Instagram Adds New Polling Feature with Emoji

Instagram Adds New Polling Feature with Emoji

Instagram is adding another fun feature that can connect friends and start conversations. They already had a polling feature, but they are now adding a new type of polling that works differently and uses emoji.

Emoji Slider is the new feature coming to Instagram, says Mashable. There was already a polling sticker on Instagram. However, that sticker simply let users type a question and let people respond with “yes” or “no.” This new Emoji Slider polling sticker works differently and allows for different responses.

According to Mashable, the Emoji Slider is also a sticker added to Stories. However, it gives a range of response options. When you add the sticker, you can add your own question. But instead of a yes or no question, the questions will typically start with “how,” like “How much did you love Infinity War?” or “How much do you like the new gelato place downtown?” After this, you pick which emoji you want to use on the slider. There are a lot of emoji to choose from, not just a handful of basic ones. Others will then be able to move an emoji along a slider to give their response. After responding, like with the other polling sticker, they can see how the responses are currently totaling up.

This makes polling on Instagram much more intuitive and fun. Only being able to answer “yes” or “no” was very constraining and didn’t allow for any nuance or gray area. Plus it will be fun to be able to ask questions in a different way and make the visuals more enjoyable.

Mashable notes that the Emoji Slider is available with Instagram’s version 44 update. And unlike many updates that roll out slowly to either iOS or Android users, it’s currently available to most people. To see if you have the feature, update Instagram now. If you have it, simply create a new Story, tap the Stickers button, and add the Emoji Slider from there.

Instagram Adds New Features & Will Let You Download Data

Instagram Adds New Features & Will Let You Download Data

Instagram has been in the news very recently for their newest updates and for a recent announcement. Instagram users will now be able to use some new features, and they’ll also soon be able to download copies of their entire data history.

Reuters reports that Instagram, which is part of Facebook Inc, will soon let its users download their data. This announcement comes while Facebook is dealing with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal (which you can learn more about in my recent articles “Third-Party Data on Social Media” and “Facebook and Its Data Scandal”). Because of the mishandling of their data, Facebook users (and users of many different social media platforms) have become much more concerned with how their data is being used. This has led to many updates from Facebook on how third-party apps and user data will be handled. And now Instagram has joined in with their plans.

Reuters reports that Instagram users will be able to download data like photos, videos, and messages. There’s currently no word on when this tool will be made available.

Meanwhile, Instagram has added some new features. According to TechCrunch, Instagram’s new update includes a new filter called Focus. Focus is a portrait mode that can be used in Instagram’s camera to take both photos and videos. It blurs the background of a portrait photo, making the subject of the photo stand out more sharply. This style was previously available in other apps and on certain phones. With Instagram’s Focus feature, though, more people will be able to take portrait photos.

They’ve also added stickers for mentions, says TechCrunch. This feature is currently rolling out for people using iOS. Instead of simply tagging someone using text, you’ll now be able to tag them using a sticker. This makes Instagram posts a little more customizable and fun. It’s not clear when everyone will gain access to these stickers.

The Week in Microsoft News

The Week in Microsoft News

Microsoft has been in the news quite a bit over the past week! Here’s your chance to catch up. Microsoft owns many different well-known services, including XBOX and SwiftKey, many of which were recently updated or will be updated soon.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the Microsoft news you might have missed recently!

XBOX Live avatars will soon offer more options

More player avatars will be coming to XBOX Live in April. The Verge is reporting that these avatars will include a host of new options, making it easier for everyone to build an avatar that suits them.

The Verge specifically notes that there is a focus on diversity with the upcoming avatar options. For instance, there are options for prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. Aside from these options, there will be more to choose from when customizing an avatar’s body shape, clothing, accessories, and more.

Windows 10 update coming in April

Speaking of April, more updates are coming to Windows next month. Also reported by The Verge, the next big update to Windows 10 is coming in April. The update will very likely be called the “Spring Creators Update,” and it will have a number of new features. The Verge mentions new features like Timeline. According to Windows Central, Timeline compiles your activity on your computer into a timeline that goes back up to 30 days. Using Timeline, you’ll be able to jump right back in where you left off in a program or app. Windows Central also notes how useful it is to be able to use Timeline across different devices. Aside from Timeline, there will also be other improvements to the operating system in the upcoming update.

SwiftKey has been updated

SwiftKey, the keyboard app run by Microsoft, has received an update. GeekWire is reporting that there are many new features in the SwiftKey update. One new feature includes the new Toolbar for quicker customization of the keyboard. The update also includes a bigger focus on different visuals. For instance, the app page on Google Play notes that you can now create your own stickers in the app. This update is a fairly notable one for the app that has been downloaded millions of times and is a top contender in the third-party keyboard app field.

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.