(Sorry, Instagram, I’m not trying to hate.) Instagram has launched yet another feature.  I didn’t want this to be another rant about Instagram launching yet another feature, but it bears repeating.  Before I get into that, I do have to say though, that instead of competing with Snapchat, this Instagram feature actually pits them against Apple. How you ask? Well, the new feature, known as Focus, is almost identical to what Apple offers through the iOS camera app.  To clarify, they are still competing with Snapchat, but it’s not a direct rip off – which is what we’ve seen before.

What is interesting is that the portrait mode is only available on certain iPhones.  But the Focus feature will be available on any iPhone that is a 6s or newer.  Why is this important?  Well, if you want to be able to use the portrait type feature, you will need to use Instagram, or get a newer iPhone.  And which option is cheaper?  Like I even need to answer that.  I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that this is a bit of a workaround to not having the latest and greatest iPhone.  Not only that but now you don’t even need an iPhone to be able to take advantage of this feature.  You can use your Android device, and use the Focus feature to take amazing photos.

Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The icon for Focus was found last month, but it was buried in the Android Instagram application.  It was then announced in a press release, which confirms the update. Instagram’s Focus lets users shoot portrait-style photos with a bokeh effect. The new button shows up in-between Boomerang and Superzoom.

This is what Instagram has to say about the feature:

When you open the camera, you’ll see “Focus” next to “Superzoom” under the record button. Take a selfie or switch to the back-facing camera to find a friend. As soon as there’s someone in the shot, you’ll notice the person stays in focus while the background softly blurs — making sure they stand out in a striking way. Simply tap to take a photo or tap and hold to record a video. When you’re done, you can add creative tools like filters, stickers, and text to your photo or video before sending to your friends on Instagram Direct or adding to your story.


Now for my rant.  I do think that these social media platforms are getting awfully close to being the same.  I realize that each has its own unique feature or draw, but a lot of the features are very similar to each other.  For me, I don’t necessarily see the benefit of using one over the other, when they both essentially do the same thing.  You could also make this argument for online dating apps.  If there are two apps that essentially are doing the same thing – why are you using them at all?  That said, this is one of the features that I think is beneficial for Instagram to develop.  Making this less of a rant, than it normally is.