Instagram is launching its answer to Snapchat geofilters, offering a way to spice up your photos and videos with stickers that display basic location names, time, weather, and emoji. There’s also limited-time seasonal graphics like Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs, and a holiday candy cane paint brush.
There’s now unlimited text boxes for stories instead of just one per image, and a one-touch hands-free video recording option to attract performers like guitarists who need both hands that you can swipe to from the stories camera selector. The features start rolling out yesterday on iOS and Android. The new features give Instagram the fun and flexibility needed to start catching up with Snapchat as it tries to close the gap between their creative tools. Instagram is meanwhile widening the separation between its purer color filters-only permanent feed, and its anything-goes ephemeral stories canvas.
You access the stickers by tapping the smiley icon at the top of the stories camera screen after you’ve shot a photo or video. This reveals a tray of available stickers. For location, you can search for anywhere in Instagram’s places database to turn that store, landmark, neighborhood, or city into a sticker.
Location stickers can be tapped to take users to a feed of permanent photos from that place.
Many of the Instagram seasonal stickers can be tapped to reveal different designs, like different sweaters, candy cane designs, Hannukah icons, and Christmas Trees.
Along with location, the time, weather, and some of the seasonal stickers can be tapped to change their design. You can see the time as an analog clock, old-school alarm clock, or modern digital clock, while the weather can show the temperature or the forecast too. Seasonal stickers like the Christmas tree can be tapped to replace the traditional pine with a palm tree or cactus.