Instagram’s Snapchat-like features pull in more users

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Instagram Stories has privacy and creativity settings inspired by Shapchat Stories. Instagram now has 600 million users.
Instagram Stories has privacy and creativity settings inspired by Shapchat Stories. Instagram now has 600 million users.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram’s move to adopt features similar to SnapChat seems to have paid off for the globally popular photo-sharing network.

On its blog Thursday, Instagram sent a thank you note to its community, a number that surpassed 600 million users since it was founded in October of 2010.

Instagram controls let you share more love, shut out hate

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New controls on Instagram will let users keep hate at bay.
New controls on Instagram will let users keep hate at bay.
Photo: Instagram

In a year highlighted by high-octane social media unkindness, Instagram is adding controls to make the photo sharing site safe for all.

Instagram will soon give its 500 million users a setting to turn off comments on any post, the ability to remove followers from private accounts, and a tool to anonymously report users expressing signs of hurting themselves.

Instagram gains live video and disappearing messages

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Go live with friends in Instagram's new Live Video feature.
Go live with friends in Instagram's new Live Video feature.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram announced two new features Monday that gives users more privacy controls while letting them be spontaneous with only the followers they choose.

Live Video will be added to Instagram Stores to let users connect in the moment with a live story that disappears from the the app after your broadcast. Instagram also is giving users the ability to send photos and videos that disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them – and you will be alerted when a user sees it or takes a screen shot.

How to take better photos and build an Instagram following, this week on The CultCast

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Instagram photography tips
Better Instagram photography awaits you on The CultCast.
Photo: The Gilashark/Instagram

This week on The CultCast: Learn Instagram tips, tricks and techniques to take beautiful iPhone photos and build a massive following. Plus: The crazy exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga ends with a strange twist; rumors point to Macs with radically new e-ink keyboards; and an honest look at Siri versus the AI competition.

This episode is supported by CultCloth, the best way to keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean. Check them out at CultCloth.co and for a limited time save 20 percent with code JetBlack.

Download and archive Instagram photos and videos automatically

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4K Stogram
With 4K Stogram, you can automatically download Instagram photos and videos.
Photo: 4K Stogram

Snapchat just made it super-easy to create your own geofilter

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Now everyone is going to have a geofilter.
Now everyone is going to have a geofilter.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Creating your own Snapchat geofilter for parties and other special occasions just got a whole lot easier thanks to a new web-based tool Snapchat unleashed on the world today.

With competition intensifying from Instagram’s new Stories feature, Snapchat is expanding the revenue it gets from geofilters by charging a small fee to create your own for a short period of time. The tool lets users either upload their own art or modify existing templates, setting up custom filters to be the next big thing.

Is Apple wasting its time trying to fight Snapchat? [Friday Night Fights]

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snapchatfnf2
Apple has tried to fight the social networks before.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next big venture could be to go head-to-head with Snapchat and similar content-sharing services. The company is expected to integrate new video features into iOS that would be developed by the engineers behind Final Cut and iMovie.

Friday Night Fights bug But is this a good idea? Apple failed miserably when it tried to take on social networks before, and some would argue that many of its products already suffer as a result of its expansion into new areas.

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether Apple is wasting its time trying to fight Snapchat.

Instagram’s new feature is a ripoff of Snapchat Stories

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Instagram Stories has privacy and creativity settings inspired by Shapchat Stories. Instagram now has 600 million users.
Instagram Stories has privacy and creativity settings inspired by Shapchat Stories. Instagram now has 600 million users.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram is rolling out a new feature that lets you post more privately and without the kind of permanence that can get you in trouble.

Sound familiar, Snapchat users?

On its blog Tuesday morning, the company introduced Instagram Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos in a single slideshow. It can be shared with select followers without showing up on your more public profile. It then disappears 24 hours later.