7 Things I Wish Instagram Would Fix, From Regramming To Allowing Links
Wouldn't a native regram feature be nice? How about the ability to add links? Easier multiple account management? An Instagram wish list.
This year marked a return for me to Instagram, where my account had largely been dormant. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time on the service, but I find several things maddening. Here’s what I see wrong with Instagram, despite its great success.
1) You Can’t Regram Natively
If I see something awesome on Twitter or Facebook, it’s easy for me to share that with others. On Instagram, there’s no such luck. If I want to “regram” an image, I either need to use a third-party tool or make a copy and credit the originator.
Neither is satisfactory. Moreover, as The Awl points out today, it leads to possible copyright infringement or failure for originators of great content to accrue proper credit.
Come on. Add the feature, already. It can’t be that hard. Also, Snapchat — Where’s the “resnap” for stories that I so desperately want?
2) You Can’t Link
You know who’s awesome on Instagram? National Geographic. Here’s a great article on how it has amassed nearly 20 million followers by allowing more than 100 of its photojournalists to post to its account.
Those posts are also often accompanied by mini-essays that describe that amazing nature photo you’re seeing:
That’s wonderful, but what if you want even more? Like, perhaps a link to the National Geographic website where maybe there’s a longer article or something?
Instagram doesn’t do links, not in posts. It’s kind of absurd. It forces account holders to say things like “follow my bio link” and then, in turn, constantly be changing that bio link to point to relevant content.
It works, but it’s a kludge. Just allow people to add a link. Sometimes, a picture really isn’t worth a 1,000 words, but a link to 1,000 words is.
3) No Images In Twitter
Some time ago, Twitter and Instagram had a little dust-up. Now, you can’t view Instagram pictures natively on Twitter. As a result, three things happen:
- People don’t post images to Twitter
- People waste time posting both places
- People post to Instagram and share only a link out to Twitter
Congrats, Instagram — You win for those who do the first. But not everyone does, creating the annoyances of two and three.
I’m the person who typically does the second, post to both places. If Instagram would let Twitter display my Instagram pictures natively, I’d sure love that. It would save me time, plus it would cause me to share things from my Instagram profile much more on Twitter.
I rarely do the last, because I hate people who do it. The last thing I want in my Twitter feed is an Instagram link that causes me to jump from one app to another to see a picture that may or may not be that great.
If you want the history behind this, Twitter stopped letting Instagram access who someone follows on Twitter. Instagram responded by pulling native photo display from Twitter. How about pushing the reset button and sorting it all out?
4) Tag Madness
One of the great things about Google is that you don’t sit around thinking about all the variations of a topic you’re interested in, if you want to find something. You search for a topic like “drones” and trust that Google will find the best that matches, even if someone writes “drone” or “quadcopter” on their pages.
On Instagram, “#drone” and “#drones” are going to bring back different things even though they are on exactly the same subject:
When I tag something, because of this, I have to add in all these different variations. It’s annoying. It’s stupid. It’s unnecessary. At least let hashtags do pluralization and stemming. Give all your Millennial users technology that came in during the last millennium.
Having said this, I absolutely love the new Instagram search and explore features you launched recently. Love them.
5) Suggest Tags On iPhone
If I have to deal with tag madness, at least make it easier when I’m using the iPhone. Consider on Android, if I start to type a tag:
I love it. You suggest tags related to what I’ve typed and how many posts there are for that already. Love it, love it, love it!
Now here’s the iPhone:
All you do is suggest tags I’ve already used before. I have no clue if I’m using the “right” or popular tag for a post. Help me help you.
6) How About An iPad Version?
Who doesn’t love using Instagram on their iPad because of this fun two-step process:
- Rotate to vertical, because Instagram doesn’t do landscape
- Hit the 2X button
OK, the second step can be omitted once you’ve done it the first time. But it’s a pain. Instagram is glorious on the iPad because you can finally see pictures BIG! So give us an iPad version.
Oh, and while we’re talking iPad — Hey, Twitter, let us upload video from the iPad. It’s overdue.
7) Upload From Desktop
I know. It’s a mobile first world. But since you do have a desktop site, why not allow uploading from there?
Do you really think it’s fun that if there’s some picture on desktop, we have to email it to ourselves in order to add it to Instagram? Or find some other way? And don’t get me started when talking about video.
Give us desktop upload. Think of how much it’ll help Throwback Thursday.
Bonus! Peeves From Others….
You’ve made some progress here, but clearly more can be done:
@dannysullivan limited ability to schedule posts using 3rd party tools (Hootsuite can now but ONLY via the mobile app)
— Monica Wright (@monicawright) August 18, 2015
Multiple Account Management
I only post from my own account, so this hasn’t been an issue for me. But those who have to deal with multiple accounts really don’t like your lack of support:
@dannysullivan Also doesn't allow multiple account management!
— susanna kohly (@susannakohly) August 18, 2015
@dannysullivan No easy way to toggle between accounts
— Monica Wright (@monicawright) August 18, 2015
@dannysullivan Another one – can't manage multiple profiles from one phone without logging in and out.
— Adam Britten (@AdamBritten) August 18, 2015
I’m Wrong About All This!
My original headline for this story was “Why I’m Wrong About These Things That Are Wrong With Instagram.” That was tongue-in-cheek but also serious. Lacking these features has clearly not stopped Instagram’s incredible popularity. You can even find people replying to me that they’re happy with they way things are:
@dannysullivan so basically you want Instagram to be Twitter…
— John Doherty (@dohertyjf) August 18, 2015
— Jeseph Meyers (@jesephm) August 18, 2015
@dannysullivan if that's the cost of keeping it simple/elegant, I'm all for it. I check it more than any app. They're doing something right
— Bobby Isaacson (@bobbyisaacson) August 18, 2015
@dannysullivan the 20 somethings like that it's not for you. Sorry but they don't want to share with other gens.
— JoMarie Thomson (@JoMarieT) August 18, 2015
@dannysullivan Re: Instagram, a lot of those "cons" are things that made the community there so great and relatively spam-free for so long.
— Matthew Poldberg (@NotSpamIpromise) August 18, 2015
As I said, I’m still a relative newcomer. While my account’s over three years old, it’s only been this year that I’ve been really active on the service. So who am I to say what’s wrong? It’s clearly a success. It’s also a success that I’ve learned to love, from the ease of editing and sharing video, to thinking about sharing pictures in a space devoted to that, to seeing what others share.
But I’m Not Wrong
Still, c’mon. Native regramming at the very least is something you should add, as well as support for links. Just one little link? Please?
Oh, and I’d sure love if you’d let me be “dannysullivan” on the service. I’ve been asking for over a year. It’s an inactive account, which violates your inactive username policy. If you’re going to have a policy, enforce it, for me, for others, for your users.
In the meantime, I’ll keep on enjoying the service and sharing at sullivandanny. And you all should enjoy this classic video that I found to be an excellent introduction to Instagram: