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INSTAGRAM COULD BE GOING GREEN (SCREEN) WITH NEW AR FEATURE

Instagram is rumoured to be introducing a new AR feature for its Stories platform. The currently unreleased feature, which appears to be called “background”, is a new augmented reality feature which will essentially put users in front of a green screen, with the user being able to select an image from their camera roll as the background image. The new feature was uncovered by app researcher Jane Wong, who has a strong track record of finding unreleased Instagram features, so we can only assume this new background feature will be released as part of an update in the near future.

The move to add this new feature to its app comes after a recent resurgence in the popularity of AR selfie effects thanks to the viral success of FaceApp’s ageing filter. Despite concerns over privacy, the filter was unavoidable on all social platforms during the month of July, with FaceApp recording 12.7 million new users since July 10th. The app’s success spurred a rise in popularity of similar AR features, like Snapchat’s gender-swap filter.

Although filters have been around for a while (the Snapchat dog-filter has been a long-standing favourite), advancements of technology in terms of both hardware and software have increased the capacity for AR on mobile devices. Brands are starting to realise the worth of AR due the viral potential of AR features, and so we will undoubtedly be seeing more AR integration into apps and social platforms.

Why has AR become so popular? Well, part of the success of these features is down to allowing users to quickly create shareable content, and if everybody is seemingly using the feature, users feel like part of a wider community. If the success of FaceApp and Snapchat are anything to go by, the AR revolution is only just beginning, and this new Instagram feature will likely continue to dominate your feed in the coming months.