Instagram’s trying out a new way to prompt users to re-share their old posts, with a ‘Memory’ Story prompt now showing up in some users’ feeds.
As you can see in this example, shared by Jack Horwood, Instagram is testing out a ‘Memory’ Story prompt, which is essentially its archive feature, just re-packaged in a different way.
Once you tap on the Memory story, you’ll then be shown previous stories that you shared around this date.
So, yeah, it is pretty much another way into the archive feature, while Instagram has had different iterations of this type of prompt in the app for some time. But now, it’s giving users a more direct push to re-share their past stories, which is similar to Facebook’s ‘On this day’ prompts, and could encourage more engagement within the app.
At the same time, it could also be a sign that IG engagement is in significant decline.
Back in 2015, Facebook was facing a crisis, with overall content sharing in decline, and personal posts - like people’s own thoughts and photos - down a massive 21% year-over-year. Facebook’s answer to this was to pump more ‘On this day’ and memories prompts into user feeds, in order to spark nostalgic engagement and interaction around your past updates.
By 2017, more than 60 million Facebook users were visiting their personal “On This Day” page every day, and 155 million had opted to receive dedicated notifications for the feature. The additional pushes sparked more engagement – yet at the same time, they also, arguably, began to shift the focus of Facebook towards a different type of content sharing, less aligned with the latest trends and updates, and more focused on friends and family.
It seems Instagram could now be looking to lean into the same. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has already acknowledged that personal sharing has switched from the main IG feed into Stories and DMs, and maybe, this is another way to lean into that behavior, in an effort to maintain user engagement.
I mean, Instagram is still seeing growth in Reels engagement, so it’s not like it’s losing out overall, and Meta’s also reported that its AI content recommendations are helping to drive more engagement. But while users are consuming more video in its apps, fewer people, reportedly, are posting personal updates, both to Facebook and IG, while usage of Instagram Stories is also down 10% on previous levels.
Maybe, then, this is part of a new push to re-engage user sharing, and get people posting themselves, rather than just taking in more recommended videos in the app.
It worked on Facebook, prompting millions of people to tap into their memories, makes sense that Instagram could see the same.