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Over the past few months, we’ve seen Instagram copy features from some of its competitors. Primarily, that’s been Snapchat. Today, Instagram seems to be taking a page from another photo-centric social media success, though: Pinterest.
Instagram gave users the ability to save posts in December. (To do this, you tap the bookmark icon in the lower right underneath a photo in your feed.) This week, Instagram takes that capability one step further. The app is rolling out Private Collections, a new way to organize saved posts.
Now, you can tap and hold the bookmark icon to save a post to a specific, private collection in your profile. You can create a new collection as you do this, or save a post to one you’ve already created. You can also retroactively organize the posts you’ve already saved into collections. To do this, head to your profile, then tap the bookmark icon. Then, tap the plus sign in the upper righthand corner of this page. Name your new collection, then add the saved posts you’d like to store inside there.
Private Collections is interesting because it signals a fundamental shift in how people are using (or will use) Instagram. In the past, Instagram was just for browsing, liking, and commenting on pretty pictures. Today, however, a growing number of brands use the platform to show off new products. Celebrities and influencers use the app to promote fashion and style ideas. And with the ability to include multiple photos in a single post, you can now show step-by-step guides for a finishing a craft, cooking a meal, or creating a look. Instagram isn’t just being used for admiration, it’s being used to share ideas and information. And with that shift comes a need to store that information in an organized way.
Of course, other apps such as Pinterest and Evernote have let you do this sort of thing for a long time. However, as we’ve seen with the success of Instagram Stories, the fact that Instagram has added this capability could be dangerous to those other apps.
Considering 46% of Instagrammers have already saved at least one post since December, that could very well be the case.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.