Five features that Instagram needs to add ASAP

  • Sarit Ray, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2015 23:01 IST

Popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, continues to update features, albeit at a slow pace. Last week, it underwent minor changes. You can now search for hashtags, people and even click on location tags for other photos on the desktop version. Cute, we think. But Instagram needs to add more serious features to the original app, so we’re not clogging our phones with supporting apps.

=> A better native camera: When was the last time you used Instagram’s in-app camera rather than picking an image from your gallery? We can’t remember ever using it. Blame it on the square, constrained frame which makes it extremely odd to compose photos. Besides, the images don’t process too well. It’s surely time for a sharp, wide-angle shooter.

Alternative: Your phone’s regular camera app.

=> #NoCrop: We don’t always like chopping edges off our photos like they were crusts on sandwich bread. They lose details and negative space, and the framing goes for a toss. And that means a million downloads for apps that just let you keep the photos in a rectangle. Because Instagram doesn't.

Alternatives: Square IntaPic, No Crop

=> Reposting: Imagine Twitter without a ‘retweet’ option. We understand why Instagram didn’t build a re-gram tool initially. It wanted us to share original photos. But we do that anyway. And we love all the ‘hearts’; they make us feel like serious snappers. But retweets never caused a dearth of original content. And we’d love it if people could organically ‘share’ our photos.

Alternatives: Repost, Regram, InstaRepost

=> Toggling between accounts: When Facebook first arrived, it was a casual platform. Ditto with Twitter. Now, though, with social media being the buzzword at workplaces, we have multiple accounts — personal and work-related. Both these platforms let us access all our accounts, and ‘pages’, via one mobile app. It’s time Instagram allowed us to toggle as well, rather than having to log in and out every time. And the third-party toggling accounts are disappointing.

Alternative: Phonegram

=> Time-lapse videos: Vine made you realise the need for video-sharing. Instagram promptly added it. Well done. But you know what else we like? Time-lapse videos, the sort that makes people and things move comically fast. Lapse It is a good alternative that shoots stills in a burst and stitches them together. But we’d love to be able to do it without yet another app.

Alternative: Lapse It

(The writer tweets as @saritray2001 )

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