Instagram is testing out a new format for its Stories camera, which harks back to traditional photographic process by providing a selector wheel to choose the option/s you want to use.
The new format was spotted by social media code hacker Jane Manchun Wong, who also notes that the camera modes in this new layout have been reduced from eight to just three. None of the options have been removed however, they've just been categorized into these new elements - for example, currently in the Stories camera, you have options like 'Boomerang', 'Superzoom' and 'Rewind' lined along the bottom of the screen.
In this format, Wong notes that each is now available under the 'Normal' or 'Create' options, with 'Live' remaining its own mode:
- Normal - Hosts capture modes, including 'Superzoom' and 'Rewind', as well as Instagram's AR effects tools
- Create - This is where you can find your text and sticker tools
That new flow will mean that users may need to scroll around several times during their creation process in order to add in all the effects they might want, which could take some getting used to. But the rounded selector does make it a little easier to do so, and looks like a helpful addition - if, of course, Instagram does choose to go ahead with the format.
In fact, as several users have pointed out, the format is already being used by another popular photo capture app - 'Obscura'.
Obscura is a more advanced photography app, which has proven significantly popular among users willing to pay a little extra to capture better images (Obscura costs $4.99 in and App Store). And as you can see, Obscura also utilizes the same control wheel style that Instagram is now exploring - to which, Obscura responded:
You know you’ve done something right when everyone starts following your lead ????— Obscura App (@ObscuraApp) March 17, 2019
I mean, both Instagram and parent company Facebook do now have a well-publicized history of stealing popular features from competitor apps.
And while it is somewhat annoying to see larger tech platforms using their scale and resources to muscle out smaller platforms, the format, as it did with Stories, does make sense. The control wheel process is much more responsive, interactive and appealing, which will also no doubt make the Stories UI easier to understand for newcomers, helping to expand its usage even further.
There's no word yet as to whether this format will see a full roll-out, but it does seem to make a lot of sense.