Adding to its range of new features, here is another one. Instagram has rolled out GIF stickers for Stories, and it’s one of its coolest rollouts ever. Starting tonight, the feature will be available for all users globally on iOS and Android. For anyone yet to see the feature on their phone, it’s just a matter of time before it reaches everyone.
BGR India got early access to the stickers, and we have been playing around with it for a day now. The stickers are a lot of fun to use, and they do remind us a little of the animated emoticons on Yahoo Messenger.
Now, as to how the GIF stickers are used, it’s quite simple. Head to your Instagram Stories, and once you have clicked an image or video, open the stickers gallery from the options on the top right, or just drag up the stickers menu. There, next to the Hashtag sticker, you will now see a GIF sticker with a lens icon. When you tap on that, it shows you the trending GIFs right up, and if you don’t want to use one from those, there is also a search bar on top to choose GIFs directly from Giphy’s library. You can use multiple stickers in one story, there’s no limit to it.
Besides the GIF stickers, Instagram also says that in the coming weeks, it is also rolling out the ability to upload photos and videos of any size to your story — so you never have to lose part of a photo or cut a friend out of a group video. When you upload a photo or video, pinch to share it in its original dimensions, whether it’s square, portrait or landscape. Any extra room will be filled with a custom color gradient that matches what you’ve shared.
Moreover, just last week, Instagram also launched an activity status feature which tells you when a user was last online, or if they are active at the moment. Simultaneously, Instagram is testing two more features. One of which is a text-only form in Stories, where you can place your words against colorful gradient backgrounds. The option also gives you a chance to play around with images with the color gradients still layered on top.
The second is borrowed straight from Snapchat’s books, which is a screenshot alert. Every time someone takes a screenshot of your Instagram Story you will be notified. However, Instagram will apparently be a little lenient, with letting you off with a warning the first time, and the next time it would send an alert.