Fact: social media is ever-changing. We've said this before, and quite honestly, this fact becomes more and more true with every passing alteration to our favorite apps and websites. Instagram, however, is the most recent of our classic app favorites to do something wild... and some people aren't too crazy about it. Mind you, this is not the first time users have had an adverse reaction to a decision made by Instagram higher-ups. In fact, we wrote a piece a few months back when they first changed their logo, which you can find here. But if Instagram has proven anything since that other big change back in May, it’s this: people won’t seem to stop using the application no matter what. So what’s new in the world of “Insta” today? Let’s dive in.
Instagram has decided to become a lot more like its owner, Facebook, and introduced to users the capacity to attach up to 10 photos and videos into a post. This means that after you post an album, your followers can view the posts by swiping across, as many as ten times, much like on Facebook. So effectively, it's allowing you to create a single-stream photo/video album. The feature isn't available to everyone yet—the beta version only just rolled out earlier in February, but every Instagram user should have access to it within the next few weeks.
Okay, now that we've gotten down to the fairly simple, however admittedly nitty gritty of their big change, what does this mean for users? How are people taking it? Well, much like they did when Instagram changed their logo, users aren't all too excited about this modification to their favorite app. Those the change has become available to are already complaining that it's a mirror of Facebook—and the fact that this app is not Facebook is why they use Instagram in the first place. And sure, that makes sense. But perhaps what users don't understand, or are denying right now, is this: social is all about engagement, and with every new app that bursts onto the scene, there exists an explicit competition for users.
It can’t be denied, though, that if albums turn Instagram into a place where “tedious photo sets from vacations, bar mitzvahs and holiday parties are interspersed with the images users actually want to see," pushing out the single, perfect photo painstakingly chosen, filtered, and captioned, it will become anyone's guess what might happen to Instagram. But we have a sneaking feeling that if this new albums feature doesn't work for users, then they simple won't use it. Or they'll just ignore those who do. Either way, Instagram has 400 million daily active users, which is a whole lot of people to have that strong of an opinion on albums that they’re steered away from the app entirely. And while they might—we can’t be the judge of that from afar—it doesn’t seem likely. Just look at the logo debacle, and of course the integration of Instagram Stories last in 2016. The latter has effectively taken over in the place of Snapchat for some users. So in defense of Instagram, we get it. They have to make modifications to the app in order to keep it new and fresh—while there are users who want to stick with the old, there will always be others who are lusting for something new.
What do you think about the change? Even if your country hasn’t been one to see it yet—what are your thoughts? We’re listening, and we’ll report back once albums become available to us!