10 Features Instagram Should Add Tomorrow

by Brian DiFeo on Aug 16, 2012

Last week Instagram launched a Business Blog as a resource for brands that want to utilize the platform to connect with their audience and share their brand message.

This may be the first social network to create a blog specifically for business users of the platform.

With 80 million users and at least a dozen Instagram brands on their Suggested User List, businesses have been using Instagram since the early days, and with little guidance.

Fans of the app embrace its simplicity, ease to snap and share photographs, and its great community.

But for a brand using Instagram much like other social networks, there is room for improvement when it comes to management and metrics.

Using InstaDesk and Statigram eases some of the load, but the following lists details improvements to be desired.

The Instagram business blog (seen below) should be a great first step to reaching out to more brand users of the platforms and helping them use the service better. But we also hope it is a place where recommendations can be added and discussed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram. We simply want to help them keep pushing things forward.

First are a few easy additions:

1.  Managing Multiple Accounts

Other social networks allow this and it shouldn’t be too difficult to roll out. It would finally make logging in and out a thing of the past.

2. Searching Multiple Tags 

Some hashtags have millions of photos. In the search for new fans, it would be great to search two or more tags. #Nike + #NYC would produce a whole new collection. (Searching by date and geo-location would be nice too.)

3. Lists & Favorites

Brands should have a pulse on evangelists or super-users. At the moment, you have to search each user. For hashtags, the app will save your recently-searched tags, but only for a time. It’d be great if permanent lists of users could be saved.

4. Tracking Mentions

A section under “news” where you can see all of your mentions. As of now, Instagram only shows your most recent mentions and they are mixed in with likes. Many mentions of your brand go unnoticed, making it difficult to engage with users talking about your product.

5. The Caption 

After choosing a photo, you are prompted to write a comment. This field is only one-line and scrolls infinitely to the right. I write my comments in the notes application then copy and paste. A larger text field to pick up on typos, etc. would be a big improvement. [Update: Instagram improved this feature in an app update on 8/16/2012]

Here’s a list of changes that would really benefit brands:

6. Impression Data

How often do you scroll past photos without liking or commenting? Those eyeballs are valuable to brands and data that would be useful to have. A metrics dashboard is becoming the norm when it comes to brand activity online. See Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare. This type of data access is important when brands decide to spend time on your platform.

7. Re-Posting Photos

Facebook shares, Twitter ReTweets, Tumblr re-blogs, and Pinterest re-pins. If Instagram can find a way to make a simple re-post while preserving the integrity and source of the original image, it will take interaction to a whole new level. When you hear brands talk about “reach” they are talking about the number of people that see a message. Increasing reach is huge and the ability of a photo to spread greatly increases when people are allowed to more easily reshare content.

And it turns out people are a pretty good filter. They reshare great content more often than not.

8. Upload From a Non-Mobile Device

This isn’t something I want to see as a user, but brands want to put the best quality out there and sometimes that means using something stronger than a cell phone. If they ever rollout a complete web-based experience, this should be on it. Maybe it is a paid feature, for brands and professional photographers.

(Dear Instagram, Please send all commission checks to the address in the footer.)

9. Trending Topics

Many people complain the Explore Page (formerly known as Popular Page) doesn’t showcase the best or most relevant photographs. Trending topics could relate to news, sports, or global events and be sourced by hashtag and geo-location.

Twitter does this extremely well, and has monetized it in an unimposing way. Google has a similar unmonetized feature. Users like to browse for great content, relevant to them. This feature would allow more of that, and allow brands another channel to extend their audience.

10). Promoted Posts

This isn’t something I want to see as a user, but it seems like a possible step. Since brands are already suggested users, Instagram could showcase other brands for a fee in users feeds. This is practically becoming the norm for social networks. Instagram is great, and many might think a promoted posts would dull the shiny patina, but social networks need to make money to stay around, and promoted posts are a proven way to do that.


What features do you think brands could benefit from on Instagram? Add your ideas and we will pass them along.

The Definitive Guide to Instagram Marketing


With more than 200 million active monthly users, and 60+ million photos shared each day, Instagram is single-handedly revolutionizing the visual web. So how can you as a marketer tap into Instagram to strengthen brand affinity and forge lasting relationships with consumers?

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Post Author

Brian is Co-founder at The Mobile Media Lab, a startup that works with brands on Instagram, and founder at Instagram NYC, one of the most active Instagram Meetup groups in the world. Learn more at bridif.com....

