Photo-sharing platform Instagram has recently added a new tool to its arsenal, and has integrated it with its Stories feature along with a number of Halloween-related extras.
The feature, named Superzoom, allows users to create a video that includes an extreme close-up of the subject of the shot. It works with both the rear and front facing cameras. When in the photo-snapping section of the Instagram app, Superzoom will appear as an option alongside the likes of Boomerang, Live and Normal modes.
Selecting Superzoom and hitting the capture button will see Instagram capture the image with a three-stage zoom. As well as this, images are also combined with orchestral musical effects. The videos are set to last for three seconds as default, but holding down the shutter button will allow users to capture videos lasting up to 15 seconds.
Instagram announced the feature to the world in a blog post on Thursday last week. It was later made available to both iOS and Android versions of the app.
Superzoom joins Instagram’s editing repertoire, which includes GIF creator Boomerang, time-lapse tool Hyperlapse and collage creator Layout. According to Jyoti Sood, the product manager at Instagram, the inspiration behind the feature came from the platform’s users. Sood explained that users often zoom in on their friends in order to create and capture funny moments to share with their followers, and the introduction of Superzoom should make this easier for them, as well as giving them the option to add sound effects.
The platform seeks to introduce a range of new stickers, filters and lenses as it cranks up the pressure on rival app Snapchat. As part of this, Instagram has also launched a series of stickers, masks and other augmented reality effects with a Halloween theme. The goal for Instagram is to get more people using the effects on its platform instead of rival Snapchat, which will also have brought out its version of spooky effects.
The augmented reality aspect of both platforms has really taken off and has allowed users to fully engage their creativity when it comes to posting images and videos to the platform, either as permanent additions, or the disappearing Stories. This has seen usage of the two platforms increase over the last couple of years, especially among younger users.
For Instagram in particular, it needs to generate these ideas at a much quicker rate than Snapchat in order to get away from being branded a Snapchat clone – a label many people have given it since it aped Snapchat’s Stories feature.