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Instagram uses Snapchat-like tags to make adding friends easier

You can also join school communities.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 4, 2018
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Instagram has yet another answer to Snapchat, but this time it's covering one of the basics: namely, adding friends. Months after it started testing, the social network has introduced "nametags" that make friend additions as simple as pointing your camera at a code, much like Snapcodes. Once you've created a nametag (complete with colors, emojis and selfies), your soon-to-be pal just has to launch the camera and hold down on the screen when the tag is in view. From there, they'll receive options to either follow straight away or view the profile. You can share nametags with others through text messages or other social platforms if you're trying to build as wide an audience as possible.

Nametags are available now on Android and iOS.

That's not the only expansion taking place. Instagram is also testing a school communities feature that encourages you to join a college or university group and flaunt your academic history, including the school itself, class year and activities (such as your frat/sorority or sports team). You can also go to a directory of people who've added their school affiliations and connect with them. We can see the potential for some annoyances -- creeps could this as an unofficial dating directory. Still, it could be helpful if you've bonded well with classmates and want to see them in your Instagram feed.

The school feature is limited to testing in "some" US universities, but it should reach more institutions sometime in the "coming weeks."

Instagram School Communities

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