Wouldn't a native regram feature be nice? How about the ability to add links? Easier multiple account management? An Instagram wish list.
This year marked a return for me to Instagram, where my account had largely been dormant. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time on the service, but I find several things maddening. Here’s what I see wrong with Instagram, despite its great success.
1) You Can’t Regram Natively
If I see something awesome on Twitter or Facebook, it’s easy for me to share that with others. On Instagram, there’s no such luck. If I want to “regram” an image, I either need to use a third-party tool or make a copy and credit the originator.
Neither is satisfactory. Moreover, as The Awl points out today, it leads to possible copyright infringement or failure for originators of great content to accrue proper credit.
Come on. Add the feature, already. It can’t be that hard. Also, Snapchat — Where’s the “resnap” for stories that I so desperately want?
2) You Can’t Link
You know who’s awesome on Instagram? National Geographic. Here’s a great article on how it has amassed nearly 20 million followers by allowing more than 100 of its photojournalists to post to its account.
Those posts are also often accompanied by mini-essays that describe that amazing nature photo you’re seeing:
That’s wonderful, but what if you want even more? Like, perhaps a link to the National Geographic website where maybe there’s a longer article or something?
Instagram doesn’t do links, not in posts. It’s kind of absurd. It forces account holders to say things like “follow my bio link” and then, in turn, constantly be changing that bio link to point to relevant content.
It works, but it’s a kludge. Just allow people to add a link. Sometimes, a picture really isn’t worth a 1,000 words, but a link to 1,000 words is.
3) No Images In Twitter
Some time ago, Twitter and Instagram had a little dust-up. Now, you can’t view Instagram pictures natively on Twitter. As a result, three things happen:
- People don’t post images to Twitter
- People waste time posting both places
- People post to Instagram and share only a link out to Twitter
Congrats, Instagram — You win for those who do the first. But not everyone does, creating the annoyances of two and three.
I’m the person who typically does the second, post to both places. If Instagram would let Twitter display my Instagram pictures natively, I’d sure love that. It would save me time, plus it would cause me to share things from my Instagram profile much more on Twitter.
I rarely do the last, because I hate people who do it. The last thing I want in my Twitter feed is an Instagram link that causes me to jump from one app to another to see a picture that may or may not be that great.
If you want the history behind this, Twitter stopped letting Instagram access who someone follows on Twitter. Instagram responded by pulling native photo display from Twitter. How about pushing the reset button and sorting it all out?
4) Tag Madness
One of the great things about Google is that you don’t sit around thinking about all the variations of a topic you’re interested in, if you want to find something. You search for a topic like “drones” and trust that Google will find the best that matches, even if someone writes “drone” or “quadcopter” on their pages.
On Instagram, “#drone” and “#drones” are going to bring back different things even though they are on exactly the same subject:
When I tag something, because of this, I have to add in all these different variations. It’s annoying. It’s stupid. It’s unnecessary. At least let hashtags do pluralization and stemming. Give all your Millennial users technology that came in during the last millennium.
Having said this, I absolutely love the new Instagram search and explore features you launched recently. Love them.
5) Suggest Tags On iPhone
If I have to deal with tag madness, at least make it easier when I’m using the iPhone. Consider on Android, if I start to type a tag:
I love it. You suggest tags related to what I’ve typed and how many posts there are for that already. Love it, love it, love it!
Now here’s the iPhone:
All you do is suggest tags I’ve already used before. I have no clue if I’m using the “right” or popular tag for a post. Help me help you.
6) How About An iPad Version?
Who doesn’t love using Instagram on their iPad because of this fun two-step process:
- Rotate to vertical, because Instagram doesn’t do landscape
- Hit the 2X button
OK, the second step can be omitted once you’ve done it the first time. But it’s a pain. Instagram is glorious on the iPad because you can finally see pictures BIG! So give us an iPad version.
Oh, and while we’re talking iPad — Hey, Twitter, let us upload video from the iPad. It’s overdue.
7) Upload From Desktop
I know. It’s a mobile first world. But since you do have a desktop site, why not allow uploading from there?
Do you really think it’s fun that if there’s some picture on desktop, we have to email it to ourselves in order to add it to Instagram? Or find some other way? And don’t get me started when talking about video.
Give us desktop upload. Think of how much it’ll help Throwback Thursday.
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