Instagram Gets a Built-In Portrait Mode

Posted on April 10, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Social with 5 Comments

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.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Instagram Gets a Built-In Portrait Mode”

  1. MikeGalos

    A bit of correction. Bokeh is not the effect of having the main subject in focus and the background out of focus. That's having a shallow depth of field. Bokeh is the characteristic or quality of the out of focus area. Think of it as not "Is the background blurry?" but "Is the background blurred in a pleasant way?".

    • Mehedi Hassan

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Sure, but they are mostly the same effect. I have corrected the story, however. Thanks!

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to Mehedi:

        Actually, one is the effect, the other is the quality of the effect. For example, "Any portrait length lens will give you shallow depth of field when wide open but the new 'art lenses' such as the Zeiss Otas line give you a bokeh that is particularly attractive".

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