(Credit: Instagram)

Instagram's (iOS, Android) new "nametag" feature helps you add new friends faster in person by eliminating the typing process. Scanning a user's nametag automatically brings up their profile and the option to view the profile or follow them.

Think of it as a more colorful QR code, or Instagram's take on Snapchat's (iOS, Android) Snapcode feature.

The feature is live for Android and iOS now and it's easy to set up.

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap the profile button in the lower left corner
  3. Tap the hamburger in the upper right corner of your profile
  4. Select Nametag
  5. Tap color, at the top of your nametag, to switch between background themes
  6. Tap anywhere on the screen to edit the chosen theme
  7. Tap scan a nametag and point your phone's camera at another nametag

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You can add a selfie with different AR face stickers, emojis, or different colors for your background.

Your nametag can be added to your personal website, another social media account, or shared with friends via text or other messenger apps.

Instagram's tagged feed on Twitter quickly filled up with newly created nametags from users looking for more followers or businesses. The feature looks like it would be most beneficial for businesses to get more attention on the site.

Instead of hoping a user will search them out on Instagram, businesses can now advertise their nametags. Users can scan it quickly and follow from there.

Instagram is also testing a school community feature. If you opt-in to the feature, you can list your university, class year, or other relevant school groups in your profile bio. Others who've added the same information can locate each other in a directory. Instagram said that messages from people you don't already follow will go to a pending inbox where you can accept or decline, just like Instagram Direct.

School Communities includes an option to report any inappropriate activity, like stalking or harassment.

The feature is reminiscent of some Facebook features. On Facebook, if you add a workplace or school, often times you can tap a "see who else works here" option.

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(Credit: Instagram)


  1. Instagram launched the Nametag feature today which lets users scan a type of QR-code to more quickly find a profile in person.
  2. The company is also testing School Communities, which would create a directory based on education information included in a user's bio, to connect school friends.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.