Instagram finally lets you zoom in on photos and videos

The update rolled out to iOS users today, and will come to Android soon.

The two-finger zoom gesture is old hat by now—we’ve been doing it for almost 10 years, after all. And starting Wednesday, it finally works in the one app that needed it the most, the photo-centric social network everyone’s hopelessly addicted to: Instagram.

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The network announced Wednesday that users would be able to zoom in on not just photos, but videos too. Now the background bystanders can be the stars! Photobombers will be easier to notice and appreciate.

And maybe we’ll find ourselves spending even more time thoroughly engaged with Instagram. As of June, the company said 300 million of its 500 million monthly active users are checking the app daily. Users share about 95 million photos and videos per day, which means a lot of people are popping in once a day at least, just to peruse the stream.

However, the new zooming feature isn’t as smooth as zooming in, say, the Photos app. When you zoom in on a photo in Instagram, it takes over your whole screen, but then it snaps back to the original view as soon as you lift your fingers. So if you’re trying to see detail in a corner of the photo, for example, do the zoom gesture on that same corner, because the zoomed-in image doesn’t “freeze” on the screen to let you pan around the whole thing. Videos keep playing when you zoom in on them, and it works on both regular posts and ads.

The story behind the story: Instagram also recently rolled out business profiles, and if you’re following your favorite brands, it makes sense to want to zoom in on their products for a closer look. The update is rolling out to iOS users on Wednesday, and will come to Android “in the coming weeks,” according to Instagram.

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Susie Ochs

Macworld.com
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