Instagram Releases New Focus Portrait Mode For Taking Better Pictures


Instagram quietly rolled out a new focus portrait mode that works without people having to buy an iPhone X. The feature, however, doesn’t work with every phone.   ( Pixabay )

Instagram rolled out a new feature that is similar to iPhone X’s portrait mode, it’s just more widely available. Instagram named the new camera function Focus.

This new mode allows users to spend more time on the app.

Focus Mode

Focus has been in the background for a little while before it was revealed in Instagram’s new update. In March 2017, TechCrunch reported that the Focus feature was present in the code for the app. Focus works by blurring the background instead of focusing on the person to provide a professional look for the picture.

In the statement introducing the new feature, Instagram announces that Focus will be next to the Superzoom function next to the record button. Focus works to take selfies and with the rear-facing camera. It is, however, not available on all phones, it only currently works with the iPhone SE, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, and X. It also works with select Android devices.

Instagram said that Focus mode is able to leverage background segmentation and face detection technology instead of using dual cameras to enable the effect to take place. This would also negate the need to download an external app to use Portrait mode on a phone that lacks it.

This could also be seen as another feature meant to keep the app ahead of Snapchat. Snapchat doesn’t have this feature. This is one of the few features that Instagram has innovated, the company seems to make different versions of existing features.

How To Use Focus Mode

To use it, Instagram has to be opened, to access the camera users would have to swipe left. Then, at the bottom of the screen, users can scroll through the options. It is situated between the Boomerang and Superzoom features.

When the mode is selected, users will need to click on the subject, just like when taking a regular picture. This will blur the background of the photo automatically. Once the photo is taken, it can be added to user’s Instagram Story, it can be sent to friends, or it can be saved on the phone.

Techcrunch tested out the new feature by comparing it to the Portrait mode that is found on the iPhone X. It shows that Focus mode is able to blur the background of a photo but it also makes the edges of the subject look less clear.

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