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There's a control that looks like a drop of water. What does it do?

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You may want to provide a screenshot. –  Flow Dec 28 '12 at 9:28
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is the blur tool. You can apply linear or radial blur with this tool.

Instagram blur/tear drop/tilt-shift tool

(More details in the Instagram Help Center)

This tool is mostly used to simulate tilt-shift effect (used by photographers to highlight a plane or exaggerate a minimal depth-of-field).

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