Instagram is making its Stories feature a little more useful with the addition of three new features. Combined, the three features make up what may well be the biggest update to Stories since it was first launched in August, according to a report from TechCrunch.
Perhaps the biggest new feature is the ability to add links to Stories that can be viewed by users without leaving Instagram. Users can now also mention someone else in a story, and can create a Boomerang straight from the Instagram app.
First up is the links feature. As mentioned, users can add links to their Stories, which users can then tap on to see whatever link the creator has added. When those links are tapped, the user doesn’t actually have to leave Instagram — a browser is opened within the Instagram app that automatically heads to the link you tapped on. If you’re a creator, you’ll be able to add a link after shooting a video. When the link is added, instead of the link being shown directly on the Story, it will be shown through a “see more” button at the bottom of the Story.
Next up is Mentions, which essentially lets creators tag people in their Stories. Simply take a photo or video, then start typing. Once you type the @ symbol followed by someone’s Instagram username, they’ll be tagged in the Story.
Last but not least is that Instagram has added Boomerang support to Stories. Boomerang is a downloadable app that creates GIFs in the form of one-second video loops, and with the new support you’ll be able to add those to your Instagram Stories. When you’re creating a new Story, you can simply swipe over to Boomerang mode, capture a Boomerang, and you’re all set. This new support is, interestingly enough, only available in Stories — so if you want to capture a Boomerang for your normal Instagram feed you’ll still need to use the actual Boomerang app.