Halcyon Days

An Instagram Wish List

Posted in Social Media by larrykoestler on July 18, 2013

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 12.31.07 PM

I adore Instagram. I spend the majority of my compulsive smartphone dithering obsessively checking my Instagram feed for new likes, comments and followers, and, along with Twitter, it has become my platform of choice when it comes to meaningful social interactions.

However, Instagram, like any other historically popular platform, has its share of problems, and in the interest of improvement, here is a list of upgrades that would substantially enhance the Instagram user experience across the board:

1) Single sign-on for managing multiple accounts. This is probably far and away the most glaring omission, especially as brands increasingly take to Instagram. Signing in and out of multiple profiles would be less of an issue if Instagram at least had saved forms and you weren’t required to manually type your user name and password in each and every time. And particularly frustrating is the fact that Instagram forgets every hashtag you ever created when you sign out and sign back in.

2)¬†“Re-Instagram” others’ photos. If Vine can add “Re-Vining,” Instagram can do this. As any Twitter user can attest to; there’s no greater public method of being shown your messaging/content really resonated with someone else than by being retweeted (except for being Favorited, which Twitter is bafflingly weird about revealing to its users). And most importantly, right now there’s no way to get your photos in front of people who aren’t following you unless you like or comment on someone else’s photo and hope that the people following that person are bored enough to click on your name and decide they like what you’re all about enough to start following you. Truly, Instagram really doesn’t make following new people terribly accessible; it’s far easier to simply dole likes out than follow someone new. And while likes are great, without a cumulative “Likes” column in your profile there’s really no way to quantify how influential you are other than your number of followers.

3) Ability to “re-post” old photos that newer followers may not have seen to the top of your feed. Like tweets, Instagram photos have a pretty limited shelf life. Unless one of your new followers is bored enough to scroll through your old photos, they will probably never see that killer pic you took that got hundreds of likes. It’d be nice to be able to get some additional mileage out of previously popular photos.

4) Make video a separate app. I imagine this is a fairly divisive suggestion, but I enjoy well-composed photography substantially more than poorly-shot, amateur video with no perspective.

5) More filters. I’ve been using Instagram for nearly two years and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen new filters added in that time. Snapseed¬†destroys Instagram on filter variety.

6) Google+ and other third-party app integration. Now that the Google+ API is out there’s no longer an excuse not to be able to push Instagram shares to G+.

7) Collages. I shouldn’t have to first edit my photos in another app to create a collage, and yet Instagram gives me no choice.

8) Color splash. This isn’t as important as some of the other items I’ve listed, but it’s still a handy feature to have.

9) Bigger photos. How frustrating is it to take the perfect photo through your iPhone’s camera only to find it butchered by Instragram’s auto-cropping mechanism? Give us full-sized photos, Instagram!

10)¬†Make it easier to discover like-minded users. This somewhat ties into #2, but it’s worth calling out again here. Maybe it’s through a “users you might like” bug or Editor’s Picks for specific genres. Either way there doesn’t seem to be a great way to discover like-minded folks unless you’re willing to sift through specifically hashtagged photos, like those photos/follow the photographer, and hope that person follows you back.

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