Instagram revamps Boomerang, creates Layout for Stories and more


Instagram has been improving its Story Camera UI to provide a better user experience. On F8 2019, Instagram announced they will gradually roll out a new Story Camera UI. They did not stop there.

I came across a few unreleased features that Instagram is working on by looking into the code underneath Instagram’s Android app.

There is a lot to unpack here, let’s break this down into a few sections.

New Story Camera Mode Icons

Instagram has been providing different varieties of Story Camera modes. To visually differentiate between one mode and another, Instagram has started adding a set of unique gradients for each icon.

These new icons will be available in the upcoming redesign of the Story Camera UI.

Revamped Boomerang for Stories

Since 2016, Boomerang has been turning everyday moments into something fun. Instagram is now making Boomerang even more fun.

Instagram is testing different modes for Boomerang:

To demonstrate what each of these Boomerang modes looks like, I created a web-based emulation of the new Boomerang modes.

Layout for Stories

Instagram has been working on bringing Layout to Stories.

Users are provided several grid layouts to work with. Users could add photos to the layout by taking photos with the Story Camera, or from the Camera Roll.

To demonstrate how each of these grid layouts looks like, I created a web-based emulation of the new Layout for Stories.

There has been several refinements with Layout for Stories and it seems the feature is ready to be released.

Comment Sharing

There are often comments on feed posts worth sharing out. Instagram is finally working on providing a way to share a specific comment.

If the feature is rolled out, there will be a “Share” button next to each comments alongside the usual “Reply” button. After trying out the feature, it is concluded that Instagram is still working on completing it -- it currently only works with Direct, while attempts of sharing the comment through other methods result in sharing the entire feed post instead. Due to the experimental nature, rough edges would not be surprising and will be addressed before feature release.

Notification Filters

Since the beginning, notifications on the Activity tab has been blended into one single stream. Sometimes, the category of the notifications you care about might be cluttered by the others. This is about to change.

Instagram has started working on Notification Filters in the Activity tab to only show the specific category of notifications.

In-app App and Websites Settings

As the number of users who only use Instagram through mobile devices increase, Instagram is working on bringing App and Websites settings to the app. It makes managing and reviewing the active and expired authorized third-party apps and websites easier.

Instagram has been working endlessly to bring different improvements to the user experience. Experimental features could come and go. Though it is very exciting to have a glimpse of Instagram’s potential future.