The Instagram Feature I Want the Most (But Will Never Get)

The Instagram Feature I Want the Most (But Will Never Get)

Let's pretend for a moment that you've found a magic lamp, and it's going to grant you one and only one Instagram-related wish. I can think of what I'd wish for. Can you?

Let's also establish a guideline for this hypothetical scenario so as to stay focused. We'll assume that your wish has to be something feature-related. That is to say, you can't wish for millions of followers, or infinite engagement on your posts, or similarly self-styled wishes. This social media magic lamp will create any one new feature you can think of to add to the platform. Think about it for a while. If there is something that you wish you could do that you can't, what would it be? What frustration do you want taken away via a feature? Okay, have you thought of something?

If this imaginary lamp was in my hands, the thing I would wish for above all else would be the ability to filter out every single feature hub and feature account from the explore tab. If that sounds a bit odd, then stick around and hear me out for a minute. I still use Instagram a lot (as do hundreds of millions of other folks), and I still enjoy, on occasion, the explore tab as a source of inspiration and for finding new and wonderful things other artists are doing. What I absolutely hate about the explore tab is how basically every other image that it shows me is from a feature account, and it drives me crazy. Please, for the love of god, or love of imaginary magic lamp, let me filter out all feature accounts.

If you've just come above ground from under your rock and you're wondering what a feature account is, it's essentially a hub that more or less pilfers the work of other artists in a faux community or contest vibe (“use our hashtag for a chance to be featured” ring a bell?) and builds a following via collecting work from the people who actually make it. Now, this is where I don't want us to get off track: the point here isn't really to slam feature accounts, though I certainly think that would be justified. The point is that I simply do not want to see anything from any of them. My magic wish would be to empower people to see the original source of the content first and foremost, not the account that collected it. Show the people other people, not pages.

I want to see the photo from the photographer, the makeup palette from the MUA, the model's page, the musician's video, the artist's art, the crafter's craft, and so on. I don't want an explore tab full of accounts that collect popular things. Isn't that what the explore tab already is? Isn't filling the tab with feature pages just putting collections inside a collection? Imagine reaching into a cookie jar, and inside is a smaller cookie jar with the cookie in it. You still get the cookie, but there was a pointless extra step that didn't need to be there. Show me the person that's creating the thing, not the account collecting the things that the people created. Make sense?

A second wish, if I had one, or the runner-up wish in this case: let me maintain a vertical 2:3 crop ratio. Seriously, who doesn't hate having to crop of the top and/or bottom off of their vertical shots? What do you folks think? Would you enjoy never seeing another feature page or not? If you thought of something different altogether, let me know in the comments. What feature is lacking that would make your Instagramming a better experience?

Log in to post comments

28 Comments

Andy Day's picture

This. 100% this.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Also, automatically unfollow unfollowers, hide like count and followers count, and terminate account of those who comment “nice pic” or “great work, come check out mine too”.

David Justice's picture

There's an anti-bullying feature where you can filter comments that are specific words. It might not help with Nice Pic and Great Work, but I know a lot of makeup artists get spam that say "Hey! You should get featured on Instabeeyou" and they filter out that last word and featured and it's cleaned up their comments a bunch.

Eric Mazzone's picture

That just hides the spam comment from you and everyone else, that spam account can see their comment, and some of them will act as if a non-response grants them permission to use your work.

Jason Lorette's picture

Ohhh, I like the auto unfollow for unfollow. That would stop this follow, follow, unfollow nonsense!

Jeff Walsh's picture

Then why the hell would you click an article, let alone, read an article about something you clearly have ZERO interest in? Or do you just go to the Insta article to let everyone known you've never seen Instagram?

Yet you also had to comment TWICE.

David Justice's picture

The problem is the feature page is the one that gets all the likes, because people would rather follow the Pinterest board of things they really like, instead of the model who might post 2 photos they like and then pictures from their friend's birthday party. Which I totally get. But I do agree, somehow a discover page that's less "corporate" would be cool.

