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Instagram, one of the most successful social networking apps of today, has many useful features ranging from design to aesthetic, from networking to media management. While Instagram has many positive qualities, there are several additions that would make the app even stronger and more user-friendly overall. If I were to resolve these issues and implement my own changes to Instagram, I would modify the block settings, create a separate paid version of the app with access to additional features, and extend posting to other social media platforms, with Linkedln being the primary target.
Blocking someone on Instagram can be a sensitive situation, as it usually follows disagreements in real life. Personally, I find the block settings on Instagram rather aggressive, especially when it comes to the post-blocking stage of virtual interactions. When you block someone on Instagram, Instagram automatically unfollows the blocked user and removes them from your followers list. If you want to maintain contact with that person over Instagram, you must refollow them to add them back on your account. This can bring unwanted attention to the fact that you have blocked or unfollowed a person, making for an unfortunately awkward situation after the fact. Instagram should not have the power to automatically unfollow a blocked individual - it should be up to the blocker to unfollow someone after they’ve blocked them. This avoids any awkward digital - and real - interactions.
The second change I would make to Instagram is I would create a separate version of the app that allows viewers to upgrade their account at a set monthly rate. This upgraded version of the app would provide users access to a variety of additional features and Instagram analytics. This could include access to a list of users who have unfollowed you, a list of viewers not following you back, or a list of people who most frequently view your profile. This could also include information such as reports on an individual’s top posts, top users interacting with your account, or top commenters on posts. Users can be granted access to these additional features by signing up for a monthly subscription that will be billed straight to their account.
The last change I would add to Instagram is I would include Linkedln as one of the social media platforms that can be linked from Instagram. Linkedln is becoming an increasingly popular social media platform, especially for businesses and influences. For users who run a business Instagram account, linking posts between these two handles could boost the number of viewers and followers between platforms. Adding Linkedln to Instagram eliminates the need to post multiple times across different social media platforms and consolidates media.
If I were to be in charge of Instagram for a week, implementing these changes could be beneficial and make the app more user-friendly overall. Networking and connecting across multiple media platforms is the most beneficial way to bring traffic to an individual’s account, and to these applications. Networking is such an important part of our society, and flushing out these small issues will strengthen the name and brand of the app.
Savannah Welch is a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s media law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: If you were in charge of Instagram for one week, what changes would you make to the platform? The class covers copyright and social media. Savannah is a Media Production major.
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