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Instagram Stories: Now even more like Snapchat, but with better video recording

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Instagram just dropped another major update to Stories and, once again, some of the new features may look a little familiar.

The app added a stickers feature that looks a lot like Snapchat’s geofilters, as well as the (decidedly un-Snapchat-like) ability to record video hands-free.

For now, there are two main types of stickers: a handful of holiday-themed illustrations (presumably, Snapchat will periodically update its selection throughout the year) and “contextual stickers” that look a lot like Snapchat’s filters.

‘Contextual stickers’ look a lot like Snapchat’s filters.

The contextual stickers allow you to add illustrated overlays that showing the current time, temperature or your location. While Snapchat has its own variant of all of these, Instagram’s location stickers are not as creative as Snapchat’s geofilters (though they look very similar at first glance).

The stickers, which you can use on any photo, pull in the location information from the same database used to add locations to your normal Instagram post. Unlike Snapchat, these aren’t user-generated, meaning you can create a sticker for just about any location you want but the stickers will also look more or less the same every time you share them in a Story (there are a few different styles you can choose from).

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Additionally, Instagram is no longer restricting how much text you can have on any given image in your Story. Tapping on the text tool allows you to add multiple chunks of text to your images. The text tool also has some new formatting options so you can tweak the look of the words.

In another break with its Snapchat-likeness, Instagram’s Stories will now have a “hands-free”mode so you can record video without having to hold down on the screen.

The app is also improving how Stories are saved to your phone after you post them. The app will now save Stories as a single video rather than a series of clips, when you save a Story.

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