Don’t get me wrong, just like the other 130 million users I’m a huge fan of Instagram. It’s a staple part of my morning commute, I love nothing more than waking up and seeing some great pictures of Cardiff Bay (lovely part of Cardiff that’s well worth a visit!). By my own admission, I’m a classic Instagram user – I own a cat (Archie) who features in my feed fairly regularly, I sometimes cook something that actually looks shockingly good (see recent Kiev shot), I like to share my restaurant experiences and when I can justify the cost of Starbucks coffee, I will more than likely share it.
However, I can’t help but think that Instagram could make a few changes that would make it even more awesome…
User Profile/Image Viewer
Having to click on each photo individually to view them at a normal size can be quite annoying. Currently, the best way to look at a user’s photos in a photo stream is to click the long feed button. I know its a small (maybe lazy) point to make, but from a usability/functionality point of view – wouldn’t it be so much nicer to go onto a users profile, click on an image to make it bigger and then swipe left and right through the other images? You can on the Instagram website!
Does anyone actually use this feature? Every time I go to use this feature there are 15 photos of semi-naked girls, ridiculous selfies and random Instagram videos. There never seems to be any of my usual hashtags in the Explore feed, it just seems to show the Instagram content has the most likes and comments (same as the Popular tab). The only way that the Explore feature is useful is for searching for specific users or hashtags, so I don’t tend to hang around on that part of the app, which is a real shame because it could be a great way to discover and ‘explore’ images that actually appeal to you. The Explore feature was added to Instagram back in June 2012 and ‘replaced’ the popular tab, why hasn’t it been developed since? There’s so much potential to make this a really dynamic feature! It could pull through images that are similar to your own or allow you to find images taken at a specific place over a specific time period for example.
Ok, I’m probably nitpicking now but I’m on a roll! Is it just me that thinks the comments on photos can look a bit confusing and messy? They all bunch up under the image and if your photo goes down really well you’ll have some of them collapse down into a view all comments type thing. I know that this is completely necessary, otherwise you’d have massive feeds made up of just comments but when you click ‘view all comments’ you get a really nice feed with profile pictures too! I think that having the little profile circles would look great on the 3/4 comments that Instagram does show under an image.