Instagram tests two questionable new features

Instagram tests two questionable new features

According to recent tweets from eagle-eyed users of Instagram, the platform is testing out two new features, both of which are receiving bewildered responses.

The first of the new features being tested out is ‘Notes’. These appear on the Messages tab, and are, in effect, a status update. Users can scroll through Notes from other users, update their own and choose whether to share them with the whole following list or their curated ‘Close friends’ list. One Twitter user compared the feature to Facebook – and seeing as the two platforms share the same parent company, Meta, this isn’t an unwarranted comment:

Many people were extremely confused by the feature and what it actually meant, but the original poster clarified and said:

Why Instagram has felt the need to introduce this feature is certainly questionable. As an avid Instagram user myself, one of the perks of the app is not having the torrent of statuses seen on Facebook complaining about this, that and the other, and the oversharing of details from personal lives. On the other hand, posting a Note could, from a business and creator perspective, provide a further opportunity to connect with people on the platform and increase visibility.

The second feature in the works appears to be a monetisation option – the ability to opt in to displaying ads on a user’s profile:

While this wouldn’t be much use to the average user like myself, for brands with huge followings, this could prove to be a profitable endeavour. Indeed, the original tweeter further clarified and revealed this will be a creator-only feature, and that it’s being tested out to replace the in-stream video ads service that was recently removed.

Ads on profiles is certainly an interesting one. On the one hand, if an account has a vast following, it’s an easy way of boosting earnings. On the other hand, from a follower or potential follower’s perspective, scrolling through a profile and being served with ads could be off-putting, and could result in companies driving their audiences away onto other profiles and platforms via the ads themselves. When you take into consideration the fact that these viewers will be at least somewhat engaged to be viewing a profile, driving them away through ads seems counterproductive.

It looks like these two features are in the early stages of development, so there’s no telling whether they’ll actually make it through the testing stage, or if they do, when they’ll be rolled out. However, as with all updates to social media platforms, it’s well worth monitoring – especially with the potential to expand the reach of businesses and monetise their profiles.

If you need help boosting your visibility online, get in touch with our team here at Engage Web today.

Digital Marketing Executive at Engage Web
Emily is no stranger to the world of online content. By the age of just 14, a novel she wrote on the story-writing website Wattpad had amassed more than a million views!

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