Instagram 2.1: A Visit to the Beauty Salon

  • Sierra is a baby Valencia.
  • Lux is a whitening cream.
  • New icons = new nail polish.

Is Instagram enjoying its massive success because of its spectacular filters? With the exception of Early Bird, many of its filters are probably underused. The app is successful simply because it did well on the social facet.

That's where the focus should be.

IG should concentrate more on improving as a social platform than trying to compete with the gazillion of dedicated photo editing apps. There's no need to continuously beef-up features that already worked well in gaining them their first 15 million users.

The app needs serious improvement on the ability to manage followers and followings, private messaging and photo organization - huge niches that other feeding services have started to fill.

Followings Organization and Private Messaging: Learn from Statigram

Statigram has a lot of features an IG user would be glad to see in the app itself. One notable thing: Following Lists. You don't always want to view the entire news feed. Sometimes you intend to focus on a particular genre of pics, or a smaller set of people. You may wish to group your followings into real-life friends, IG-found friends, photo challenge groups, or celebrities. This is a huge void that even Twitter had to implement.

In a public place, there always comes a need to whisper something private. Direct messaging is a notably absent feature in Instagram that Statigram has effectively addressed. Many people also take their discussions offline through chat apps like Kik and WhatsApp.

Photo Organization: Learn from Flickr

Grouping photos into albums is one major missing piece. As you add more photos to your feed, some of your best photos get drowned. Negative result: you repost. With the ability to arrange photos, you will be able to highlight certain pics. Flickr has a robust system for organizing photos that Instagram could emulate.

Caption Editing: It's a Missing Arm

There's only one way to edit a caption currently: to delete it and post it again. If you want to edit your caption after someone has posted a comment, you may want to delete the pic entirely and re-upload.

This is something IG can only address - no one can fill this gap through APIs. Editable captions should be a basic feature of any photo-displaying app.

It's certain that the developers of Instagram know about these things already. Whether they are being held back by the possibility of unforeseen ripple effects to the core user experience, or are unable to implement due to software design constraints, we can't tell.

IG 3.0, our hopes rest on you.

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2 comments

  1. Sir/Ma'am,
    I dont know who you are but you are increadibly insightful. I would like to see more of your posts in the near future. I have never been to interested in techknology myself but I found myself unable to stop reading this article once started. Thank you and again, Keep up the good work!
    Sincerely,
    T. Jones

    ReplyDelete
  2. Despite it's success, I do agree instagram has tons of room to improve upon. Heck the app is the least of their problems now - showing investors how the app can generate money is their biggest problem.

    ReplyDelete

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