Instagram Collections strengthens platform's role in providing shopping inspiration

Dive Brief:

  • Instagram has launched a feature called Collections that lets iOS and Android users organize saved posts in folders, according to an Instagram blog post. They can title Collections folders to suit their needs — for instance, if they’re planning for a vacation, searching for beauty or fashion inspiration or following their favorite Instagram artists — and view them whenever they choose. 
  • Collections are private and can only be seen by the Instagram users who created them. They can add posts to new Collections or file away posts that have already been saved. 
  • Instagram gave users the ability to save posts in December. Since then, the Facebook-owned social media network divulged 46% of Instagrammers have saved at least one post. Instagram elaborated that 29% of saved content came from businesses, per Adweek

Dive Insight:

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, social media networks are gushing about their competitors a ton these days. Instagram has been a frequent passenger on the imitation train (see its version of Snapchat’s Stories and ephemeral messages, for example) and it hopped aboard again with the release of Collections. Instead of Snapchat, Instagram has Pinterest in its crosshairs with Collections.

The virtual galleries of saved content deliver shopping inspiration and reference tools that have been Pinterest’s calling cards. Engadget speculates Collections won’t win over hard-core Pinterest regulars, but it could help Instagram attract casual Pinterest users and retain them on its platform longer.    

In a social media segment that’s largely struggled with commerce, Pinterest has stood out by making itself a destination for online shoppers. According to a Kleiner Perkins report last year, 55% of Americans online indicated they chiefly turn to Pinterest for finding products and shopping for them. Although Instagram didn’t mention advertising or commerce possibilities in its announcement of Collections, it isn’t a huge leap to envision they could be impactful in those areas.

Along with introducing Collections, Instagram did point out to journalists that it is home to content focused on key beauty trends like crystal lips, glow in the dark hair, ear makeup and succulent nails, suggesting it’s an important platform for brands looking to capitalize on such trends. Of course, the private nature of Instagram’s Collections is holding it back from completely invading Pinterest’s territory, but it very well may not keep them private forever.   

Filed Under: Apps Mobile marketing trends Tech and platform developments
Top image credit: Flickr; Maria Elena