Instagram Unveils New Focus Portrait Mode
Facebook-owned Instagram (NASDAQ: FB) has released its new portrait mode feature that now runs on a wider variety of phones and works with video too. The feature has now been rolled out globally on iPhone 6s, 6s+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+ and X, as well as select Android devices. It does not mention which Android devices those are.
The Focus feature blurs the background while keeping someone’s face sharp. Instagram said in a statement, “As soon as there’s someone in the shot, you’ll notice the person stays in focus while the background softly blurs.” Photos taken using this feature have a stylized, professional photography look.
Instagram began publicly testing its new Focus feature last month. Focus can be found in the Instagram Stories format options for both the selfie and rear-facing cameras. Instagram even lets you add stickers and filters to your photos and videos taken with Focus.
Instagram’s launch could make shooting inside the Instagram app more appealing and give people another reason to choose Instagram over Snapchat. Focus could also challenge independent apps like Magic Portrait Mode, FabFocus, LightX, and Point Blur.
Instagram is also starting to roll out its new Mentions stickers to all iOS users. The new stickers make it easy to tag friends with a stylized graphic in a Story. People can tap through the sticker to view the profile, and a notification is sent to the tagged user. There’s no word on if the feature will be added to Android in the future.
The app has also begun testing a Snapchat QR code-style feature called Instagram Nametags. Nametags could make it easier to follow businesses, social media stars, or a new friend. The Nametag can also be used across other social media handles, printed onto advertisements, or plastered on merchandise.