Instagram wants to be much more than just a photo-sharing network. The Facebook-owned platform wants to foster both commerce and philanthropy.Sohini Mitter
At its annual F8 Developer Conference, Facebook unveiled a series of new features for all its products as it strives to become a more "privacy-focused" social media platform. Instagram too will be sporting new tools and tags in the weeks ahead. Facebook clearly wants to make the photo-sharing network busier, and more commerce-oriented.
First, on the shopping front, Instagram will allow individual creators and influencers - besides businesses and brands - to sell items directly on their posts and Stories. These influencers, which include "public figures, creators, athletes, publishers, and artists”, can tag items from businesses that are a part of Instagram's 'Checkout' beta programme. With this, Facebook aims to improve monetisation at Instagram that now counts over a billion users.
Next, Instagram is unveiling a Donation sticker on Stories. Users can simply open their Stories Camera or upload a photo from the camera pre-roll, add the new donation sticker from the tray, choose a cause or organisation to support, and launch a fund-raiser. Once the Story is live, people can swipe up to view the amount raised.
To receive donations, non-profits will have to be pre-approved by Facebook. All donations raised on the platform would be going to non-profits, and Instagram won't be taking any cut from it.
Lastly, Instagram has revamped its Camera too. It is calling it the Create Mode, which will make it easier for users to share content without having to rely on existing photos or videos. The redesigned camera includes multiple modes, effects and interactive stickers, along with the Live option. These new features will be rolled out "soon" to users across the globe, Instagram stated.
Besides these features, Instagram is said to be testing a few more.
These include a tool that hides like counts on posts aimed at creating a "less pressurised environment", anti-bullying tools like 'nudges' that will warn users before they post hate comments, and an 'away mode' that will allow people to take a break from Instagram without having to delete their accounts.
These features will be tested with select users starting this week. "We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition,” Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, said. "What we aspire to do is lead the fight against online bullying,” he added.