This week, Instagram awed us all by rolling out one of the simplest and most obvious features that we had all been clamoring for for years. OK, maybe I wasn't awed, but boy does multiple account support make my life so much easier. I’m no longer typing in my Instagram passwords 30 times per day, which got me to thinking: as a platform, Instagram is pretty good, but its features are still notoriously primitive. Here are a few features I think they should add that would make my life much easier.
Note: I know some of these features are available from third-party apps. Having to switch from app to app is just as annoying as not having these features natively.
I get it, Instagram was limited to mobile to encourage users to only post photos taken in the moment with their phones. Surprise, surprise, that didn’t really do anything. It's not like all of us photographers are not posting our photos because of this restriction. It doesn’t stop anything. All it does is make posting to Instagram an annoyance because you have to transfer images from your computer to your phone just for Instagram, while every other social media platform supports desktop interaction just fine.
I’m sure it varies from user to user, but I get about one comment for every five hundred or so likes. I don’t really care to look at each individual like, but I sure would like to take a peek at each and every comment so I can respond to them. The problem is that the Instagram activity tab aggregates both into a single list, so I have to scroll through hundreds of likes to hunt for comments. It seems pretty trivial to me that they could simply offer a button or tab to only view the comments.
I can schedule posts on every other social media platform. I can’t schedule posts on Instagram. This means if I want to schedule posts to all go out at once, I still have to actively post at that time, which, for the most part, means scheduling on all the other networks isn’t all that helpful either.
Some Sort of Viral Share Feature
Instagram has never really had a viral discovery mechanism where users can share each other’s content to their own timelines. Twitter accomplishes this through retweets. Facebook does it through “sharing.” On Instagram, the only way to discover content beyond your timeline is by searching or clicking on people tagged in photos. I’d love to be able to re-share some content that I think is amazing. I’d also love for people to be able to share my content to their own timelines.
Instagram has quickly become a dominant social media platform. For some of us, it has risen to being number one. Unfortunately, its features are still far too oriented towards casual use and become a burden for those aiming to promote a professional brand. Times need to change! What are some features that you think Instagram could really benefit from?