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Anonymity ZUCKS: Facebook's Instagram to switch on face tagging

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Oversharing narcissists will be able to reveal who is pictured in their cloud-stored Instagram photos - by tagging people in the colour-mangled snaps.

The Mark Zuckerberg-owned, retro photo-aging service released version 3.5 of its software today, which adds features making it even more like its parent-company Facebook.

Whenever anyone takes a picture, filters it and puts it out of focus, they can then tag whoever is in the image. Assuming the tagged person doesn't remove the tag or report it as offensive, it is then displayed on their user profile.

Privacy settings will allow bashful people to prevent anyone from tagging them.

The new feature is called "Pictures of You" and goes live on 16 May. Until then, users are free to "play around" with the feature without the pictures being made publicly available.

It was launched with a suitably sentimental video advert featuring all the familiar tropes of consumer tech advertising: babies, twee music and a multi-ethnic friendship group who demonstrate their solidarity by forming a circle, taking shots of their shoes and then tagging them.

The changes were also announced on the Instagram blog:

Photos are memories of the people, places and moments that mean the most to us. We have always sought to give you simple and expressive ways to bring the stories behind your photos to life. Your captions and hashtags capture the “what?” and your Photo Map answers the “where?” but until today we’ve never quite been able to answer the “who?”.

Today, we’re excited to introduce Photos of You and bring you a new way to share and discover stories on Instagram. When you upload a photo to Instagram, you’re now able to add people as easily as you add hashtags. Only you can add people to your photos, so you have control over the images you share. And it doesn’t stop at people — you can add any account on Instagram, whether it’s your best friend, favorite coffee shop or even that adorable dog you follow.

Instagram did not reveal further details of how a dog might take photographs and then edit them, which would be a truly revolutionary achievement for any software company. ®

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