Instagram dark mode: App turns black as it finally reveals new look

Andrew Griffin
AFP/Getty Images

Instagram has finally got a dark mode, allowing people to browse their phone without being dazzled.

The new feature swaps the white background for a black one, allowing people to more comfortable scroll through their feeds in the dark.

The feature could also help save battery on devices that have an OLED screen, since that part of the display does not need to be lit up, and can help the images inside the feed pop more against their background.

It comes after both Google and Apple added dark mode to their phone operating systems this year. With the release of iOS 13 and Android 10, both platforms support system-wide dark mode.

Those dark modes turn the phone's menus, notifications and other parts of the system black. But they also signal to apps that they can turn dark if they wish, too, and gives them the option of reflecting the system's look.

Instagram had been particularly slow among the bigger apps to update to reflect that change. That meant that users could often find themselves hit by the glare of the app after navigating around other apps that had already adopted the darker look.

The rollout was confirmed by Instagram boss Adam Mosseri, who reminded users that they need to be on the latest version of their iPhone or Android operating system to be able to use it.

"Starting today, you can use Instagram in dark mode on iOS 13 or Android 10," he wrote on Twitter. "Turn dark mode on your phone to try it out."

As Mr Mosseri's message suggests, there seems to be no way to turn on the dark mode on a per-app basis, so that it is only switched on for Instagram and not other apps. Instead, it seems to only be able to take its lead from the operating system, and whether dark mode is switched on for the whole phone.

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