Instagram is adding its own portrait mode for Stories on iOS and Android today. The company is introducing a new Focus mode, which will let users take pictures in portrait mode and share them in Stories, or with their friends via Instagram Direct.
Portrait mode became a trend on phones when Apple first introduced it on the iPhone. The company recently expanded the portrait mode on the iPhone X with new hardware features, but Instagram’s Focus mode is fully powered by software. This means the feature uses algorithms to focus on the people on a picture while blurring out the background — giving you a bokeh-like effect. But the main differentiating factor? It works for videos, too.
“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,” Instagram said in a blog post. The new Focus mode is rolling out today on select Android devices, and on the iPhone 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, and X. It’s not clear if Instagram is leveraging the camera features on devices like the iPhone X and Pixel 2 to offer a better experience, though.
The company is also making it easier to mention friends in Stories with a new sticker for mentioning users, which will let users quickly find their friends and other people within the platform easily. Just like other stickers, the sticker for mentions can be scaled, and positioned wherever you want.