Instagram has been porting and testing new features in the past few months. Facebook bought the photo-sharing platform for $1 billion and wants it to be the main photo-centric platform as it grows its audience. It has been doing this by copying features from most popular photo-sharing platforms such as Snapchat and Pinterest.
The feature that allowed you to save posts was launched in late 2016 as worked just as Pinterest Pinned feature and allowed users to save posts for later. The save button was visible on the left when viewing a photo or a video. All the photos you saved were put in a Saved tab and were not visible by other users. Users were also not notified if you saved their posts too.
Later in early 2017, Instagram introduced its new collections feature to bring order to your saved posts. The collections could then be categorized with labels – a useful feature that made for an organized post-hoarding.
You only needed to tap and hold the bookmark save button and then tap on the plus icon to select which collection you want that saved post to be in. This is similar to the pinned collections Pinterest has.
Early this month Instagram was seen testing other features like sending DMs from the desktop, quiz stickers for stories, sharing posts across multiple posts and group collections. This feature will let users add more people to save posts while on collaborative saved collections.
Instagram isn’t stopping at this as later this week, a new feature was revealed hidden deep inside Instagram’s Android app that let users create public collections that will let multiple users collaborate. The Collections have been private since their introduction but as Group Collections started testing, making them public was going to be inevitable.
The earlier features Instagram has absorbed from Pinterest have been minor features but the Public Collections feature is a direct threat to Pinterest main features especially as they file for an upcoming $12 billion IPO.
It is worrying as history shows – Instagram did this by launching Stories six months before Snap went public. This ultimately cut growth for the ephemeral photo platform by 88 %. Pinterest is a quarter the size of Instagram which has 500 million daily active users and over 1 billion monthly active users. If this feature is released, it could cripple Pinterest’s growth.
Jane Machun Wong, a reverse engineering specialist was able to spot this feature. In the screenshot, it shows that Instagram will let you toggle the public visibility of a collection.
Another thing to note is that you can give credit to accounts of people whose posts you’ve saved. People could use this feature to become curators of the things they love instead of taking screenshots of other peoples posts and reposting them without their consent something that has come with a backlash with current meme accounts that shamelessly repost without tagging original creators.
This new feature could come in handy at a time when Instagram is increasing its e-commerce efforts and brands could use this feature to share their collections of items to buy. As usual, Instagram denied this but if it ever goes live, Pinterest will have more to worry about.
Another feature Instagram is testing is IGTV picture in picture so you continue watching a video as you use other apps after exiting Instagram.
Instagram’s IGTV is testing Picture-in-Picture outside of the app! pic.twitter.com/lmeaMBDkwi
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 22, 2019