Instagram’s IGTV wants to make vertical video cool again

    It's not enough to be a social network in 2018 without being an advertising mill too. For Instagram, it's not enough to be an image-only social network and not dally in video. We've seen the company's obsession with video begin with the launch of Instagram Stories' in August 2016, and it alone has amassed more than 300-million users since. Instagram itself now has more than a billion users. On Wednesday CEO Kevin Systrom announced a new long-form video platform specifically crafted for those billion smartphone users and their smartphone screens. It's called IGTV, and is ostensibly a mashup of Instagram Stories...

  • Instagram ‘@mention sharing’ lets you crosspost Stories with pals

    In a new update, Instagram will now let you include a story that you've been tagged in in your own Stories. According to the social network, this lets those "caught up in a soccer game" to relive and share moments. How nice. "When someone mentions you in their story, you receive a notification in your Direct message thread with that person — now, you’ll see an option to add that content to your own story," it adds. "Tap it to see that story as a sticker -- you can scale, rotate and position it and add creative tools like text or stickers...

  • You can now ‘Mute’ that annoying, trendy friend on Instagram

    Great news, everyone. You can now mute your annoying Instagram friend vested in the art of smoothie making and selfie taking (sometimes together), after the social network introduced a new feature Tuesday. "The new feature lets you hide posts in feed from certain accounts, without unfollowing them. With this change, you can make your feed even more personalized to what matters to you," the company writes in its blog, dodging the entire reason this problem exists: its algorithm. Nevertheless, users who want to mute others on the social network can now do so via the three-dot menu button on posts themselves. Tap...

  • Cardi Bye: Instagram loses another celebrity after online spat

    Keen to catch up on Cardi B's weekend antics over on Instagram? You're in for a disappointing surprise. The female rapper of "Bodak Yellow" fame has deleted her Instagram account @iamcardib after her quarrel with fellow rapper Azealia Banks heated up again on Friday. Banks appeared on a US radio show Friday, reportedly labelling the rapper as an "untalented rat" and a "caricature of a black woman". She also pointed to Cardi B's success as a low point of female artistry, marking Beyonce's Lemonade as a peak. Cardi responded: "I’m from the hood I speak how I speak I am how I am.I...

  • Instagram now has a ‘data download’ tool: here’s how to use it

    After Facebook made its "Download Your Info" tool more prominent, and yesterday announced that a similar tool will be heading to WhatsApp, Instagram users are now able to download their information too. It's not entirely because Facebook still feels bad about the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Instead, the feature's addition is in compliance with the European Union's upcoming General Data Protection Regulation. The feature will allow Instagram users to download their photos, videos, Insta Stories, and a host of personal information including your snappy bio and comments. Instagram notes that gathering all this data may take as long as 48 hours. But accessing it...

  • Instagram’s @design account will give you extreme desk envy

    You're probably already sick of being at work, am I right? But what if I told you that your desk is pretty damn boring too? Thankfully, I don't have to, but Instagram most certainly will. The company this week (pushing aside Facebook's woes for a moment) announced its new official account @design. Yes, that handle is probably the envy of designer influencers across the world, but so are the scenes it captures. This was a temporary workspace for the designer and artist @camillewalala, who set up her sketchbook next to a pancake breakfast while on holiday on the southern coast of...

  • Instagram will soon let you download your data like Facebook

    Just like its owner Facebook, Instagram will soon allow users to download all the data they've ever uploaded to the service. "We are building a new data portability tool. You’ll soon be able to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Instagram, including your photos, videos and messages," an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch. It's a stark departure to the social network's closed ecosystem that doesn't make it easy to download images on desktop or mobile. Even if it's your own. How to download your Facebook data (and why you should) Memeburn breaks down the steps to download all your data from Facebook....

  • You could soon follow Instagrammers by scanning their Nametag

    If you're too lazy to ask a fellow human for their Instagram handle, the social network's upcoming feature is just what you need. In a similar vein to Snapchat's Snapcodes, Instagram is reportedly readying its Nametag feature that will allow users to follow friends by scanning tags with their smartphone camera. And yes, this seemingly was inspired by its yellow rival, but Nametags make sense if you're an influencer or business. They can be printed, stuck to the door of a restaurant, pasted on your enemies' back when they're not looking, or plucked onto YouTube videos or Twitter profile images. And Instagram's...

  • Instagram breaks third-party apps, services by throttling its API call limit

    In what seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to its parent company's recent leaky-data woes, Instagram has restricted third-party developers from accessing its data pool. For users, this may sound like a welcome change, but it's a mixed bag. A report by TechCrunch suggests that the image-sharing social network reduced its API call limit -- essentially the total number of instances a third-party app or service can request information from Instagram in an hour -- from 5000 calls to just 200 calls. This means that services fundamentally requiring high update rates -- or simply services built with the original update rate in...

  • Instagram kills its auto refreshing timeline, tweaks algorithm

    So it seems that you can indeed teach old advertising-laden dogs new tricks. Instagram, after years of users complaining about its algorithmic feed, is finally tweaking it. But it's not doing away with it entirely, because old dogs are still the same old dogs at their core. "Today we’re introducing changes to give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely," it writes in an update. In another "how have they not done this yet moment", Instagram has now slapped a "New Posts" button on its app interface, doing away with automatically updating timelines, and...

  • You can ‘live link’ profiles and hashtags in your Instagram bio

    Meanwhile on the less acerbic side of the Facebook spectrum, Instagram this week introduces a new feature to users' bios. "Today, we’re introducing hashtag and profile links in bio, a new way to express yourself and the things you care about," the company writes in an update. Said new way to express yourself comes courtesy of "live links" in your biography, whenever you use an @ or # ahead of a word that leads to a another profile or a hashtag. And if you can't quite think of a popular hashtag, the company will recommend a few to you once you've...