4 New Instagram & Facebook Features You Should Know About

by Ivana Radojevic on September 23 2015

 

Over the past couple of months, both Instagram and Facebook have introduced new features to make users' lives that much easier. This week we've done our homework on four of these features so you don't have to. 

No more cropping meltdowns on Instagram

Are you always that one friend who gets cropped out of Instagram photos because you just can't seem to make the square image cut? Well, we've got some good news for you: your friends no longer have an excuse to crop you out!

In late August, Instagram announced that in addition to square posts, users would now be able to share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape format. This is good news for those of us having, up until this point, relied on external editing apps to frame and crop full images.  

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Photo Credit: Instagram Blog

“Square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” Instagram says. “That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.”

For video in particular, this is great news because the widescreen format adds that cinematic touch. All filters will now work on both photo and video content, which means that you can look just as good in your filtered videos as you do in your photos. 

Long live the rectangle.

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Photo Credit: Matt Pike

If you need help using this new feature, click here and let Instagram guide you. 

Facebook announces changes as well

Signal

According to the Pew Research Center, Twitter seems to be the place users turn to for breaking news. As a matter of fact, almost twice as many users go to Twitter rather than Facebook to see what's going on in the world on any given day. 

In an attempt to catch up, Facebook recently launched a new tool called Signal. Signal operates as a dashboard that makes it easier for journalists to discover relevant content from Facebook.  

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Photo Credit: Facebook Media

As Facebook explained in its official announcement: “Journalists interested in seeing what conversations are resonating on Facebook can monitor which topics are trending and then quickly display related content that has been shared publicly—unranked and in chronological order—from both people and Pages for deeper context on those trends.”

Signal offers deeper search options, which makes it easier for users to find specific information about trending content across Facebook. 

While Signal is currently focused on journalists, there's potential for expansion to include marketing and advertising professionals as well. 

To request access to Signal, click here

Mentions

In addition to Signal, Facebook is also giving verified public and other notable figures access to a broadcasting and discussion app called Mentions. This is once again great news for journalists who can now broadcast live on location, and set up Q&A sessions with friends and followers.  

The long-awaited "dislike" button

Mark Zuckerberg finally announced that Facebook is working on the "dislike" button. The idea behind introducing this new feature is to provide users with a means to express feelings other than "liking."

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GIF Credit: SEMIOHTOMATIC Tumblr

While there's talk of this new feature giving Internet "trolls" more ammo, Zuckerberg doesn't envision it as such: "[What] [people] really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment."

Zuckerberg didn't indicate when this feature will go live, so we'll just have to wait and see...and continue to "like" in the meantime. 

 

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