Instagram has maintained its popularity among other social media sites that have already burned out, like Vine. It has done so without having to acquiesce to many demands, either. But now, the popular social media app (that’s also owned by Facebook) might be adding a feature that users have been clamoring for for years.
The Verge reports that Instagram is considering adding a native re-sharing function to the app. For the less social media savvy, “native” means within the app. Currently, there is no function to simply share another user’s content and credit them appropriately without leaving the app. This has left a generation of users feeling very dissatisfied.
However, some caution against the new feature. While on its face it seems positive; it would allow users to be credited for their original material, and provide a quick and simple way for those on the app to share content from their favorite accounts. Much like you can retweet a funny joke, you can now re-gram it too. As an added side benefit, it might finally put noted Instagram content thieves out of business.
Some are afraid that the new feature, which is merely in the testing phase, could invite people to share and spread fake news and other harmful information. They’re pointing to Facebook and its role in the alleged 2016 election tampering as a prime example of why every caution should be exercised.
Even Instagram doesn’t have the ability to re-share content on their own app; when they share other users’ photos, they simply tag them.
It seems Instagram is being relatively cautious, only deploying the test feature on a select number of users. The new feature is currently called “seamless sharing,” and it is being rolled out as a new “share to feed” option that will be visible to those users in the menu that appears in the top right corner of every post on the Instagram feed.
There are two sample posts out, and one is a business profile that is selling the merchandise in the post. Instagram may be considering limiting the feature to business accounts only, at least at first. It would fit the pattern of previous releases to do this.
Instagram has long held back on re-gramming, but they did bend the rules a bit this past year by allowing users to share stories they are tagged in on their own Instagram story.
There are third-party apps that allow Instagram users to re-share content. They may be the only users hoping that Instagram never offers the re-sharing feature.