Instagram announced some enhancements to their Stories feature to help users spice up their posts and encourage viewers to dig deeper into the stories they view. For users posting Stories, they can now add a Boomerang effect, add “mentions” to tag other Instagram users, and for verified accounts, links to external sources can be embedded in Stories.
A Boomerang, in case you are not familiar with the term, is a short video that plays forward and then when it reaches the end, plays in reverse, then when it gets to the beginning starts playing forward again and just keeps looping in this manner. To access and create a Boomerang Story in Instagram, from your feed swipe right to open the Stories camera and select “Boomerang” mode under the record button. The record button will switch to show a small infinity symbol. Tap record and Instagram will snap a bunch of photos then stitch them together into a short video for the Boomerang. All that is left is to post it.
To help encourage more connections, Instagram also added the ability to tag people in a story just by mentioning them. This is accomplished by typing the ubiquitous “@” symbol followed by a username. That mention will appear underlined in the story and other users can tap that link to be taken to the profile of the tagged person.
If you happen to be the person tagged, you will get a Direct message letting you know you were mentioned in someone’s story. Should someone you don’t follow mention you, a message request will show up. It is not clear whether users can remove or block these mentions.
Finally, Instagram is testing “See More” links that can be added to Stories. A “See More” link is displayed as the text “See More” at the bottom of a story. Tapping on the link will take you to the linked information or you can swipe up to view the linked information inside the Instagram app. Currently this feature is only available for verified accounts, but presumably it will eventually rollout to all users.
If you are not already using Instagram, you can grab it from the Play Store using the download link below.