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Instagram’s new emoji shortcut bar aims to cut down commenting time

Instagram's newest update to its mobile apps finally recognizes what we've all long suspected: that the vast majority of the 'gram's user base communicates exclusively in the language of emoji. The photo-sharing platform's latest interface tweak for Android and iOS adds a new shortcut bar, which puts your most regularly used emoji right above your keyboard.

The feature has been in testing since May, but was unlocked for a wider rollout on Thursday last week, and should now be available to all users on both iOS and Android.

The new shortcut bar is available only via the comments icon under a post. It won’t pop up when you use the “add a comment” space or other area where the keyboard is used. That means you won’t be able to access it when captioning your own posts or sending a message.

So what if you're an Instagram fan that doesn't like emoji? Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way to disable the new feature within the app's settings – so, for now at least, you'll have to just grin and bear it.