‘Tis the Season for New Instagram Story Stickers

Better late than never: Instagram’s latest update includes geolocation and holiday-themed story stickers.

Taking a cue from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, Instagram today introduced a new set of tools “to help you add context and creativity” to stories.

After snapping a photo or capturing a looping video, look for the new “stickers” button (a peeling smiley face) next to the drawing and text icons in the top-right corner. The three leading options allow users to customize the weather, current time, and your location.

Just as you might add a locale to the posts in your feed, the same function is now available in Stories; similarly, anyone watching your Story can tap the sticker to learn more about that particular place. Your Story, Instagram promised, will not appear on the location page.

Modify stickers just as you would with text: drag them into position, pinch to make them smaller or larger, and tap to choose a different style.

“Subtle stickers let your photo or video shine, whereas vibrant stickers bring an extra pop of color to your story,” the company said in a blog post. “And you can add as many stickers as you want to any part of your story.”

That’s good news for festive folks, who can find a set of holiday stickers available “for the next few weeks.” Drop a happy snowman into a wintry scene, spruce up your window with a menorah, and add some presents under the Christmas tree. Plus, a new set of designs will appear to help you ring in the new year.

Instagram is also doing away with the hold-to-record function so many apps require. Instead, a new “Hands-Free” option in the form picker lets you record a video with just one tap. Apple iOS users, meanwhile, can now save an entire story from the past 24 hours to your camera roll as a single video.

Meanwhile, on Christmas Eve you can get live updates on Santa journey, thanks to Amazon Alexa and travel site Kayak. Just enable the Kayak skill in your Alexa app, and you can track Santa with your voice by saying “Alexa, ask Kayak to track Santa.” You can also say “Alexa, ask Kayak, when will Santa be in Chicago” or “Alexa, ask Kayak when Santa will be here.” Kayak said the new Alexa skill leverages a “combination of navigation software, algorithms, and insider-elf intelligence from North Pole Central Command” to pinpoint St. Nick’s location during his round-the-world journey.

Angela Moscaritolo contributed to this report.

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