Technical engineering secrets from inside Instagram about the launch of stores a year ago

Instagram engineers have shared new details about Stories, which was first launched on August 2, 2016, and has managed to capture 250 million daily users with 700 million daily views.

Prior to launching the new feature, the team spent a lot of time planning and discussing the best way to add this feature, especially as it will come to change the experience of using the application, which then had up to 500 million active users per month.

Instagram engineers tried to balance many of the conflicting issues between launching new features constantly, or maintaining high application stability and performance. Between the organization of the mechanism of action and future steps, and gave way to creative thinking and come up with new ideas and features unprecedented. Between maintaining a small team, and adding new members who are able to contribute strongly to the application and its new features.

Speaking of the first point, balancing new features and performance, the team sat down to discuss the most important issues to be provided in the first version of the storytelling, with a list of features to be added in future updates. This in turn allowed the team to know the tasks ahead and organize the mechanism of action. But the main goal was to perform above anything else, and hence it was necessary not to include many dreamy ideas that later made their way into the feature of tales.

The team monitored the tag tag for friends in the stories when it was released, and for that reason it was moving quickly to study the possibility of including this feature. They are first used in many anecdotes although they are not officially supported. It also serves an application message based on easy access to accounts and media, and hence has been developed and added to capture acceptance and widespread use as well.

The team added that the addition of the new features in Instagram is within a specific schedule, that is, they are never rushing to add them, trying as much as possible to meet certain deadlines to focus on performance and ensure the stability of the features that were launched earlier.

Some might think that a list of upcoming features is killing creativity, but the team has given examples of features that have made their way through creative thinking away from the deadly routine. The self-tagging feature, Selfie, came from an application engineer for iOS. He built a model for a tool that allows the user to add his or her reaction to the video or image. After being reviewed by the team, they were approved and added as a poster allowing the user to add his personal image after being captured by the camera as a reaction to the story he shared.

Another example of creative thinking was the feature of fixing elements on the story. To achieve this, it was necessary to follow the point (pixel) chosen by the user. A video playback tool was developed in reverse to track the desired point and install the item. However, after testing the tool individually, ie capturing video and applying the reverse effect, the team found it to be a fun effect, so this effect was released separately, before being used later in the item installation feature.

The Integral team takes the motto of “doing the easy things first.” In this sense, the complex tasks are always divided into a series of simple steps and added sequentially, which in the end seem like something big and complex. This thinking allows them to move quickly, while ensuring that the best results are achieved carefully and without speed.

An example of this is the poster panel in the Android system, which appears with a semi-transparent background. Android does not offer this option by default, that is, displaying the elements with a semi-transparent background. That’s why a new module was built by Intragam engineers to standardize the IOS experience. The new unit captures the image or video at the bottom of the painting, then redraws it with a layer of folly and displays it as the background of the painting. The final result looks as if the panel is semi-transparent, but it is actually doing something else to simulate the effect.

In addition to adding new members to the team, Instagram engineers said that this is useful for the project in general. Despite the many memories of the core work team and the sleep within the offices to deliver an Instagram product, at the same time they are open and willing to learn from the contributions of new engineers.

As an example, the storytelling team was forced to use a camera and imaging engineer inside Instagram to add face effects. The engineer went to work with them and helped build that feature from scratch, which later became popular among users.

Source: Instagram engineers blog.

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