You bring up a good point. I never thought of it that way.

Brian Jones's picture

A great feature would be to delete these platforms all together, honestly. There needs to be more community sites such as here on FS for true collaboration and community growth, not follower / like counts. I wish more photographers would be on board with growing their own platform, not someone elses...

Phill Holland's picture

Maybe that's the future, leading people to believe they need a social media platform maybe the biggest swindle of our generation.

In the past these platforms existed because the bar to entry for creating your own website was needing to know html, hosting platforms and needing video and imaging services. This has become a lot easier now, but still not quite there. Now if a social media site existed, that created some sort of web page standard for posting images onto a website, that could be then accumulated in a single place...which may just be a search engine.

Brian Jones's picture

In no way am I leading people to believe they need a Social media platform and swindle our generation, that is just silly. Rather, I would like to see photographers grow their own platform / website. Too many photographers rely on Instagram. My question; why on earth would you waste all that time an energy on someone else's platform to grow followers and likes, when that time could be improving your craft and growing your own platform / website. Community sites are the future, not social meeeeeedia and algorithms., I hope photographers see this as well...

Martin Van Londen's picture

Filters on the explore page would be amazing.

Most accounts I've seen use an app to "fix" the problem when posting vertical shots. Polarr does a decent job on Android. If you set it to 4:5 it will add little white boarder bars to the sides of your image and you can get the whole image to fit without it being too distracting. 1:1 will allow the entire image to show on your grid, but the image ends up the size of a postage stamp.

user-244549's picture

I'd like a taser the narcissist button. Every time you see an "influencer" who is 100% pure fakery... you can send them a zap.

Heck, I'd pay a subscription fee for that.

Stuart Carver's picture

The crop thing annoys the hell out of me BUT, check one of your 4:5 images out, it fits perfectly onto the screen with instagram launched, so as much as it annoys me I can see the logic behind why they did it.. you couldn’t fill the screen correctly with 2:3.

The big thing I’d change is what someone else said, stop people doing the follow/unfollow thing somehow.

Gilmour Dickson's picture

You must be using Instagram..........

Gilmour Dickson's picture

It needs a filter so that I stop seeing pictures of girls in moody landscapes in bright coats. I liked it once or twice, but after 000s or 'em it gets old.

C Fisher's picture

I wonder if insta has a database of what it thinks you like that you can edit like Google. I recently discovered the page where Google keeps the list of things it thinks I like haha.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

1. No cropping. 2. Auto-rotate the horizontals. 3. Large large large images when viewing on a computer.

Dax Anderson's picture

I'd add the ability to upload from a PC. Maybe there's a way to do it, but I've yet to figure it out.

Walt Polley's picture

I use a PC, chrome as web browser, and have the Mobile View Switcher extension which fools IG into thinking my computer is an iPhone.

Eric Mazzone's picture

A super-easy way to kill off feature accounts. DMCA the hell out of them when they pilfer your images without permission. Once they get enough strikes on them, their accounts are deleted.

They absolutely get pissed and whine about it, but screw those dirtbags. They all claim that the model has the right to grant them permission to post, while copyrights say differently.

Every last one of those idiots is based outside the US and think that US law doesn't apply on IG because they're in "Italy" or some other random spot in the world. Of course, copyright DOES apply in Italy as they're signatories of the Berne Conventions, but these idiots don't understand that.

C Fisher's picture

Chrono-fucking-logical post order again pls.

Cedric TOSONI's picture

a real customer service ... that we can contact. Because I have never managed to have my stolen photos deleted. By cons they block easily if artificial intelligence integrist see a little too much skin, even in swimsuit ...
And an serious adversary... out of facebook.

I’m so glad I’m not alone on the feature accounts. My friends think I’m nuts to be annoid by them. I look at the woodworking tag every day and almost all of the “top” posts are from non authentic accounts. Drives me nuts. I hope you find this magic lamp and share it’s powers with us all! I want to see the people, not just the pages.