If there was a list of ten commandments of social media, sharing would be high up on the list.
Which makes it hard to fathom why Instagram has always made it so hard for its users to share content.
Like a photo? Want to share it with your friends? Go ahead… so long as you download a third-party app first, or go through a fiddly process of asking for permission, screen-shotting it and then uploading it as a brand new post.
But there’s a strong rumour that Instagram is finally looking to address this long-standing omission. According to The Next Web, a ‘regram’ button is currently in testing.
Your view on the significance of this potential update will depend on what method you currently use to share content on Instagram – and how often you do it.
But here’s what it could mean…
No more third-party apps
Anyone fed-up with having to take a screenshot of a photo in order to share it had the option of using a third-party tool. Apps such as Regram and Repost take some of the pain out of what can be an arduous task, but they’re yet another app you need to fire up when you’ve probably got enough of them as it is.
Not only that, but you need to give up your Instagram credentials to use these apps, which means increasing the prospect of your account being compromised. As well as that, using a third-party app naturally means the end result doesn’t look quite as aesthetically pleasing as it could.
The makers of these apps will have anxiously greeted news of the rumoured ‘regram’ button – its existence could be a serious challenge to their usefulness. For the rest of us, on the other hand, it’ll be nice to have one less app to open.
A end to permission
Users of Twitter and Facebook routinely share posts and tweets to their heart’s content, without giving a single thought to whether they have permission or not. But Instagram’s own terms and conditions state that users are responsible for the content they share, meaning brands in particular must be careful to make sure all the legal boxes are checked before they regram something.
Part of the current sharing process involves the necessity to obtain permission of the original poster before sharing their content. This is yet another irritating kink in the sharing hosepipe, that can turn into a major inconvenience if you want to share something quickly but have to wait for somebody in a different time zone to wake up.
Instagram hasn’t yet said either way, but a regram button will presumably remove the necessity to request permission – to the delight of social media marketers everywhere.
The spread of viral content
The sharing obstacles we’ve talked about makes it difficult for content to go viral on Instagram – certainly compared to other platforms such as Facebook anyway.
The introduction of a regram button will make it much more likely that an engaging post will spread across the platform. If you were to regram something, it’ll show up on your friends’ timelines. If they share it, then their friends will see it and, boom, a viral post is born.
This will be a major plus for brands, who should see their most popular posts becoming even more so.
It’s already big news and is set to be one of the significant social media trends of 2018: UGC is something that brands are increasingly turning to. Influencer marketing might be where the big gains can be made, but UGC is free and much more authentic.
The addition of a regram button will enable brands to share fan content much more easily.
A new marketing tactic
‘To be in with a chance of winning, simply hit the regram button’…
Instagram might outlaw regram-chasing tactics like that, but even if they do, attractive competitions will always encourage people to spread the word. The easier it is to share, the more likely they are to do exactly that.