Instagram has continued to transcend the way we share our work, our brand, and lives through our mobile devices. It's safe to say that it has taken over Facebook as the preferred mainstream social media platform to share our work. Fellow Writer Ryan Cooper recently put a great article together about features that could use overhauls and improvements. I decided to add some issues that I've run into time and time again and put together an Instagram suggestion box for the Fstoppers community.
1. The Notifications Need An Overhaul!
Ryan's article touched on this, so I will be brief: the notifications need an overhaul! It makes it very difficult to interact with your following when you have to squint to search for those two comments amongst all of your photo's likes. Additionally, while I understand why they limit the amount of notifications, it becomes a pain when comments and mentions become lost because likes bog them down.
I believe everyone will agree on this one: a solution would be a more organized structure that separates likes, comments, mentions, etc. as they come in.
2. The Squares Are Cutting off My Portraits!
While I love that Instagram updated last year by adding the ability to post portrait and landscape images, there is a hang up that I just can't get over. Let say I have a portrait that has vertical dimensions, and my subject's face is towards the top end of the portrait. There's a good chance my subject will be cut off as shown below.
Photographers on Instagram likely know what I am referring to and may have run into this issue. I can see this being a problem as well for landscape photographers. I have adapted to this by adjusting the photo to where my subject's head won't be cut off; I believe it looks better when my gallery is displayed with heads intact
I believe a simple solution would be giving users an option to select a thumbnail during the posting process, similar to when you may select a thumbnail when posting a video on Instagram. This would deliver a much cleaner look on everyone's galleries and benefit users greatly.
3. Better Video Quality
In 2016, I decided to make a great effort to add a behind-the-scenes perspective to my sessions. While I believe the behind-the-scenes videos have been a success, there seems to be a lack a quality in my GoPro footage on Instagram. While I made an effort to find a solution by trying different export settings, Instagram seems to compress my footage significantly when posted.
While I understand the reasoning behind the compressed footage, camera quality and resolution improvements are not slowing down and Instagram must adapt. While they did with photos last year, video quality is something they will eventually need to address.
4. Do Not Curate Feeds! (Updated)
News just came in today that Instagram will follow Facebook's footsteps. The ordering of your feed will be "based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post... all the posts will still be there, just in a different order." Instagram promises that they're "going to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way."
This is why we prefer Instagram, displaying content in chronological order and seeing everything! No filtered content! I could see this alienate daily Instagram users and make a strong case for Snapchat with its increasing popularity.
5. Your Suggestions!
What improvements and features would you like to see added or fixed on Instagram? It has become an essential marketing tool for all photographers; getting the most out of the app is paramount. Share your thoughts!