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Instagram Just Added Three “Awesome” Features To Stories

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*Confirms It Is Working On Live Video – 
Instagram, on Friday announced a major update to Instagram Stories with three brand-new features – Links, Mentions and Boomerang.

The new features which is in a new update for iOS, Android and Windows 10, lets users add URL links to their stories allowing viewers to click on the link and directly head over to a website without necessarily having to leave the app.

Users will have the ability to mention people in stories using “@” followed by a username the same way you usually do in comments and captions.

The Facebook-owned company also added its stand-alone app Boomerang inside stories to let users create the quick, fun, Gif-like videos that continuously loop forward and backwards.

“Our mission is not to be a camera app, it’s not to just take pretty photos,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, adding that he wants to create “shared experiences” instead.

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“If you’re the CEO of a company and all of a sudden 100 million people are using a new format every single day, it’s not something you ignore. You push investment into it.”

According to The Verge, the new features represent the biggest update to Stories since its launch.

Systrom also confirmed to The Financial Times that the company is bringing live videos to the photo-sharing app.

“Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing. If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them,” Systrom said in the interview.

According to an earlier report from Russian news site T Journal, Instagram has been testing out a live “Go Insta” feature.

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During Facebook’s earnings call with analysts earlier in November, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg emphasised the social media giant’s plans to put “video first” across its apps.

“People are creating and sharing more video, and we think it’s pretty clear that video is only going to become more important,” Zuckerberg told analysts.

“So that’s why we’re prioritising putting video first across our family of apps, and taking steps to make it even easier for people to express themselves in richer ways.”

When Instagram released Stories in August 2015, it was immediately criticized for being too similar to Snapchat Stories, however by October 2015, Instagram Stories had 100 million daily users, out of over 300 million total users.