Apps designed to make TikTok videos better stormed App Store in 2019

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TikTok 1
It's all about TikTok these days. And the apps that help make it what it is.
Photo: TikTok

TikTok is the hottest app going right now, and plenty of other developers are trying to hitch their wagon to TikTok’s proverbial star by building apps that function as “enhancements” to the mega-popular video editing and sharing app.

According to new data from app analytics platform Sensor Tower, of the 480 million installs generated by 2019’s top 20 new apps, almost 38% were video and photo editors and sticker apps designed to enhance the experience of using TikTok or Instagram. That’s quite the ecosystem!

Cool work-from-home Mac setups show how to survive COVID-19 lockdown in style

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Instagram post on working from home
Dog and a fireplace sold separately.
Screenshot: coreyprol/Instagram

Many professionals around the world are getting their first taste of working from home as the world tries to slam the door on the spread of COVID-19. Some, like me, will make the adjustment within the first five minutes. Self-isolation is something you can get used to.

Others, though, will feel a little lost.

Inspiration is a click away, thanks to thousands of Apple users posting pictures of their work-from-home setups on Instagram.

Unfollow frenzy: Instagram makes it simple to weed out your feed

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Instagram lawsuit
It's time to clean up your Instagram list.
Photo: Pixabay

Pruning the list of accounts you follow on Instagram just got a lot easier with the addition of a new feature coming to the photo and video sharing social network today.

Instagram’s Twitter account revealed the new feature this morning showing how you can see which accounts you interact with the least and then manage your following list from there.

This is what it looks like:

Add rad text captions to your Instagram photos without an app

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Captions
I couldn’t find any good cat pictures in my photo library.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you want to overlay captions onto your Instagram photos? Of course you do. How else can express your inner poet, while simultaneously re-creating the worst of history’s inspirational posters? Where would humanity be without the “Hang in there, baby” cat poster? Doomed, that’s where.

Today we’re going to see how to add captions to any photo, without using an app. I won’t even force you to use a Siri Shortcut (although that’s a good option). And, of course, you don’t ever have to post the result to Instagram.

Instagram DMs are coming to the web

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instagram
Facebook is focused on owning messaging.
Photo: Instagram

Chatting with your friends on Instagram is coming soon to a desktop computer near you.

Instagram revealed today that it is testing a new feature that allows users to access their Instagram DMs through the company’s website. For now, the feature is only being tested with a small percentage of users, but it might be available to everyone later this year.

YouTube star’s love of disposable cameras turns into a popular iOS app

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camera app by David Dobrik
Another disposable camera app, but this one has a big name behind it.
ScreenShot: David's Disposable/App Store

More than a dozen apps in the photo category of Apple’s App Store appropriate the shoddy, snapshot esthetics of single-use, or disposable, cameras.

The newest joining this niche category two weeks ago features nothing unique. Yet it quickly surpassed 1 million downloads because the popular internet celebrity behind the app told followers to “check out my new app.”

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Facebook owns 4 of the top 10 apps of the past decade
Facebook had a great decade. At least as far as downloads are concerned.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Instagram’s AI will now warn you before posting offensive captions

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Instagram lawsuit
Instagram is trying to make caption less toxic.
Photo: Pixabay

In an effort to combat online bullying, Instagram is rolling out a new feature today that warns users when their captions might be considered offensive.

The new feature gives users the chance to pause and reconsider their words before posting, but it doesn’t completely prevent people from posting inappropriate captions.

This is what you can expect to see:

Instagram will ban plastic surgery face filters

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plastic surgery face filter on Instagram
Teresa Fogolari created a filters called "Plastica."
Screenshot: TeresaFogolari/Instagram

The company that makes face filters for Instagram will soon remove all filters that offer AR plastic surgery.

The new policy will be welcomed by body-positive activists and mental health professionals who believe social media is feeding a rise in body dysmorphia. They point to anecdotes from cosmetic surgeons who get requests from patients to match the look created by so-called beauty filters.