Instagram to roll out new features including posting from desktop, collaboration tools

The updates come during what's been a difficult time for the app.
The updates come during what's been a difficult time for the app. Photo credit: Supplied

Facebook-owned Instagram is rolling out a number of features this week including giving users the ability to post from desktop for the first time.

The much-requested functionality has been strangely absent until now but, after beta testing with some users earlier this year, will be rolled out to all users worldwide at the end of this week, the company said.

Users will be able to share photographs and videos up to one minute long via a desktop browser from their PC or Mac.

Another feature announced during what the company calls 'Product Week' is 'Collabs', a new way for two people to co-author posts and 'Reels', the company's TikTok competitor.

When posts are co-authored, both names appear on the header and the content is shared to both sets of followers too.

Views, likes and comments will also be for both accounts, Instagram said, as it tries to help "people take their content to the next level and connect better with their audiences".

To set up a Collab, a second account has to be tagged in the tagging screen. The other account will have to accept the invitation to collaborate. 

Reels is also getting additional functionality to allow users to create videos which integrate music better.

Later this week a tool called 'Dynamic and 3D lyrics' will be made live which allows users to display song lyrics in a Reel, with 'Superbeat', an intelligent special effect that adds effects to the beat of the song also being released.

The company is also going to start testing a tool that lets users create fundraisers.

It comes at what has been a difficult time for both Instagram and the wider organisation.

Facebook and all its platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, recently suffered a six-hour outage as the result of an internal configuration change error.

The company also put its Instagram Kids plans on hold amid growing opposition from US lawmakers and advocacy groups who are concerned about child safety.

It was supposed to provide ad-free, age-appropriate content to youngsters, but pushback halted development with the company saying it was pausing work but would continue building parental supervision tools.

The Wall Street Journal also published a report claiming Facebook knew Instagram was having a significant impact on the mental health of teenage girls.

The company said this was a mischaracterisation and that "Instagram’s research shows that on 11 of 12 well-being issues, teenage girls who said they struggled with those difficult issues also said that Instagram made them better rather than worse".