by James A. Martin

Instagram, Vine Media-Sharing Apps Get New Social Features

May 06, 20132 mins

The popular Instagram and Vine photo- and video-sharing apps both got new features that let you tag and mention people. The iPhone's front-facing camera can also now also be used help Vine users capture video of themselves doing random things, such as eating tacos and/or Oreo cookies.

Social-media apps Instagram and Vine just got a lot more social, thanks to new features that let you tag or mention friends in photos (Instagram) and videos (Vine). Vine also got a new feature that lets you capture video of yourself eating Oreos. Seriously. More on that in a minute.

Instagram, the free photo-sharing app for iOS and Android, now has an “Add People” option that lets you tag people in your photos. Instead of calling out friends in photo captions, you can now tag them in photos using their Instagram ID by tapping their image. If you don’t know a user’s ID, typing the name usually (but not always) helps locate them.

When others tag you in photos the images appear in a new “Photos of You” section on your profile page. And an “Add Manually” option in the “Photos of You” section lets you prevent someone from, say, tagging a mortifying photo of you dressed up as a Chihuahua at the office Cinco de Mayo party. (You might not have been mortified, but your office mates? That’s another story.)


Instagram on Android (left); Vine on iOS (right)

Twitter’s free Vine six-second video-recording/sharing app, which is still only available for iOS, now lets you mention other Vine/Twitter users by their usernames. When you type “@” and the user’s account name in a caption, Vine searches to find the account, and then automatically links it to your caption.

People mentioned in captions receive notifications when posts go live. Unfortunately, just as you can’t pre-approve mentions of your Twitter account name in someone else’s Twitter mention or “tweet,” you also can’t pre approve Vine video in which you’re mentioned.

Vine also got a new feature that’s seemingly designed for narcissists with a lot of free time on their hands. You can now use the iPhone’s front-facing camera for video recording. Check out the #Selfie videos in Vine to see fascinating videos of people eating tacos, people eating Oreos, people eating, well, anything and everything.