Instagram‘s latest moves with their ‘Stories’ feature are hitting the nail on the head to the point where they’re beginning to give industry giant Snapchat (albeit only slightly) a run for their money. In a similar sense, Instagram’s latest updates have consisted in modifying ‘Stories’ features to add new functionalities like: Boomerang mode for story videos and a new system to mention other users and link-up to external URLs on ‘Stories’ content. Basically, these features add a ton of new options both for users and professionals.

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Updating to Instagram v. 9.8 for Android (now available to download on Uptodown) provides you access to features as they’re rolled out and progressively expand among other users. For now, external mentions in ‘Stories’ is only available to official, verified Instagram account users. But it’ll eventually likely be made a more widely available feature.

Accessing Boomerang mode is as easy as starting up a ‘story’ post as you would usually, but in the lower corner you’ll see two options: a ‘normal’ option for recording linear videos or the ‘boomerang’ looping mode where your video plays back-and-forth. In terms of mentions, when you edit a video you’ll have the option to type in a message and then write the username you’re mentioning on Instagram. And voila! Automatically, it links to them from your clip.

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No doubt, the best feature long term for many is inserting external links which until now was impossible; at least, in terms of hyperlinking. When you publish a story you’ll also be able to associate an outbound URL that’ll open from within Instagram’s own app. Posts that have an external link added in display a ‘see more’ message that downdrops the link when swiping downwards.

Instagram for Android on Uptodown [APK] | Download here

More information | Instagram’s Official Blog

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