Instagram is reported to have started rolling out a new feature in its mobile app that allows users to reshare posts — albeit to Stories, not Feeds. A small number of users have seen the arrival of the new option and TechCrunch has received confirmation from Instagram that resharing is being live tested.
Reposting apps have been undermining Instagram's own Terms of Service for several years, and users have longed for an official means of freebooting other people's content. This is not that feature, but it does get quite close. You find a post that you want to share and simply press a button to embed it into your Instagram Stories, no doubt adding a slew of comments, doodles, and emojis.
Those with something to sell will enjoy this feature as it will be an additional means of driving viewers to new posts or to share content from related accounts and increase the potential for cross-marketing. Users that don't want to have their content available to be reshared can turn it off in their settings.
Instagram still seems unconcerned with the massive volume of freebooting that takes place on its platform, with hundreds of millions — if not billions — of image views each day generated through stolen content. Given that a tiny company like Imatag can embed an invisible watermark into any digital photograph and find almost every instance of its use, Instagram and Facebook could very easily implement a means of image-tracking if it so wished. However, until their platform is not driven by teenagers, handbags, cats, and celebrity culture, copyright-conscious photographers should not hold their breath.