Instagram releases Focus, its own Portrait Mode

Earlier this week, Instagram launched a new portrait feature called Focus. This feature blurs backgrounds on selfies and portrait shots, giving images a clean and professional portrait look. The feature produces images that look similar to Apple's built-in Portrait Mode on iPhone.

How To Use Focus

Focus works on iPhone 6S and higher as well as select Android phones. This is unlike Apple who requires an iPhone 7+, iPhone 8+, or iPhone X to use Portrait Mode because of the phone's dual-cameras. In a statement to TechCrunch, an Instagram spokesperson said Focus works on single-camera phones because it "leverages background segmentation and face detection technology".

Focus photos look a little bit washed out when compared to Apple's Portrait mode, but initial tests still look good. We're impressed that Instagram can pull off such a sharp bokeh effect with software. 

Focus Mode in Instagram Camera

You'll find Focus between Boomerang and Superzoom under the record button in the Instagram camera. You can use Focus when posting to Instagram, adding to your story, or sending photos or videos to friends.

Instagram Rolls Out Mention Speakers

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Instagram also rolled out mention stickers this week. You can use these stickers to mention friends and brands in your Instagram Story with a stylized button. Previously, mentions were limited to text. You can find this feature in Instagram Story's Stickers pane. 

Instagram Continues to Innovate

Its good to see Instagram continue to innovate on its platform. The addition of Focus and mention stickers keeps the social network fresh and will only continue to pull users away from SnapChat. Update your Instagram app to give Focus a shot.

What do you think about Focus? Let us know on Twitter.

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