Matt NavarraFormer Director of Social Media, TNW
Matt Navarra is the Former Director of Social Media at TNW. He previously worked for the UK Government as a digital communications expert. Matt Navarra is the Former Director of Social Media at TNW. He previously worked for the UK Government as a digital communications expert. Follow Matt on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
TNW today obtained information on a range of new features Instagram is currently testing. As with all tests, this means some of you may have already seen one or two of the new features. Some of you, however, have not. Instagram and Facebook tend to roll out new features for testing to small segments of the audience, not all at once — and some may never been seen again after these tests.
As such, TNW makes no guarantee that any of these are coming to Instagram anytime soon. That said, we’re fairly confident at least a few of them will go live in the near future.
Here are the highlights of what we’ve found:
Native Instagram ‘Regram” button
Instagram appears to be finally working on a native Regram button. It’s a feature many users have been waiting for for some time. Currently, users wanting to reshare content have to either save the image or video to their device and re-share it from their own account, or call upon one of several third party apps like Regram, a popular Android option.
The screenshot above suggests a native option is coming soon, which is great… because third party apps are often insecure and awful.
GIF Search for Stories
Please God, no…
It looks like Instagram may finally join the GIF party and allow users to search for and add GIFs to their Stories or regular posts. We don’t have a lot of information about this — other than the test version being hideous — but it seems Instagram is tapping Giphy, like you do, to source GIFs in-app.
Our only hope is that it doesn’t look anything like this when it’s done.
Instagram Beta App on iOS
Instagram has had an Android beta app for some time, but a new one may be coming. Instagram has been inviting a select audience to test the new version of its Android app in a very limited beta. Those lucky enough to get in might get a chance to play with those awful GIFs, from Instagram’s new GIF search.
But you really don’t want to, we promise.
Another new feature on the horizon, fingers crossed, is one that allows you to save your Stories in a personal archive. The feature seems pretty straightforward and would keep your best work locked up within the app for trips down memory lane months or perhaps even years later.
This is something TNW had previously reported, but it seems the test version may allow users to save their Stories longer than 24 hours.
Closest Friends List
Earlier this year, Instagram was spotted testing a favorite friends-type feature, a feature it now looks close to releasing. It’s exactly what it sounds like: add your closest friends to a select group and you can share content with just them — like DMs, but for people with more than one friend. It actually reminds us a lot of Myspace’s Top 8, which we can only hope we’re part of for you.
Oddly enough, your closest friends won’t get a notification when you add them. They will, however, get a notification when someone within the group shares a new post using the feature.
Okay, so maybe it’s actually for stalkers, not friends.
Share to WhatsApp
Instagram is still testing options for users to share posts or profiles with friends on other Facebook-owned networks, namely WhatsApp. The screenshots suggest iOS users now get to join the fun too.
As for “Share to Facebook,” many users have had that for a while.
Other fun things being tested
- Top emoji and hashtags quick search option
- We also recently spotted a new follow hashtag feature which could be coming soon to all users.
- Pinned thread option in direct messages
- Emoji shortcut words for things like ‘CONGRATULATIONS’
- ‘Add Coffee’ option?! Yeah… we don’t know either.
We’ve reached out to Instagram for comment, and will update this article should we hear more about new features, release dates, or if we can be in Mark Zuckerberg’s “top 8.”
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