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Instagram finally lets you zoom in on photos and videos

Susie Ochs | Sept. 1, 2016
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.

 

Starting today, you can pinch to zoom on photos and videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore. Dive into an adorable puppy’s smile or into every detail of your friend’s new shirt. Over the past six months, you’ve seen many exciting changes come to Instagram, from a new icon to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories. And as things change, we’re still focused on improving the core parts of Instagram. Zoom is available today for Instagram on iOS. Zoom will be available on Android in the coming weeks.

A video posted by Instagram (@instagram) on Aug 31, 2016 at 8:00am PDT

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.

 

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