Here are two new Instagram updates, currently in testing, which we’re categorizing under ‘Really?’ Or maybe ‘Ew, no thanks’. Can’t decide.
The first is this abomination, which adds a Notes shelf into your IG Direct inbox, where you can post status updates, or whatever you wish, to be shared with connections.
As you can see in this example, posted by Owen Williams (and shared by Matt Navarra) Instagram Notes are 60 character long updates that you can leave for all of your connections to see, right at the top of your inbox.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Why?’ Or more likely you’re thinking: ‘Really?’ and ‘Ew, no thanks’. Hence our categorization (we’re open to other suggestions).
But yes, Instagram is looking for another way to spark more engagement, and it obviously thinks that these ‘fun’ little notes could be a handy prompt to get people talking, and interacting more within the app.
But, no. No thanks.
I really don’t see this being of any real value, and I can imagine that spammers, if they ever get access, will ruin that feed so fast that you won’t even remember what the heck it was for in the first place.
But it’s in testing, so maybe you can try it out for yourself. Or don’t.
There’s also this:
As shown in the example, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram’s also experimenting with an option that would enable users to show ads on their profile.
Also no. Horrible.
And while these are just experiments for now, with no official plans for a full release, they do have a sense of desperation about them, a whiff of fear and concern, as TikTok continues to eat into its market share, and users gradually turn away from the app.
I don’t think that Instagram’s current push to add more content from profiles you don’t follow into your main feed is working to reverse this, and I don’t think that these elements will provide any additional assistance in this respect.
But that’s just personal speculation, and Instagram would, of course, have the actual usage data. In this sense, you would have to expect that it is seeing some positive benefits of such, otherwise it wouldn’t do it, while these tests, too, will also reveal themselves one way or another over time.
But again, no. No thanks. Not for me, at least.