Instagram is no stranger to stealing features from Snapchat. Stories, originally a Snapchat invention, feels more at home with Instagram today. More recently, Instagram is attempting to repeat this feat with Nametags, a way to quickly add new friends akin to Snapchat's Snapcodes.
While the feature has yet to officially launch, Instagram has been testing it in limited groups. While it's unclear whether these groups belong to Instagram's beta program, betas are usually where the company tests upcoming features. Participants who see the Nametag option still cannot share or scan others' Nametags.
Instagram's iOS beta is closed to invite-only participants but its Android beta is open to anyone who wants to enroll. If you want to be the first among your Instagram friends to try out new features, considering signing up as a tester.
From what we've seen of the new feature, Nametags appear to act similarly to Snapchat's Snapcodes. Nametags and Snapcodes assign a unique code to each user that other users can scan in-app, quickly adding the user as a friend. However, Instagram's take involves a series of emojis rather than a generic QR code-looking square with black dots.
By tapping on a "QR" icon via their profile, next to the archive button, users are able to customize their code's color, as well as the emoji used in the series, which can include an augmented reality emoji of their face. You can customize your face-emoji with different accessories, such as glasses, hearts, facial hair, and more.
From the examples above, it appears adding users is even easier than adjusting your Nametag. Just tap "Scan a nametag" at the bottom of the display, and, presumably, Instagram will enable your camera to scan a nearby Nametag. The background of Nametag with all the art and emojis is likely just visual filler, while the only thing that matters when scanning is the name the box with the username in it.
There's no word at this time on when Nametags will arrive to Instagram en masse. This article will be updated to reflect any developments with this feature.