Instagram is already facing a significant backlash regarding its proposed changes to its recommendations algorithm. Despite this, the platform has announced new features making their way to Instagram. However, as these new features were announced, we can’t help but wonder if the social media platform is experiencing a bit of an identity crisis.
One of the most notable changes coming to the platform is a new feature called Notes. This is a feature that Meta has strongly considered as a competitor to Twitter. The current chaos at Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover has led many users to seek alternatives. Meta was considering developing Notes into its stand-alone app. However, they recently decided to release it as an additional feature on Instagram instead.
Notes will allow users to share text updates and emoji-based messages with others. Although this feature is very reminiscent of Twitter, it works differently. With Instagram notes, you select your mutual followers at the top of your inbox, type a message of no more than 60 characters, and then share it. The note will then appear at the top of the inbox of everyone you sent it to for 24 hours. Replies to your note will come through as a DM.
While this isn’t an exact copy of Twitter, we can’t help but wonder if Instagram is straying too far from its original purpose. After all, the app is known as the best image-driven social media platform. Why digress to text-based content now?
This isn’t the only new feature being worked on at the moment. The next feature will affect Stories and is an update to the ‘Add Yours’ feature. The ‘Add Yours’ feature encourages users to participate in certain trends and challenges. The new feature, known as ‘Pass it On’, will enable users to invite specific friends to join in on a challenge. This is a deliberate way that Instagram is fighting another threat from TikTok, where users love doing quirky dance challenges and more.
Instagram is also testing a feature called ‘Candid’. This feature allows users to share in-the-moment activities with only friends who also share a candid. This is a clear replication of a feature of BeReal. BeReal is quickly gaining popularity, especially amongst Gen Z users. Candid will randomly send out a daily notification to remind users to be candid. This feature even goes so far as to mimic BeReal’s dual camera feature.
Many new features are coming to Instagram. However, getting excited is a little hard as these are nothing new, original or innovative. The features currently being developed are all just replications of features from other social media platforms. Not only that, but the inclusion of some of these features doesn’t even ring true to the original goals of the platform. It seems like Instagram may be losing touch with its identity while scrambling to compete with other platforms.