While Instagram continues to add more and more functions, it also, increasingly, wants users to better focus what they post within each element, in order to maximize engagement.
Late last week, Instagram began sending out this notification to selected users.
As you can see in this screenshot, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra, Instagram is now conducting a test which stops some users from sharing feed posts within their Stories.
That, interestingly, means that you can now share tweets in your IG Stories, but you can’t share Instagram posts, while you can also share IGTV previews, but not normal feed updates.
Which makes sense. The only way that you’re going to see a person’s IG story in your top bar is if you follow them, and if you follow them, that means you’ll also see their regular posts within your feed as well. And it can be annoying, as Instagram notes, to be double-served the exact same posts - but still, it’s also interesting to note the limitations Instagram’s looking to implement in order to improve the user experience.
Instagram also posted similar advice recently in regards to Reels, its TikTok clone. The problem with Reels is that it’s largely populated by videos repurposed from TikTok, which Instagram is pushing creators to stop doing.
Instagram can’t block TikTok reshares within Reels, as it's doing here with feed posts. But you can bet that, if it were able, it would, in an effort to establish more original content in each section of the app.
Which is the impetus for this change - to prompt users to create content specifically dedicated to each stream.
More specific content equals a better user experience - but how much, if this change is rolled out more broadly, will this impact overall Stories sharing?
You would assume that a lot of Stories updates are re-shared feed posts. The fact that Instagram is willing to reduce this seems like a positive sign for its development focus - but it might also indicate that people are viewing Stories less as a result of such shares, which has prompted Instagram to take action.
Either way, the key message from Instagram here is that it wants people to stop sharing content from other sources into its various functions. Other business users have also noted that they’ve seen significant reach boosts when they’ve added Reels into their content mix, essentially feeding into Instagram’s development focus.
Basically, if you want to maximize your Instagram performance, it may well be worth creating specific content for each option, while it’s also worth considering where Instagram’s latest updates and tools might fit into your approach.
UPDATE (2/1): Instagram has reiterated to SMT that this is currently only a test being conducted within a few selected regions. There is no plan to roll this change out more broadly at this stage.
As per Instagram:
"We’ve seen from research that people prefer to see original photos and videos in Stories from the people they care about. The goal of our test is to better understand how people feel about this type of content and ultimately improve the Stories experience.”