If Instagram isn’t the most active and ever-evolving app on the market, we don’t know who is. The photo-sharing platform has undergone a slew of changes both internally and with new feature roll-outs over the past few months. And that momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon, as Instagram made two new announcements this week about feature additions to the app.

You can now record Stories longer than 15 seconds, but there’s a catch…

Instagram Stories has been updated with a function to segment clips automatically. With the addition of this new feature, you will have the ability to create multiple clips from the Instagram app’s native camera that can be shared as a story longer than the default 15-second limit. The new update comes weeks after Instagram announced the ads on Instagram Stories would be made available to all advertisers. There is also a “Questions” sticker that recently debuted, GIFs in messaging, as well as video tagging. It’s been a busy few months for Instagram to say the least.

To create a longer form Instagram Story, all you need to do is to tap the Your Story icon and then press and hold the record button for your desired duration – with no concern about the traditional 15-second limit. After completing the full recorded shot, the app will then automatically create segments of your story that will allow you to share a creation of more than 15 seconds. The technology essentially stitches your shots together into segmented form for uploading.

From there, you can proceed with the segmented Instagram story by simply tapping the ‘Next’ button. The segmented story can be easily shared with all your followers publicly, to a dedicated group, or to an individual user much like its traditional iteration. Keeping in mind that this is still somewhat of a workaround of sorts for Instagram (because the actual video clips are still 15-second segments technically), Instagram did incorporate a subtle transition effect between to the clips. This is noteworthy on the app’s part as it indicates an awareness to address their users’ desire to enhance the quality of the transitions between Stories videos, as the platform and feature continue to skyrocket in popularity and usage. As is the case with many Instagram rollouts, the feature is being released slowly and its availability is inconsistent to date. Though it’s certainly suggested to update your app to its latest version for optimization purposes. The feature will likely be more universally accessible in the coming weeks.

Those with a keen eye may notice that this is essentially the same function Snapchat introduced a feature within their app back in July of 2017.  The feature, which Snap officially called “Multi-Snap,” is remarkably similar to the way you can record longer videos with the new Instagram Stories feature. Once you’ve reached the end of the first 10-second clip, just continue pressing down on the shutter to keep the video going.

You can do this up to six times (60 seconds total). Once finished recording, you can go back and edit each individual clip or simply remove the ones you don’t want to use. The clips are then stitched together in a similar fashion to that of Instagram’s latest feature and ready to be shared as a continuous story. The criticism from users regarding fluidity in transitions has been present during both companies rollouts. Instagram seems to be the first to somewhat address this need directly by incorporating the subtle transition effect mentioned above. Instagram has never been shy about reiterating the ideas of competitors like Snapchat. And the feature emulations didn’t stop there.

Instagram also introduces Nametag sharing

The above-mentioned news comes on the heels of Instagram’s launch of Nametag sharing last week. Nametag Sharing produces a scannable code for each user, that they can then share with others. Following in the design footsteps the likes of Snapchat, the feature works similar to that of its design counterpart. When someone scans the code, they are prompted with an option to follow the user or visit their Instagram profile. Users also have the ability to share their Nametag through things like text, email, social media and more.

Certainly should be worth noting as well that this idea is all but a complete copy of the same feature on Snapchat, fittingly named Snap Codes. This is the QR code sharing technology that Snapchat has been utilizing since 2015. Instagram doesn’t seem to be waning at all with app optimization, as weekly announcements of functionality tweaks and additions have all but become commonplace in recent months.

With the co-founders of the photo-sharing app recently stepping down amid allegations of tensions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram has remained steadfast in focusing on user interface enhancements and additions, amidst all the chaos its parent company Facebook has endured over recent weeks. It will be worth noting if Instagram can maintain this rapid pace in terms of growth and innovation.

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