There is a weird trend going on Instagram. If you go to @pgtalal’s Instagram page and click on one of its highlights, it will crash your phone. People have been scratching their head searching everywhere for the answers to why it happens. Arun Maini, a tech Youtuber from the United Kingdom, took it upon himself to find the answer to this puzzle. Maini found that the owner of the Instagram page was a 14-year-old hacker who wanted to “create some Instagram glitches” just for fun.
Without revealing their real name, the Instagram user who goes by the name Talal told Maini that they programmed it by writing codes that send requests to Instagram servers. “But sorry I can’t tell people how did I create the highlight because I think it’s a secret (sic),” replied Talal to Maini. Talal also told that the teen coder has been programming since they were 11 years old.
Maini approached many experts hoping for them to solve what was beneath Talal’s Instagram story. Ananay Arora, a security researcher at Arizona State University, US, managed to look into the code behind the unexpected behaviour of the Instagram story, and he found that it was actually a combination of different Instagram stickers that were scaled to huge proportions. These stickers were a typing Instagram quiz, a countdown and a question that were scaled to dimensions in quintillions, 13th, 12th and 17th powers of 10, respectively.
@/pgtalal's Instagram story highlight freezes up Instagram and then your phone! Here's why 👇🏻— Ananay (@ananayarora) May 1, 2021
Talal also hacked the Instagram chat as the teenager reacted to Maini’s Thanks in a way that is not possible for other Instagram users. Talal used a new react button with text, “You are welcome!”
The 14-year-old programmer also created another highlight which kills the Instagram app taking user outside of the app. Maini explained the phenomenon in a video on his Youtube channel Mrwhosetheboss, concluding that it is a bug of Instagram which the social media company has fixed because his attempts at creating such a huge story did not result in the same way. As of now, the earlier stories, which caused people’s smartphones to crash, have been removed but the new story, that kills just the Instagram app, is still there.