For some photo sharers it is a godsend, for others it is a sign of the end times. Instagram is officially rolling out its new album sharing feature.
The announcement came yesterday on Instagram’s blog and heralds a change in how users will post pictures en masse. Previously images would go up to the photo-sharing site as individual posts, now they can be grouped together in albums of up to 10 images at a time. This follows the soft beta launch of this feature at the start of February.
The album feature seems like it will be incredibly easy for users to navigate. When a post has blue dots at the bottom of an image, the entire gallery can be viewed by swiping left and right through it. The album will have a single post comment string as well in the name of simplicity.
For uploaders, the tool will save some time when putting up large sets of images in similar lighting conditions, since filters and settings can be batch applied to the full album, rather than individually tailoring pics.
There are inarguable pros to this new feature. In addition to helping uploaders it will be a blessing for users, who will find their feeds a lot less cluttered or spammed by heavy posters. It can also mean that seeing the best bits from a full event is possible in one post rather than hunting through individual images. There are probably brilliant applications for storytelling, using this feature. Especially since albums will allow a mix of photos, imagine something akin to a living comic book or segmented short film
However, there are of course massive potential downsides to this rollout. The ability to mass-post images could lead to a huge fall in the quality of pictures posted. Rather than being incredibly selective with works and rejecting lesser images, users may be tempted to include everything. It could also lead to people flooding the site with dreaded curated albums of baby pics, holiday snaps, and bbqs, making Instagram closely resemble the offering of its parent company, Facebook.
A major shift in image could adversely affect the Instagram brand. Currently, as studies have shown, young users (who are gold dust to marketers) are fiercely critical of their work. If Instagram becomes seen as a sloppier, more casual place to post, they could be tempted by platforms with seemingly higher standards for posting. Users may also reject the feature out of hand in order to get more posts out and seen. We will have to wait and see what the reception is to this feature in the weeks to come. In the meantime, we’re hopping on to give it a try.