In an update to their mobile apps today, Instagram has added Facebook-like tagging to uploaded images. In an official blog post, Instagram explains that the new feature is called Photos Of You. Here’s how it works.
When you upload an image to Instagram, you can now associate that image with people as easy as adding hashtags. Only you can add people to your photos, and you can set it up so that if someone else ads you to one of their photos, you can choose to approve that before allowing it to be active, just like Facebook tagging.
To get started, grab the update and then open Instagram and upload a new image. Apply whatever filters you want and then proceed to the description and sharing screen. You’ll see that there’s a new button to Add People. Tap that and you will go back to a screen displaying your image, only this time you can tap specific areas of the image and choose to tag that area with someone’s name, just like on Facebook. Once you’re finished, you can add a caption, map it, and choose to share to Facebook, Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or Foursquare, just as before.
You can drag tags around and tap to remove them. Note that in order to tag someone, you need to search using their username. Hopefully Instagram will improve this feature to be more user friendly, as it would be more natural to search by name.
Once you save your image, it will appear within the Instagram feed with a small person icon in the lower left corner that you can tap to see tags.
I did note that an image I saved and tagged and shared to Facebook did not immediately post to Facebook.
Also note that all Instagram users are initially set to Automatically have tagged photos added to your profile. If you want to approve photos first, go to your profile and tap on the new Photos Of You icon, then tap the settings icon in the upper right. I’m sure many will be upset that Instagram has chosen to make this setting automatic rather than manual by default, and that the setting is buried within your photo gallery and not with other app settings and options.
Instagram’s new feature follows LinkedIn adding the ability to mention other users in posts. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ already incorporate similar functionality. The udpate is available for both iOS and Android users.
The update also makes some improvements and refinements to the app design, which were nice. Check out the update and let me know what you think!