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How to use the tilt-shift effect on Instagram for Android

Instagram for Android users have been without the tilt-shift effect from the very beginning. A recent update has finally added the sought-after effect, bringing it in line with Instagram on iOS.

Tilt shift photo effect in Instagram
This photo, taken in Palm Springs, shows the tilt shift effect in Instagram. Courtesy of Instagram user tenderbuttons

When Instagram finally arrived on Android, it was missing a major photo effect that iOS users had been enjoying for some time: tilt shift. Just over a month after its release, Instagram for Android has been updated to finally include tilt shift. It's a fun little effects tool that can make subjects in your photos appear miniature or to create a shallow depth of field.

Here's how to use tilt shift:

1. After choosing a photo, tap the new teardrop icon in the effects toolbar and choose whether you want a radial or linear tilt shift.

Instagram for Android tilt-shift effect
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

2. By default, the tilt-shift effect will center the effect on the photo, but you can move it around by dragging your finger on the screen. You can also pinch the screen to resize the area to which you want to apply the tilt-shift effect. For the linear tilt shift, you can even drag the ends up and down, to apply a diagonal shift.

Instagram for Android tilt-shift effect selection
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

3. To remove the tilt-shift effect, tap on the teardrop icon again and select the X.

Here's an example of how tilt-shift can be used to create a miniaturization effect:

Tilt-shift miniaturization effect
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

That's it. Now you can easily share your photos with the tilt-shift effect on Instagram. For more on Instagram for Android, check out our post on getting started with Instagram for Android, as well as Sharon Vaknin's Five essential Instagram tips.