Instagram plans to announce a major redesign of the app on Monday in version 3.2, making improvements to the in-app camera feature as well as changes to the newsfeed and the addition of a new filter.
The changes come as a reminder that even as some users are angry with Instagram for cutting off direct access within Twitter, the app still has more than 100 million users and a strong following that appreciates the speed at which photos load and the inherently social nature of the app.
A few of the updates users will see in the new version of Instagram, which the company plans to announce in a blog post later today:
- The biggest change to the app comes with the in-app camera software, used by those who take a photo within the app and then post it to the social network (instead of selecting from the camera roll). The camera page is re-designed with new graphics and an Instagram-styled shutter button, and previews from the camera roll will now appear below the shutter. Users can add a grid on top of the screen while snapping the photos, as well as add a grid while scaling and cropping in the editing process.
- Users will see updates to the tilt-shift feature (the optional blur that makes your photos look extra-artsy) that will improve the blur quality on full-sized photos. In other words, the blur will supposedly look more natural, and Instagram declared: “With this update the blur you see is now the blur you’ll get!” The tilt-shift does appear strangely sometimes when you see photos in full view (especially on Facebook or on Instagram’s website), so this could create an improved experience.
- Filtered photos will now be saved to a separate folder called “Instagram” on iOS, rather than the general camera roll.
- The app will see a redesigned newsfeed with larger photos that are “easier to digest” when scrolling through.
- The company has added a new filter called Willow, which it describes as: “a monochrome filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent glowing white border.” Instagram doesn’t add new photo filters often, and since people often have favorites (in fact, your favorite filter can say a lot about you as a person) it’s interesting to note.
Here the company shows the updated tilt-shift in action on the right-hand side:
Needless to say, when your users are clamoring for a more precise blur and newly-colored filters, it’s pretty clear that you’ve build a product that they care about. And that’s a good thing for Instagram to keep in mind as Twitter plans rolls out its own photo-filtering product and the social photo wars keep escalating.