You know that little sunshine icon in the bottom-right corner of the edit screen on Instagram? Well, it just got pimped out. Instead of just automatically loading up your photo with maximum contrast and intensity of colors — perfect for scenery, scary for selfies — the Lux button on Instagram now offers a sliding scale, so you can tailor the intensity to the desired level.
Once you've taken or uploaded a photo, you can tap on the Lux button, still located in the same spot, and a slider will appear. If you want the colors to become more intense, you can shift the slider over to the right. There's also the option of making the colors less saturated by shifting the slider over to the left. This is super helpful for photos that are a little underexposed.
It's a really simple update, but it's an important one for Instagram. Although the app is hugely popular for sharing photos, as users get more and more into making their photos as awesome as possible they're branching out to different apps, such as Snapseed, for the actual editing process because they offer much more control.
This update follows hot on the heels of last week's news that Instagram is starting to get more serious about turning its app — which now has 150 million monthly active users — into an actual business that generates a decent profit. Owned by Facebook, Instagram has signed its first advertising agency deal with Omnicom, who will reportedly spend up to $100 million on Instagram ads for its clients over the course of a year.
And Instagram has a lot to live up to: Bought for Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, the acquisition looked pretty paltry when Facebook bought WhatsApp for $16 billion last month. Enough to make anyone feel overshadowed, really.
At the moment the new feature is only available for iOS, and there's no news on when it will be ready for Android or Windows Phone.
Image: Hayley Saltzman