Location-based stories are coming soon to Instagram

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Here's what Instagram location stories look like.
Here's what Instagram location stories look like.
Photo: Josh Constantine/TechCrunch

Instagram’s streak of sniping features from Snapchat isn’t about to stop with today’s new addition of Face Filters.

Location-based stories are set to be the next big feature Instagram adds to its toolset, only instead of just copying the way Snapchat curates stories, Instagram plans to tap into one of its ‘hidden gems’ to make stories a powerful tool for all users.

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.

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.

Snap Inc.’s IPO soars but will it ever make money?

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Spectacles are no longer a U.S. exclusive.
Spectacles are no longer a U.S. exclusive.
Photo: Snap, Inc.

The photo sharing and messaging app Snapchat is a hit with kids, but on Thursday its parent company was fun for investors who made it the day’s most heavily traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

Snap Inc. made its debut with shares priced at $17, but high investor demand quickly raised it to $24, putting the tech company’s value at close to $33 billion, according to reports.

Tim Cook warns that world needs to fix ‘fake news’

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Apple's Q2 earnings weren't that impressive.
Apple wants to tamp down on fake news.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Alternative facts and fake news have become so pervasive in the the we consume lately that Apple CEO Tim Cook says it’s “one of today’s chief problems.”

During an interview this week in the U.K., Cook talked about the challenges tech companies face on how to combat stories that perpetuate false information without hurting the free flow of ideas on the internet.

Instagram controls let you share more love, shut out hate

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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

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.