02 May 2018
Instagram has released a new update for the app which brings a new feature called Focus. This feature is basically aimed at allowing users to transform their normal photos into portrait mode photos with the use of software-based processing. Other than this, the app now has a new way of mentioning people and other profiles in stories.
Starting with Focus, this feature will be available on the camera app interface of Instagram. It is next to the existing Superzoom feature and when tapped, it will be triggered. Once the feature has been chosen, it will detect the person in the shot to put it in the focus while blurring rest of the things in the background. It works for both selfie shots and rear camera shots along with videos. While Instagram did not mention specifically, it seems like it currently works only with humans.
This new feature was speculated to arrive since last month when references to it were spotted in an APK teardown. The idea behind the Focus feature seems to have arrived from the popularity of dual camera smartphones which natively support Bokeh effect photos. With this software-based feature, Instagram is allowing even those users to share portrait mode shots who don't have a smartphone capable of doing it for them.
As for the new way to mention people and other profile in stories, Instagram has now added the @mention sticker which makes it really easy and convenient. Simply choose the sticker and type the user's Instagram username and that's it. Once you have done that, you can resize or place the sticker anywhere you want like any other Instagram sticker.