Instagram has been a busy bee this past few days, releasing major new features and even a new stand-alone product. The streak continues as their latest update now lets those who are addicted to their “Insta Stories” make their photos or videos more interesting by adding music. We can really see how the Facebook-owned media sharing network is giving importance to the Stories part of the app with all these new features they’ve been adding to keep existing users happy and engaged and to get new users into the program.
This latest update now lets you add legit music to your Stories, with a library of “thousands of songs”, which is a result of Facebook signing deals with most of the major record labels. To add music, simply tap on the stickers section in Stories and you’ll see a music icon. Tap it and you’ll be able to browse for music by title, mood, genre or even what’s popular. Tap on the song and you’ll be able to hear a preview of the song and then choose which part of the song to include by fast-forwarding or rewinding through the track. Then just add it and do all your usual stuff to your photo or video like adding GIFs, text, more stickers, etc.
You can also add the music first before including a photo or video. Open your Instagram camera and you’ll see a new “Music” option under the record button. Do the same thing: select a song and choose which part you want to include in your Stories. Then you can record a video while the song is playing in the background. You can sing along or lip sync or do crazy things like in a music video. Then add whatever you want to add before adding it to Your Story. When your friends watch your story, they’ll hear the song of course and they can also see the sticker with the song title and artist name so this is also a new way to discover new (or even old) music.
Just a few days ago, Instagram rolled out a new feature which basically lets you video chat with your friend or friends (four other people max). You just need to go to your Direct Inbox, choose an ongoing conversation, then tap on the camera icon in the upper right corner. You can even just minimize your video chat button if you want to do other things on Instagram while chatting with your friends. The Explore section has also been improved and you now have channels per topic so it makes it easier to discover new accounts or just get inspiration from Instagrammers all over the world.
And then last week, they also introduced their newest product, IG TV or Instagram TV. It’s basically a stand-alone app that is also accessible to the main app. You will be able to watch and upload videos that are longer than your standard 60 seconds (or 15 seconds on Stories) on Instagram. Brands and selected users are now able to create their videos with a max of 10 minutes for “ordinary” users and an hour for IG celebrities, influencers, and content creators. Instagram Lite was also unceremoniously added to the Google Play Store, intended for developing countries where the Internet isn’t that fast and the smartphones are mostly not high-end.