MENLO PARK, Calif. — Instagram is rolling out a dark mode option, the latest major app to latch onto the eye-strain-reducing, battery-saving, chic-looking trend that’s sweeping the globe.
The photo-sharing app’s new appearance is similar to its rivals’: It’s embracing the darkness by flipping the default white background to black and gray. Instagram made the theme available to iOS and Android users in an update released Monday, according to Instagram’s chief Adam Mosseri.
To activate dark mode on an iPhone, users need iOS 13 because the new display option is only accessible through Apple’s new settings. After opening the Settings menu, users need to tap Display and Brightness and press the Dark option on the right. Instagram will then flip automatically to the theme.
Android 10 users can activate it in a similar way by turning on the dark theme option in the menu settings. Instagram’s dark mode can also be activated from within the app’s settings for Android phone owners, even if they don’t have the latest version of Google’s operating system.
Dark mode is the preferred appearance for some people because it’s easier on the eyes. Google rolled the theme for the Gmail app last month. The company said the theme prolongs battery life because darker pixels require less power than lighter ones. On some displays, black pixels require no power at all.
Dark mode is the it-thing right now, growing increasingly popular on several platforms and devices, including Twitter, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, Google’s Chrome browser, Windows 10 and Apple’s iOS and MacOS software. Apple’s support page for installing dark mode on Mac claims the setting “makes it easier to stay focused on your work, because your content stands out while darkened controls and windows recede into the background.”
Google released a system-wide dark mode option in Android 10. The theme changes colors of the phone’s menus and home screen, but only some apps support it.