  • http://www.facebook.com/YvonneAdeleMega Yvonne Adele

    Being able to load a 16:9 photo!

  • Jennifer Buxton

    Great advice! I hope Instagram listens to you :)

  • http://twitter.com/edgarrosa Edgar Rosa

    Overwhelmingly agree about these additions to Instagram but would it still be Instagram with all of these features? Sounds more like Twitter or Pinterest

  • http://twitter.com/sammutimer Sam Mutimer

    Great post Brian! All very valid points. We are running a few campaigns on this platform right now and the magic upgrade would definitely be the re posting of photos. Right now we have to get followers to screen shot and re-post. Crazy how many do it, however a simple re-post button would be much more effective…still carrying the credit to the original photographer/source.



  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Nixon/720391810 David Nixon

    the ability to make lists just like you can on Twitter. This way, I can gather all my black & white photographers in a list, all the morbid grunge freaks in another, etc, etc..

  • gary

    – Having the option of choosing whether each photo is private or public plus the whole account as it is now which would be the default setting. So I could lets say upload a photo for Instagrams #WHP without having to turn my whole account to public so people could see that one photo I want them to see.
    – Being able to upload 15s or 30s videos.
    – Being able to like comments.
    – Being able to see tagged photos of users .
    – Being able to geotag photos after they have been uploaded.

  • Melody Garza

    I wish there was a way to see ALL my mentions. How can I keep conversation going if it caps out on the NEWS section? =(

  • pb1051

    Also, hide your likes.

  • Jennifer

    There was an important one left out; the ability to make a particular photo private, and or to hide it.

  • Brett

    I hope they can change it to where you can order your photos from the most likes to the least likes when someone is looking at your profile

  • cheli

    there should be a page for you to view all of the photos that you have liked

  • Norbi Whitney

    profile -> settings -> photos I’ve liked

  • Christopher Dawes

    In the race to get that post up before Instagram inevitably crashes and loses all of my work, I often forget to add hashtags and mentions. Would be nice to be able to edit a post, if only to add hashtags and mentions, instead of deleting & reposting, which loses all the likes of the original post.

  • Erik

    Should allow people to be able to delete comments on their photos from other people if they don’t want them

  • Ash

    The comments need like buttons!! That way we can like each other’s comments.

  • amy

    I think instagram should delete accounts that haven’t posted for a good while. It’s unfair for there to be inactive accounts out there with names people may want.

  • kaylachristine


  • Shaya LeBauer

    If you delete your photos on you’re camera roll and you want them and there on insta then they need a button where you can save you photos and videos.

  • JJ

    Instagram needs a way to access multiple accounts at once! Google and Yahoo have done it, just make a side bar where you can log into as many account you have, and switch back and forth between them. Some people may have many inactive accounts, because they got sick of logging in and out. It won’t be perfect at first, but it will make life a lot easier with those people who have a personal account and a few fandom accounts.

  • Jacob

    I wish that there was a way to open a user’s profile picture like Twitter or Vine.

  • Vik

    Should have a way to like in private, the only person who sees is the person who posted the photo!!!

  • Robert

    Number 7 definitely

  • jessica

    the ability to move pictures on your feed for those ocd kinda people like myself. to be capable of moving and rearranging pictures posted would be amazing! just to make your feed look more visually appealing to ones eye

  • Noah

    Make different groups. For example, you can add all your friends to one group so you can just view their photos, a group for the sports teams you follow so you can just view their photos, so on and so forth.

  • Kim Duvall

    I would love it if there was the option to hide the identities of users who are following you or like your photos from people who you have already accepted as followers.

  • Cassie

    I think Instagram should have the feature to chat with someone before you allow a person to follow you. Sometimes you get those follow requests but you don’t quite know who it is. I want the ability to know who it is in case they did not include a bio on their profile

  • Spenya

    I think it would be important to get a notification when somebody replies in a DM

  • Dawson

    I person ally think that video shou automatically play when viewing a person’s profile, so you don’t have to click on each picture and wait for it to load in order to view.

  • David M

    A reverse image filter to straighten out mirror selfies and writing on shirts.

  • Miguel

    A “favorites” feed seperate from your normal feed, if i want to see friends photos i have to dig through the 200 other people i follow

  • xiangdelu

    The ability to merge 2 accounts together.