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Hello Instagram lovers! Instagram has started the year with a BANG!

It seems like Instagram doesn’t roll out new features to everyone around the world at the same time. So if you don’t have some of these new features yet, keep an eye on your Instagram updates.

Here are some new Instagram features so far:

  1. GIFs in Insta Stories
  2. Resize Insta Story photos or videos
  3. Follow hashtags
  4. “Recommended for you” posts
  5. New fonts in Insta Stories
  6. New “Type” feature
  7. Stop Motion in your Insta Story
  8. Insta Story Highlights
  9. “Online status”: check if someone is online on Instagram
  10. Screenshot alert: People know when you’re taking a screenshot or screen recording of their Insta Story
  11. Automatically share your Insta Story on Facebook Story

This is how the new features work:

1. GIFs in Insta Stories

You can now add these fun animated stickers (called GIFs) in your Insta Stories. There are a tons of GIFs available. If you’re looking for something specific you can enter keywords in the search bar on top of the screen. Example: Dance, hearts, dog, cat, eyes, etc…

2. Resize Insta Story photos and videos

The photos you share on Insta Stories don’t have to be full screen anymore. You can resize them!

  • Take a photo with your phone (not inside your Insta Story)
  • Go in your Insta Story
  • Select your photo
  • Pinch the screen and move your fingers together towards the center of the screen

Does it make sense? This is what I do: I place both of my thumbs on each side of the screen and slide them to the center. You will see your photo resize.

It works for videos too.

3. Follow hashtags

This is one of my favorites new feature. You can now follow hashtags. Photos of people who are using the hashtag will pop up in your home feed. It will look like you are following them, even though you’re not.

Example: I’m following #ipreview to see what the Preview app community posts. I love that the community comes to my home feed. It’s an amazing way to meet new people.

4. “Recommended for you” posts

Instagram is testing this new feature at the moment. It’s called “Recommended for you”.

Instagram shows you posts you might like based on account you follow.

These posts appear in your home feed. It’s another great way to find new accounts and connect with new people. So keep posting! You could be appearing in people’s home feeds.

It will look like this:

5. New fonts in Insta Stories

This is another awesome new Insta Story feature! Based on all the comments I got on Instagram, you guys love this one the most. Insta Story now has 5 new fonts for your text.

The new feature appears on top of your Insta Story screen when you’re adding text.

6. The “Type” feature in Insta Story

There is a new Insta Story feature called “Type”. “Type” allows you to choose different background colors for your text:

  • Open your Insta Story
  • Select “Type” at the bottom of your screen
  • Press the circle to change the background color
  • Press “Type” to change the style and background of your Story

Tip: Press the “camera” icon on the right to add a photo or video behind the background color. To take a photo, press on the middle circle. To record a video, hold your finger pressed on the same circle until you are done recording your video. Release the circle button to stop recording.

7. Stop Motion in your Insta Stories

This is such a cool and creative new feature! I cannot wait to see how people will use it.

Stop motion is a series of photos put together. The objects in the photos move. And when you play the photos one after the other it looks like a video. I hope this makes sense.

Here are some awesome examples of people using stop motion on Instagram:

You can do the same thing using the Stop Motion feature in your Insta Story:

8. Insta Story Highlights

Another Insta Story feature! This one is not a “new” Instagram Story feature of 2018. It began in December 2017. However not everyone has this feature yet.

Insta Stories usually last only for 24 hours. Now Instagram allows you to “archive” your Insta Stories. This way, if you feel like sharing them again you can. Even better, you can create an “Insta Story album” (called Highlight) and share it under your bio.

It looks like this:

A lot of people are getting creative with their Highlights. They create custom “covers” (the image you see in the circle).

9. Online status: check if someone is online on Instagram

Not many people know about this new feature because Instagram has not announced it yet.

Now you can see when someone is live / online on Instagram or not. And people can also check when you are online.

If you don’t want people to know when you’re online you can turn it off:

  • Open your Instagram app
  • Go in your account settings
  • Scroll down to the “Settings” section
  • Turn off “Show activity status”

10. People know when you’re taking a screenshot or screen recording of their Insta Story

Next time you take a screenshot or screen recording, the person who posted will be able to see.

A “sun” icon will appear next to your username if you took a screenshot an Insta Story. It looks like this:

11. Automatically share your Insta Story on Facebook Story

In case you didn’t know, Facebook also has a “Story” feature. It works the same as on Instagram. You can share photos and videos during the day.

Now you can share your Insta Story on Facebook Story, automatically. Every time you share an Insta Story on Instagram it will also be shared on Facebook.

If you want to do that, make sure you turn on the “Share to Facebook” button:

  • Open your Instagram settings
  • Select “Story settings”
  • Turn on “Share your Story to Facebook”
  • Instagram will ask you to login to your Facebook account (if you haven’t done it yet)

That’s it for now. I will add more new features to the list when Instagram releases new features. So feel free to save this article somewhere if you want to stay up-to-date. And as always, let me know in the comments if you have any questions.


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