Is Instagram Plotting to Take on Pinterest Next?

Is Instagram Plotting to Take on Pinterest Next?

It appears that Instagram is developing a major new feature: “Collections” of saved posts that can be publicly viewed.

While Instagram has had a "Saved" feature for two years now where users can bookmark posts for later viewing and even catalogue them into different private collections, this Collections feature currently in development takes it many steps further and could be a big shift in the way people use the app.

Spotted by the keen eye of software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, she was able to access this prototype feature built into the Instagram for Android code and provide a screenshot on her Twitter.

Instagram Collections will allow users to save posts in groups that are viewable to the public. Further, it appears that multiple contributors to a Collection can be tagged in so more than one person can add items to the group.

The obvious comparisons can be made to Pinterest, and the timing with that company just filing for IPO this month is suspect. Instagram Collections could also alleviate some issues of photo stealing by making a clearer distinction that what a person shares on a Collection board is not their work, but they identify with it, rather than grabbing an image and posting directly into their feed with no permission or credit.

As with any feature under internal development, there is no guarantee that it will be released to the public. However, to me it does seem like an obviously missing feature once you've seen it. What are your thoughts? Would Instagram Collections go as far as replacing Pinterest for you? People also said Instagram Stories wouldn't replace Snapchat, but here we are.

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13 Comments

How about turning off the cropped 640x640 content size first.

Philipp Pley's picture

Has long happened: It's 1080p wide.

Awesome now just change it so I don't have to crop vertical pics or add a background to make them square.

David Penner's picture

You might need to go take a look at Instagram again. The only issue is landscape orientation photos since they just look small. Portrait orientation is fine.

Jeff Walsh's picture

How long has it been since you've used IG? It seems like it might've been a while.

Dave McDermott's picture

I suppose it would be useful for creating mood boards seen as I plan most of my shoots on Instagram anyway. It would save me opening Pinterest which I don't use much.

Rob Mitchell's picture

oooh, scrapbooking on Instagram!

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

If you understand how Pinterest works, this feature, as described, is really not a challenge at all.

Each pin on Pinterest links to a specific page on your website. You can have one or more pins for each blog post entry on your site, for example.

You can practice SEO on each pin so it comes up in Pinterest searches. And those pins are forever. Old pins will continue to send traffic to your website indefinitely. And you can re-pin old pins.

Unless Instagram creates an option to direct traffic to more than just the single bio link, this collections feature doesn't really compare to what Pinterest offers in terms of opportunities to drive traffic.

I started dabbling with Pinterest a couple of months ago after hearing a photographer on a podcast describe how well it works. I saw immediate results that far exceeded anything I got from Facebook and Instagram combined over two years.

Pinterest is quirky and I'm still trying to figure it out. But it drives way more traffic than the Zuckerberg properties with a lot less time and effort invested. At least that's the case for me.

Another thing is the Pinterest culture. On most platforms, you have to convince people to click the link. The only reason someone creates a Pinterest account is to click the links. There's no reason to have a Pinterest account, except to click the links. Not having to convince people to click is significant.

Wow Lenzy, thank you for the insight! Definitely another social media option to consider. Do you remember which podcast you heard the photographer describe how he uses Pinterest? Thanks again!

Ryan Mense's picture

That's a feature I hadn't considered so thank you for your perspective. Any time I hear about photographers talk about Pinterest they are using it simply for collecting images around the web and creating moodboards for photoshoots, so that's where my angle came in.

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

Here's where I got hip to the power of Pinterest, Ryan: http://www.sixfigurephotography.com/pinterest-market-photography-business/

Instagram is talked about on Fstoppers weekly, it seems. But I don't know that I've ever seen an article about Pinterest.

If you check you this podcast, you'll see why I don't advocate Instagram for anybody who isn't already enjoying success there. Pinterest just works. I've poured a ton of time and effort into Instagram and seen no results, and I've done some basic testing with Pinterest and seen immediate results.

Maybe you could lead the charge among Fstoppers writers in discussing Pinterest more. For most photographers looking to generate revenue, I think Pinterest is a platform much more likely to yield results.

Philipp Pley's picture

I remember when Instagram used to be Instagram.
With every additional feature they add it gets ever more cluttered and loses its edge and simplicity that made it so much more exciting than the now dead, information overloaded Facebook.