Instagram today announced the launch of a new “Focus” mode, which is designed to allow Instagram users to take portrait images with a softly blurred background.
The feature is available as a new option next to “Superzoom” when you open up the camera. It can be used with the front or rear-facing cameras, and Instagram says as soon as someone is in the shot, the person will stay in focus while the background becomes blurred. Focus mode only works with a person in the frame.
Focus mode can be used with either photos or videos, and it’s designed to be similar to the Portrait Mode feature available on Apple’s newer dual-lens devices. While Portrait Mode is a hardware-based feature available on the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, Instagram’s Focus mode is software based, making it available on a wider range of devices.
Instagram says Focus works on the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and “select Android devices.”
In addition to Focus, Instagram is also adding a new @mention sticker on iOS devices so you can use a sticker to tag your friends using the stories camera.
Both Focus and the new Mention sticker are available in the latest version of Instagram, which can be downloaded from the App Store.