There are often new and exciting developments in the world of social media. Sometimes new ideas are realised and sometimes an existing idea is tweaked by a platform which is already incredibly popular. Instagram is about to rival Pinterest with the new Instagram Public Collections feature, and we couldn’t be happier!
Summary: 5 Minutes read, Level: Entertainment
When one of your favourite social media apps take an element from another of your favourite social media apps it can be very exciting indeed. Obviously not everybody is familiar with Pinterest and Instagram, so let’s first take a look at each of these social media platforms.
Simply put, Pinterest is an online pinboard. It allows you to bookmark multiple sites all on one page, without the need to scroll through lists of bookmarked pages in your browser. The difference between Pinterest and other bookmarking sites is that Pinterest is solely visual. Every bookmark is a picture, whereas on StumbleUpon (now Mix), pages are bookmarked.
All of your saved bookmarks on Pinterest (these are called pins) can be shared with your friends, or you can share somebody else’s pin (this is known as repinning). Similar pins can be grouped together in various categories and you can even upload your own photos to the site. It is possible to share all pins on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram has far more users than Pinterest. It is the best social media network for posting and sharing photographs and video clips. With the advent of mobile technology to include cameras on smartphones and tablets which are often better than real cameras which might cost hundreds of dollars, Instagram’s popularity exploded within the last five or six years.
The difference between Instagram and Pinterest is there is no bookmarking facility. It is solely for sharing your own photographs – although screenshot features enable people to share images which belong to other people. It is also possible to share short video clips.
There is also Instagram Stories, a feature very much like the Stories aspect on Facebook, where you can make a series of images and/or video which your followers can enjoy. As with Pinterest, posts can be shared on Twitter and Facebook.
So, as you can see, there are some similarities between the two social media platforms, but Instagram and Pinterest are fundamentally two very different entities. Until now.
Now Instagram have come up with a new idea. Well, it’s a new idea for them, but it’s very similar to what Pinterest have been doing for a long time. It’s not the first feature which Instagram has copied from other platforms. We mentioned in the previous section how Instagram Stories is very similar to the same feature on Facebook, or indeed Snapchat, and there’s also Instagram TV, which is remarkably similar to YouTube. Now it’s Pinterest’s turn to feel aggrieved.
The Collections feature is actually something which already exists, in a way. If you use Instagram, you’ll be familiar with ‘liking’ other people’s posts. You do this by rapidly double tapping a photograph or tapping once on the heart icon. Every post you like is on a list which is accessible in the ‘my account’ section, so you can see all the posts you have liked at any point. Currently this information is only available to the individual user, although if you snoop around you can see what your friends are ‘liking’, but it’s not especially simple to do. So Instagram had an idea – what if it were possible to share this collection somehow?
This was how the idea of Collections was born, and to be honest, once you hear the explanation for how they came up with it, it doesn’t sound like a Pinterest copy at all. Along with being able to share your liked posts, Instagram wanted users to be able to add to their friends’ lists too.
Sharing has long been an issue on Instagram – there is no equivalent to a retweet feature on the platform. There have been unofficial apps which allow you to share or ‘regram’ a post to be shared with your followers, but it’s something Instagram themselves have never fully addressed. Now this could be changing. And the ability to share would cut down on screenshotting which often involves stealing copyrighted work without giving credit to the creator.
Obviously you can share more posts with friends and form networks and make different list categories, etc. but are there any real advantages or benefits to this new feature?
There are if you use Instagram for business purposes. Many companies use the platform to promote products and services and it has long been possible to link to online shops through the Stories feature. Ecommerce is something that Collections will be very good for, exactly as it is on Pinterest. Influencers, too, can use this feature to their advantage and it would be possible to create something that looked like a more visually stimulating version of an Amazon wishlist.
As with all new features, there is always speculation as to how business can use them. The best thing is to be among the first who use it. This can give you an edge over competitors as your name or brand will be one which lots of users see before the marketplace becomes overcrowded. The limits to what the new Instagram feature can be used are largely unknown yet, but you can bet that companies are already starting to develop strategies for its eventual launch.
Nudity can be a very powerful marketing tool if it’s used correctly. But what if you’re not comfortable disrobing in front of a camera? That’s perfectly alright. You can hire models or even ask friends if they are willing to do it. Some people are shyer than others and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you are comfortable with it though , then go for it! If you are not interested in promoting your social media channels this way, it´s totally alright as well.