Dear Instagram, we love you. This is not about what you're doing wrong. Rather, a few updates we'd like to see the next time around. Sincerely, Canupy.
In case you missed it, Instagram announced last month that the algorithm for displaying content is one of the biggest changes coming (if not already here). Instead of seeing posts in chronological order, user feeds are now reordered by “moments you care about first,” due to the little-known fact that most users miss up to 70% of posts. When announced, as per usual, many people were unhappy with this proposed change. Some even signed a digital petition, which reached over 330,000 signatures to date since its March 15th creation. Although the unhappy user feedback stalled the update temporarily, it’s a change that is creeping slowly but surely into our feeds.
Let's get down to biz.
Another big change that’s coming our way goes hand-in-hand with the new algorithm — Instagram business profiles. These premium (aka paid) accounts will allow brands to better leverage Instagram, and track analytics like follower demographics, top posts and follower activity. All important insights that could benefit a brand immensely.
But something feels a bit off with all these updates. Although these changes greatly improve access to analytics and enable brands to monetize their accounts more effectively, one thing seems to be missing — the user.
While we're all about brand growth here at Canupy, we also know that Instagram is a community-driven platform with over 300 million active monthly users. By bringing the focus back to the user, we know that brands will also reap positive results.
So here are 5 user-focused features we wish Instagram updated instead.
1. Pinned and linked posts
Anyone who has tried to create a series of photos that fit together as one image has had the problem of the overall image breaking up.
Since Instagram stacks photos on your profile in rows of three, uploading any additional photos in multiples that aren’t three disrupts the image into an unrecognizable order. One update that could solve this problem is to create linked posts to ensure certain images are always beside each other. In addition, a pinned post at the top could bring special attention to your favourite image or if you’re a brand, a featured or flagship product.
2. An easier way to shop
So many people are on Instagram to shop (or window shop, tbh). Whether it’s details on an #ootd, a cool tech gadget, or the latest in baby gear, many consumers hit a wall when they try to search out where these pictured items are from. Sure, there are links in bios or services like LIKEtoKNOW.it that can alleviate this problem, but a native in-app solution would be beneficial to both consumers and the brands they are 'repping!
3. An easier way to eat
You’re in denial if you say food posts on Instagram don’t influence 90% of your brunch choices. Highly ‘grammable foods like ice cream or donuts receive so much attention that some of that love should be brought back to the businesses that make them. An in-app solution that shows the price (or a simplified menu), hours, and location of restaurant would drive foodies and food businesses crazy.
4. Top friends
Chances are, if you’re a fan of one brand or user’s posts, you will like what their favourite account posts too. Although there are “suggested follows” as well as discoverable new users in the explore section, a top friends section under each user profile would improve the relationship-building aspect of the platform. There’s a certain affinity and pride that friends (even virtual) have for each other, and we should be able to share it!
5. A better way to reply to comments
Tagging a friend in the comments section of a post is like sending a message in a bottle and hoping it gets seen. A quick fix to this would be the option to reply to comments directly, ensuring both parties have seen the content and opening a channel for further discussion as well. Sure, the direct message feature already exists, but there’s a certain charm to staying on the original post!
What ~dream~ features would you love to see in the next update?
About the Author:
Vicky Liu is a Canupy content creator, blogger and social media enthusiast. She studied RTA Media Production at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her interests include digital design, concert-going and stalking assorted bakeries on Instagram.