Instagram's New 'Focus' Feature Adds Portrait Mode

Instagram's new 'Focus' feature adds a portrait mode of sorts, allowing you to focus on the face of the subject in the photo while the background blurs out so you can put more emphasis on what matters to you most, whether that's a picture of yourself and your friends, or someone else entirely if you're behind the camera and taking the picture but aren't in it.

The new Focus format for the Instagram camera will work for both photos and videos so you'll even be able to use it for recordings that you aim to post to your stories, if you prefer to. Instagram says the new feature will be available on "select android devices" but it does not mention which Android devices those are, so users may find things to be hit or miss in regards to the feature being available on their phone when checking. It's also worth mentioning that the update to Instagram that should enable the Focus format is starting to hit devices for the majority of Instagram users on both Android and iOS platforms as of today, so if it isn't showing up for your device it is possible that the app simply hasn't been updated.

The feature is mostly automated, though you will need to enter the Focus mode first. Users will be able to find this button next to the Super Zoom feature. Once opened, simply pointing the front-facing or rear-facing cameras at faces will keep the subject in focus while a soft blur is applied to the background. Instagram even lets you add stickers and filters to your photos and videos taken with Focus so that you can jazz them up a bit if you want to make them extra special and unique. There's also a "mention" sticker being added to the app, though this is listed as being iOS-only and there's no word on if the feature will be added to Android in the future.

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.