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Instagram introduces new photo tagging feature

Sound familiar? If you love Instagram, you’ll love that it’s now borrowing a popular feature from Facebook – photo tagging. Late last week, Instagram announced that users can now tag friends in their photos. All photos you have been tagged in will be collected and stored in a wonderful repository called “Photos of You.”

The “Photos of You” feature is currently hidden from your Instagram profile however on May 16th, it will become visible to all unless you change your privacy settings. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it’s no surprise that this measure is in place especially since users complain all the time about the photos they’ve been tagged in.

If you’re already on Facebook, the process is familiar and something you’re already used to except the only downfall is you can’t tag yourself in others photos and if you want to be tagged, you’ll have to politely ask them to do so. Bummer. Maybe that’ll be fixed in an upcoming version as more users get exposed to the feature and start requesting it.

If you’re expecting old photos to be automatically tagged, you’re at a loss. There is no facial recognition built into the new release. You’ll have to manually look through all the photos you’ve taken and decide if you want to tag them or just start tagging new ones. This could potentially be a problem if you’re an Instagram addict.

The new feature also allows you to tag brands and companies. For example, say you’re taking a photo of food at a restaurant, if they’re on Instagram you can tag them so that they are aware of the photo. This is a huge advantage for brands that might want to use this new feature to start contests, collect photos, and track how their audience uses their products and what they think of them.

For brands using Instagram, this new tagging feature could draw new awareness and followers. The new feature will also breathe new life into the photo filtering app and prompt users to engage more as they check out photos they’ve been tagged in which will then get them to open up the app, engage with the photo, comment, and perhaps share it with their network.

Over time, it won’t be a surprise if all this data is used to collect information on brands and individuals. It has long been rumored that ads may show up on Instagram. Let’s cross our fingers for now and hope the space stays clear of any advertising.  To get started with the photo tagging fun, update your Instagram app in the app store or via Google Play.

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