Instagram adds stickers as users flock to Stories

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insta
Add selfie stickers to your Instagram selfie to communicate with more than one expression.
Photo: Instagram

Snapchat may be popular with the young, but Instagram continues to show it can be young and fun, too.

The photo-sharing network of 600 million users rolled out new sticker tools Thursday in response to the rapidly growing number of people using the Stories feature.

Oh Snap! Instagram just got easier to use

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Going between permanent and fleeting image messages is now seamless on Instagram.
Going between permanent and fleeting image messages is now seamless on Instagram.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram has retooled its Direct feature so that users can combine disappearing photos and videos with permanent text and image messages in the same thread.

The new Direct is the latest in a series of upgrades Instagram has made to reverse a dip in daily engagement and take on its biggest competitor, Snapchat.

How to make your videos more amazing with Clips

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Clips will make your lame videos look super-mega LIT!
Clips will make your lame videos look super-mega LIT!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Clips app wants to be your go-to for making short, fun videos geared for social networks. Clips is the perfect tool for the social media generation, allowing users to bust out engaging videos in seconds.

While the user interface is pretty simple, Clips packs a bevy of tools that help put a unique spin on your shots. Getting the hang of all the features can take a while, so we’ve rounded up some pointers on how to make the most of the new app.

Follow these Clips tips to make your videos pop.

Instagram will blur ‘sensitive’ photos if anyone complains

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If this appears on a photo in your Instagram feed, a user flagged the content as disturbing.
If this appears on a photo in your Instagram feed, a user flagged the content as disturbing.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram will begin cloaking photos it deems “sensitive” with a blur screen that warns users of potentially troubling content.

This is the latest tool in a series instituted by Instagram to make the mobile photo- and video-sharing platform “safer” for its more than 600 million users. CEO Kevin Systrom wrote on the Instagram blog that photos will only be screened after a user has complained and a review team evaluates whether the content merits the warning cover.

4 biggest surprises from Apple’s totally unsurprising update

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Will we get more than the iPhone 7 next week?
None of today's announcements were keynote-worthy.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s “surprise” announcement of new products and software wasn’t all that surprising if you’ve been keeping up with the latest rumors.

Today’s updates were practically announced yesterday when the company said its store would be down in the morning for “maintenance.” Despite all the rumors of new iPads and RED iPhones that have been out for weeks, Apple still managed to sneak in a few surprises that were both good and bad.

We’re eagerly awaiting Apple’s rumored April keynote, but here’s the biggest, most surprising news from today’s teaser.

How to turn off sound in Facebook News Feed videos

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Some Facebook users now have a second News Feed.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook is making big changes to the way it approaches video. Videos in the Facebook News Feed previously played silently unless users turned sound on. Now if you want to keep the sound off, you’ll need to dig through your Facebook settings.

Turn off the annoying new feature with these steps.

New Panols app lets you share panoramic shots on Instagram

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Panols makes Instagram a place where panoramic pictures can stretch.
Panols makes Instagram a place where panoramic pictures can stretch.
Photo: Panols

Instagram got the hint from users that they had grown tired of just squares and now allows mobile photographers to present horizontal or vertical pictures. But it’s still not a platform for sharing panoramic images.

A developer and frequent traveler, who grew tired of crops to his majestic captures, has created an app to bring sweeping panos to Instagram.

How to get the most out of Instagram

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These Instagram tips will help you connect with photographers who share your interests.
Don't think about paying for extra Instagram followers.
Photo: Lee Peterson/Cult of Mac

Instagram isn’t simply a social network for sharing images. Used properly, it’s a powerful tool for connecting with like-minded photographers and getting feedback about your images.

I’m passionate about photography, and finding communities I can engage with is really important when it comes to helping me improve and get ideas for new projects. These Instagram tips and tricks, which I use on a daily basis, can really help you grow as a photographer.