Whilst we were all busy stuffing our faces with copious amounts of chocolate over the Easter weekend, Instagram was preparing to launch its latest update. Announced on their blog on Easter Monday, Instagram introduced its brand new ‘collections’ feature.
We have touched on the continuous evolution of Instagram in a previous blog post and now the image-based social media platform has built on their ‘saved images’ update which became available last December. Using the bookmark icon in the bottom right, you can save interesting posts to look at later. Yes – you really can! Although many users seem only to have used this tool completely by accident, Instagram states since its launch 46% of users have saved at least one post. After reading this ourselves we instantly checked our own ‘saved images’ – we too have made a few in error! Check yours now, they may throw up a few old favourites.
What is Instagram’s new collections feature?
On the surface saving images for later is certainly a handy key feature and some say Instagram was late to hook on to this. However, you could have questioned its contextual usefulness before this recent ‘collections’ update. Now with the ability to save, collate and organise posts, Instagram is open to a whole other means of using the platform.
You can’t help but notice the similarities to Pinterest here and it’s not the first time Instagram has borrowed features from other social media platforms. Instagram stories was released last summer, directly competing with the likes of social media youngsters Snapchat. It’s the front-runner when it comes to creating a social platform that amalgamates all the best of social media features.
So how do I use the new Instagram collections feature?
Creating and naming your own collections on Instagram as mentioned is much like making and labelling your Pinterest boards. Create a collection by going to the ‘saved posts’ section of your profile and tap the + button. Name the collection anything you like and click next. Add any already saved items to your collection and then you’re done! New collections can also be created when saving posts, tap and hold the bookmark icon and as before then +. Enter your collection’s chosen name and then done. Your collections will be saved under the saved posts section under ‘collections’ at the top.
How is Instagram’s collections feature useful to me?
For personal use, Instagram will now be invaluable for those searching and gathering ideas around any subject. You may have a totally unexplainable love for tortoises and their eating habits – you can now save all the best you come across in your own private collection! Of course, there’s bound to be a good few thousand people creating ‘Cat Videos’ or similar this week. Having a bad day? Head over to your cute animal’s collection for an instant cheer up remedy.
Foodies already rejoice in the value of Instagram for recipe ideas and food hacks. Your dinner party dishes collection and your diet ideas collection can sit alongside each other – think one for weekday lunches and the other for weekend indulgence.
The wedding industry has a huge and particularly successful presence on visual social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. The hours ‘wasted’ on Pinterest gathering inspiration will be multiplied now Instagram is open for the same sort of trawling.
“This is a revelation for those of us wedding planning, Pinterest has the ability to save all your favourite ideas in one place but isn’t necessarily as up to date and trend focused as the posts you see on Instagram. I often find myself screenshotting an Instagram post then saving to my Pinterest board – now I can save and organise posts in the same way as I do on Pinterest. I can’t wait to set up my collections – wedding décor, wedding dresses, wedding venues… the list goes on!” – Rebecca Hutchins, bride to be.
Instagram has already proven itself as a massive asset to the fashion and beauty industry. Your make-up tutorials collection will be right there waiting for your next big night out whilst your outfit ideas collection will be useful for that upcoming hen do – all together and viewed in just one click.
“It’s a great way to build up mood boards of inspiration for any projects you’re working on. We all sit there liking thousands of photos, but then nothing comes of it. Until now, where Instagram collections allow you to actually organise and revisit posts you liked with ease.” – Alex Howe, Fifteen Social Media Executive and budding beauty blogger.
What does the future hold for Instagram collections?
At the minute these collections are private, only the user who created them can view them. This is still invaluable for ideas research in itself but the power behind making these public or shareable is where this feature will really get interesting. As with Pinterest, we predict Instagram will make it possible to invite other users to view or even edit collections. This is where collaborative ideas research will flourish. For example, friends might want to share manicure ideas, work colleagues might want to compare new products in their industry or families might want to collect ideas of things to do at the weekend.
Perhaps the collections themselves will become their own entities – where users can follow just the collection rather than the user. You may love someone’s wedding ideas collection but aren’t so keen on their hundred and one posts collated about make-up contouring.
Think much like you can choose to follow a Pinterest board a user has created rather than everything that user pins.
One thing is for certain, the continuing evolution of Instagram is very exciting indeed. It will carry on developing itself making sure it doesn’t get left behind when it comes to the latest social media features and technology.
Instagram collections are available on version 10.16. Update for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play.
Interested in learning more about Instagram? We have a great post exploring the evolution of Instagram – From camera app to the second most important social network.