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5 new tricks for Instagram addicts

Instagram has been rolling out monthly updates that are changing the way you can use the photo-sharing app, including a new live video option that's already available to some users.

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You may have noticed Instagram has been rolling out more updates than usual in the last few months. And if you've kept your app up-to-date, you now have a few new tools to uncover.

Zoom (August 31)

After waiting nearly six years for this basic feature, we can finally look at photos up close on the app. To zoom in, select a photo on your feed and pinch the screen. Keep your finger on the screen to hold the zoom, or release to return to the original. Just be careful with the accidental "like" when you're clicking to zoom on the shots.

Save drafts (September 30)

With this feature you'll never lose another edit, because it saves the changes you make to your photos until you're ready to publish. Edit your photo as usual and press the back arrow at the top-left corner of the screen before you publish. This will prompt a pop-up screen with the option to Save Draft or Discard. If you select Save Draft, your edits will be saved in a new section within the app's photo library. Once you're ready to resume, just click on the photo in draft, select Edit on the next screen (in the top-right corner), and pick up right where you left off. Caption and share when you're ready, or save to draft again. The feature also works on videos.

To discard old drafts, go to the main photo page, click Manage in the Draft section > Edit > Select the draft > Discard Post, and confirm.

Story tricks (November 10)

Instagram stories may be old news to you -- here's everything you need to know -- but there are a few new features to help spice them up. The first is the Boomerang tool that already existed on the main editing page. Slide right from your feed to access Stories and toggle to the Boomerang option at the bottom of the screen to capture a burst of photos that loops forward and backward.

You can also tag people within a story as you would in a photo caption, by adding the @ symbol before each name. They will then get a notification on their lock screen alerting them to the mention, and the story will appear in their inbox as a direct message next time they open the app.

Disappearing messages (November 21)

As if Instagram wasn't already starting to feel like Snapchat, it has now added a disappearing messages feature to its Stories. Swipe right from your feed to create a story, press the arrow on the bottom-right side of the screen and select one or more recipients. From here you can also add the message to your main story if you want to make it public, and press send.

The message will play once for the recipient and then disappear like a Snap, or it will play for 24 hours on your story. You can only send disappearing messages to people you follow and who follow you back, and you will be notified if the recipient takes a screenshot of your message.

Live video (December 12)

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If you haven't gotten this feature already, you will in the coming weeks. This will allow you to broadcast live videos from your account as you would on Facebook Live or Periscope.

According to Instagram's website, you'll be able to broadcast directly from the main stories page by swiping right from your feed. Click on the new Live option on the bottom of the screen, and Start live video to deploy.

Viewers will appear on the top right of the screen, with the comments and reactions on the bottom. You can add your own comment or turn off comments completely by selecting the option on the screen.