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What New Instagram Features Were Released This Week?

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Have you seen the latest feature from Instagram? It allows users to share posts directly to their story as a sticker.  This will work from both their own accounts, as well as any public accounts that they follow.  Instagram believes that the features will be used to help promote friends and brands you like on your own story, making it easier to share information with your followers.  If, for example, a band that you like is coming to town.  You can share the information with your followers directly.  This is easier than saving or taking a screenshot of the image itself.  And that’s what people are doing now, anyway, so this kind of makes sense.  The good news is that any posts you share to your story will include the original poster’s username, along with a link back to the original post.

Users will be able to share stories by tapping the same paper airplane above a post in their feed that they would use to share a post through Instagram Direct. Now, there’s an additional option to create a story instead. Posts share to stories as a sticker that users can rearrange, resize, and place on customizable backgrounds before posting. If you’re trying to share a post from a private account, it won’t work.  Only posts from public accounts can be shared to stories and users will have the option to disable their stories from being shared.  This new feature is rolling out on Android right now, but won’t be available on iOS for another couple of weeks.

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But Instagram doesn’t stop there.  They have recently launched a “usage insights” tool that helps users see how much time they have spent on the platform.  This is not information that I personally want to see.  This is positive though.  I mean, it will definitely shame me into spending less time on the platform, but is that really something Instagram wants to do?  It’s interesting because this is coming at a time when more and more sites want you on their platforms.  So what gives?

Instagram suggests that this is a corporate responsibility.  Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom states:

“Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”

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Is this because of what’s happening over at Facebook? I mean, they are in the spotlight right now, trying to help with their public image, but is this the right strategy?  I mean, ultimately, all this is going to do is tell you that you’ve been on Instagram for 4 hours today.  Presumably, looking at workout videos.  But in the end, is that enough to absolve them of being the reason I’m online looking at those workout videos all day long?  (Note, I also look at food, funny memes which I promptly send my friends and ridiculous life hacks that never actually work.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this feels a bit like the tobacco companies putting a warning on their products.  And no, I’m not comparing tobacco to Instagram, but I do wonder if this measure means they are doing enough from a corporate responsibility perspective?

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