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Instagram has always been known as the social media platform for expressing your creativity in visual content, in contrast to Twitter’s text-focused offering. However, users have found ways to make their own text posts, often creating images outside the app using other products such as Photoshop or Canva, or even screenshotting their iPhone notes app. Taking note of this behaviour, Instagram is trialling a new function called Type.
Instagram Stories already allow users to add text overlays to images, but Type enables them to create a text-only post without leaving the app. Users can choose from a variety of fun fonts and colourful backgrounds, or even upload their own background image. The new functionality was initially tested in Japan, and has been made available to selected users in Europe this month. If it proves popular, an official rollout is likely within the next few months.
There was some suspicion when Instagram initially launched Stories in 2016, as it was considered a copycat version of the Snapchat feature of the same name. However, a year later, Stories had become one of Instagram’s most popular features, and boasts usage stats to rival those of Snapchat. As of November 2017, 300 million people were using Instagram Stories every day - more than half of the 500 million who use Instagram daily. With this impressive uptake, we can expect more focus on the design and functionality of Stories, and Type could be the first of many upgrades this year.
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