Connect with us

Social Media

Do Instagram’s new web-based profiles matter?

In coming days, Instagram will roll out user profiles online so non-mobile users can peek in, but is this a good or bad thing? Does it even matter or is it just another bell or whistle?

Published

on

instagram

instagram

Instagram and the rise of the visual web

In yet another of many signs the visual images are becoming more popular online than strictly words, Instagram mobile use beat out Twitter, and further, daily user numbers are on the rise for Instagram and declining on Twitter. Some posit that the visual web is rising in prominence because of laziness, as images are easier to scan than walls of words, while others opine that it is less of a commitment, thus easier for the attention-deficit society of today.

In the next step of Instagram’s leading of the visual movement, the company has launched web profiles for users, after a very long wait. Some third parties have stepped in to bring Instagram to the web like Statigr.am. Although Instagram’s new web profiles, as pictured above, do not offer analytics like Statigr.am, it does supplant the need for a variety of third party apps that sought to allow desktop users to view Instagram galleries online.

Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion earlier this year, so the similarities you see between the new Instagram profiles, and Facebook profiles, most notably mobile profiles, but Instagram images automatically populate and animate as your cover photo, rather than your designing or choosing one.

While logged in, users can now follow other profiles, like photos, and make comments from the web, as well as update profiles, but photo uploading remains strictly mobile, as most analysts believe it should be.

Not all profiles have the web version of their profile yet, but Instagram says it will be rolling it out to all users in the coming day, and “private” users’ photos will remain private. To check if your profile is up yet, simply put your username at the end of the URL https://instagram.com/yourusername. Check out Starbucks’ Instagram web profile in the meantime.

Why this all matters

This update matters for three groups – Instagram, Instagram users, and third parties that supplement Instagram.

First, this update matters to Instagram as it makes the service more user friendly, which facilitates growth, and as it gets more Facebooky, so to speak, it reveals the long term strategy of potentially rolling the photo sharing app into Facebook as its native photo service. It also spells out Instagram’s continued commitment to the visual web, and renews their leadership role in the sector.

Secondly, Instagram users now have more opportunity to connect, browse, and peruse, as users over the age of 18 likely spend more time on a desktop than children. Additionally, the interface is much easier to use on the web in our experience, particularly with follower management.

Lastly, third party apps that allow users to manage their Instagram accounts may be under threat, but no one is really surprised, as in many peoples’ minds, this web profile system should have been a part of Instagram all along. While this update threatens many third party apps, it also provides more rich data and opens doors for Instagram, thus could theoretically grow third party apps’ user base as well, so long as the enrich the service, rather than duplicate Instagram features now built in.

Regardless of features or a lack of features, the visual web is not going away, and Instagram (thus Facebook) are well aware that our brains are being rewired to prefer quick images with low commitment, over digesting words and deep thoughts. It’s a good and a bad thing – a topic we will dissect further in coming weeks.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

Published

on

Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

Continue Reading

Social Media

Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

Published

on

Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

Continue Reading

Social Media

Instagram Collabs: New feature fosters the ability to co-author content

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format called Collabs, giving users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels.

Published

on

Instagram stock images of collab feature.

Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format that many can benefit from. Called Instagram Collabs, this latest feature gives users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels. This isn’t the first feature Instagram has rolled out to promote collaboration between users, but we think it will be a beneficial addition!

How to use Instagram Collabs

Using Collabs is very similar to how you tag someone on Instagram. You can start by choosing to create either a reels video or feed post. After recording your video or taking your photo like you normally would, you head over to the “Share” screen and select “Tag People”. On that screen, there is now an “Invite Collaborator” option!

By choosing to invite a collaborator, the account you add will be able to share your post to their profile grid and their followers. Additionally, the names of all the collaborators will appear in the feed post or reel header, but before their username shows up on your post, the collaborator will need to accept the collaborator invitation first.

Keep in mind, only public accounts can be tagged and there is a limit to how many tags you can use. You’re able to tag up to 20 accounts, including the number of tagged users and collaborators.

Instagram stock photo of how to use new feature, Collabs, with iPhones showing the sequence of how to add a co-author.

Benefits of Instagram Collabs

Collabs makes it quicker and easier for everyone to share content on the platform. From local artists working together on a project to businesses working with high-profile influencers to promote their brand, content is shared instantly. Gone are the days of screenshotting or using third-party apps to repost that same content on your profile.

Along with making sharing easier, the feature makes it clear and simple to give credit where it’s due – all authors are given credit. When it comes to branded sponsorships, instead of adding hashtags or brand tags that can become cluttered, along with the user, the names of brands are neatly displayed in the header. Before this feature, it was a little difficult to distinguish a regular tag from a business, but with Collabs, that is no more.

And last, but not least, collaborators will all share views, likes, and comments. By sharing engagement signals, content creators will be able to maximize their reach and businesses will have more transparency with their customers.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!