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How To Use The Emoji Slider On Instagram, So You Can Try Out The New Feature Before Your Friends Do

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In order to keep up with competitors, social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter are constantly rolling out new features. They are often carbon copies of other apps' features (stories, anyone?), but this time, there's actually something pretty original. On Thursday, Instagram rolled out an emoji slider, a new feature that will make the whole ~Instagram story experience~ more interactive. Here's how to use Instagram's new emoji slider — because if you use it before it's cool, you'll totally impress your followers.

If you're already familiar with Instagram's poll feature, the emoji slider won't seem too scary. While a poll allows users to ask followers a "this or that" question in an Instagram story, the emoji slider lets users "ask more nuanced questions when you want to find out how your friends feel about something," Instagram explains in a press release.

To add an emoji slider question, simply swipe up from the bottom of your screen after capturing an image or video for your Insta story. Amongst the icons for GIFs, polls, and stickers, you should see one that looks like a tiny slider with the heart eyes emoji. You can then type in a question, and choose an emoji that corresponds with it.

Instagram suggests asking something like "How much do you like pizza?" so that users can express just how much they love it. With a poll, people are only left with two extreme options, meaning the emoji slider could yield more accurate results, notes Engadget. Plus, the emoji can emphasize the vibes of your question. Whoever wrote Instagram's press release is taking that aspect of it pretty seriously, explaining:

By choosing an emoji for your question, you also add a layer of emotional context that helps those answering understand your tone and answer accordingly.

Additionally, you'll be able to see how each of your followers responded to your slider poll, as well as the current average of everyone's responses. Simply play back your story, and swipe up from the bottom to see the stats. And that goes both ways — meaning if you respond to a friend's slider poll, they will know how you answered.

Courtesy of Instagram

The update is supposed to be live Thursday, so if you don't see it on your phone, try updating the app. It wasn't working for me at first, but updating did the trick, so I tried out the feature to answer some of my lingering questions. In terms of text color for your question, you can choose any of the preset colors. However, holding your finger down to open up the full rainbow does not work as it does with regular Instagram story text. The slider is automatically a purple and red ombre, and it doesn't seem like that can be changed.

Additionally, you can choose any emoji for the slider portion of your poll. Simply swipe to the second row of emoji provided and click the plus sign to open up the full emoji arsenal.

Here's my official test run:

Courtesy of Sophie Hirsh
Courtesy of Sophie Hirsh

Instagram's Thursday update actually came with one other new feature as well. The app now plans to "filter bullying comments intended to harass or upset people," according to a press release. The new filter will automatically hide comments that attack someone's "appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health." Given the rising statistics of how many children in grades six through 12 face cyberbullying in the United States, especially LGBTQ students, it's an important time for social media platforms (especially ones like Instagram that teenagers live on) to make an effort to combat bullying.

Happy sliding, emoji lovers!