Instagram has today launched its latest feature, ‘Focus’, the portrait mode feature that we reported on last month. While this is almost identical to what Apple offers with its stock iOS camera app, it will be more of a challenge to social media rival Snapchat. And the good news is that Instagram is bringing this portrait mode feature to the iPhone 6s and later.
The icon for Focus was found last month buried in the Android Instagram application. Announced in a press release, today’s update confirms previous reporting.
Instagram’s Focus lets users shoot portrait style photos with a bokeh effect. The new button shows up in-between Boomerang and Superzoom.
Here’s how Instagram describes the feature and how to use it:
When you open the camera, you’ll see “Focus” next to “Superzoom” under the record button. Take a selfie or switch to the back-facing camera to find a friend. As soon as there’s someone in the shot, you’ll notice the person stays in focus while the background softly blurs — making sure they stand out in a striking way. Simply tap to take a photo or tap and hold to record a video. When you’re done, you can add creative tools like filters, stickers and text to your photo or video before sending to your friends on Instagram Direct or adding to your story.
Focus will work with iPhone 6s and later, (including iPhone SE). Notably, Apple’s Portrait Mode only works with iPhone 7/8 Plus and iPhone X.
Today’s update also brings the “@mention” sticker to iOS for Stories.
After you’ve taken a photo or video in your stories camera, open the stickers tray, tap the @mention sticker, start typing the name of the account you want to mention and select from the options that appear. You can then rotate, scale and place your sticker wherever you’d like.
These changes are live today. Instagram is a free download from the App Store.