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Instagram Updates—GIFs, Stories, and Activity Status

Instagram Updates—GIFs, Stories, and Activity Status

Instagram was in the news quite a bit this week. Here’s a roundup of some updates you may have missed!

GIFs are coming to Stories

Some users are now able to add GIFs to their Stories on Instagram. TechCrunch reports that some people have access to a GIF search engine that allows them to add some of Giphy’s animations that can be put on top of pictures and videos. The GIFs are placed with transparent backgrounds so they don’t look cluttered on top of the images or videos. There are all sorts of GIF stickers in the library. Screenshots show things like hand gestures, hearts, and stylized text phrases.

Right now, this appears to have been rolled out in the Philippines and Brazil. TechCrunch notes that Instagram and Giphy are staying pretty quiet and avoiding any concrete details at the moment.

Text-only Stories are being tested

“Type,” a new text-only option, is coming to Instagram. The Verge reports that the feature is currently being tested. Instagram, of course, is built around sharing photos and videos. With “Type,” though, users would be able to share text-only posts to their Stories. You can pick a font and a background to personalize your post.

Facebook users may find this idea familiar. On Facebook, text posts that are short enough can use a background design. Of course, it sounds like Instagram users will be able to change their font, and there may be many different background options. The Verge says “Type” has only been spotted in Europe and Japan so far. Here’s hoping it rolls out to the US soon.

An activity status feature has been added

Now you can let people see when you were last active—if you’re interested in that kind of thing. The Verge is reporting that Instagram has added an activity status within direct messages.

People you follow or have sent DMs to will now be able to see when you were last active. If you’re on Instagram at the time, it will show you as “active now.” It’s important to note people can’t automatically see your activity just because they follow you—you have to be following them. You can also disable the activity status in your settings (it’s on by default).

Many sites are reporting on this update, and many people are talking about it on platforms like Twitter. What most people are focusing on is how to turn the feature off. It doesn’t currently appear to be a feature that too many people actually want. Headlines are focusing on how to disable the feature, and Twitter users are expressing their disinterest (or dislike) for an activity status. It’s unclear if everyone has the feature at this moment, but if you’d rather keep your activity status private, head over to the app to see if it’s available for you.