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How to Use Instagram's Way Overdue Zoom Feature

It's been over 5 years since Instagram launched, but today (Aug. 31) the app finally added the single-most obvious feature it was missing: Zoom.

This no-duh feature comes to iOS users as a background update, meaning you don't need to update the app to get it now. The feature should be coming to Android users in the coming weeks, which means that non-iPhone owners are currently stuck pawing at their images to no avail.

And while it's dead-simple to use, Zoom feels somewhat broken. You activate it by using the same pinch-and-pull technique seen in every image-editing app, but you better keep your fingers on the screen -- removing your digits drops that zoomed-in image back into the timeline. Maybe a future revision will see the app get "Zoom and View," but it's possible we'll have to wait another five years for that.

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The Facebook-owned Instagram announced this new feature in a tweet, and not on its own blog. Perhaps the company wants users to think they could always zoom in the app, as taking five years to add this is nothing to make a big fuss about.

Zoom is only the latest in a string of new features added to the popular social network, following its Snapchat-alike Stories, as well as Channels, its curated videos found in the discover section. Though, if we're honest, there's only one feature we need Instagram to add: the option to bring back the chronologically-ordered timeline, so the network stops trying to decide what you need to see first.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.