Instagram, the popular photo and video-sharing media service owned by Facebook, is testing 2 new features. Jane Manchun Wong broke the news in a tweet, stating that Instagram is testing another profile layout and an unnamed layout to replace the loading spinner in Explore.
One user enquiringly described the unnamed layout to be ‘Skeleton loading animation?’. Another user tweeted disapprovingly of the layout design. Evidently, Wong, whose Twitter bio mentions her as ‘Not Facebook/Instagram Employee’ but an Instagrammer who uncovers ‘unreleased features, security vulnerabilities and codes for fun’, has created a buzz with the information relayed by her but there is no positive response to her tweet yet.
The Instagram profile layout is crucial to draw more and more netizens to sign up and be a part of it. Moreover, an appropriate profile layout makes the media-sharing process seamless, faster, easier, more convenient and engaging on the whole. The alignment and arrangement of photos and videos shared by the Instagrammers depend on the orientation of the profile layout, which in turn impacts the number of visitors to an individual Instagrammer’s profile and the potential followers he/she can attract.
So, frequent testing on new layouts (while itself appreciable for the innovative intent) might not go down too well with the users who have got the hang of the current layout as they have been carrying out their profile building and media sharing activities accordingly since long. And, a new layout means having to break the mold and get into a totally new layout all over again which might not be preferable for them with frequent tests on new layouts for the main run.
After being officially unveiled in 2010, Instagram has made waves around the world, resonating with the tech-savvy global youth especially, with 1 million registered users in 2 months, 10 million in a year, and 1 billion as of May 2019. As the huge numbers indicate, Instagram has not just been a media-sharing service, but a social media phenomenon since its launch. As of October 2015, over 40 billion photos had been uploaded to the service.
While the massive popular impact has been praised, Instagram has also received criticism, most prominently for policy and interface changes, allegations of censorship, and illegal or improper content put up by users. Given that interface changes have been one of the controversial factors, testing for potential profile layout changes has to be done very cautiously and not very frequently, keeping with popular approval.
As for the testing on the profile layout, it is up to the user base to accept it in the stable system. Instagram has always been where we share slices from our life, and to that end, it will continue to be what it has been all along, unstoppable.