Whether you fall into Instagram's target audience or not, there is no denying that the Facebook-owned social network is working really hard to stay relevant and as "1337" as possible, as the younger crowd would put it. (Provided that reference isn't horribly outdated already). The company's latest update (version 26, if anyone is actually keeping track) is chuck full of holiday spirit. There are three new festive filters to enjoy: a frosted glass effect, holiday makeup and a gold and silver balloon overlay, complete with digital confetti. In addition, the stickers library will soon be expanded with a range of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa-themed ones, including penguins, snowflakes, ice skates, winter clothing and more.
Instagram's graphic department has clearly been keeping busy, but so have the developers. One of the more advanced new additions to the v26 update is a set of new sounds for the Superzoom effect. Users will be able to choose from “Beats,” “Bounce,” and “TV Show” sounds. If you're like us and not exactly intimately familiar with Superzoom, it is basically a dramatic close-up video effect, to the sound of dramatic music, introduced back in October last year.
You can expect to start seeing all the new content, roll our gradually over the next few weeks. And there is more to look forward to as well. The company has confirmed that it will be implementing a text-based search feature for emojis and stickers in Stories. Initially, English will be the only supported language and it should be enough to simplify the hunting process.
Also, you might recall that Instagram is already testing a separate Direct app, which basically separates out the messaging feature, Facebook Messenger-style. While undoubtedly a polarizing move, the division is bound to happen at some point. Rumours also hint at a new ability to re-post other people's photos and videos, as well as GIF support in Stories for future Instagram updates.