By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
Lord, it’s been a while since I wrote a post here… I would love to say that will change now but since I started my new role at Zula, I am constantly disappointed when the day comes to an end and I have not generated any blog content. I really hope I can learn to manage my time better so I can write more often…
Anyway… I am a big fan of Instagram. Have been for years. I was an Instagram fan before it was cool to be an Instagram fan. No, really. (Yes, that is a link to a post I wrote on a blog that is now pretty much dead but you will notice that the post is from the month Instagram launched before anyone had even heard of it…)
There is so much right about Instagram, whether it is the speed by which pictures are uploaded and distributed across your social channels, or the vibrant and active community, or the filters that can truly make any ordinary picture pop, or even the simple intuitive UI that just makes the app an overall fun experience.
Having said that, there are some things that have been confusing to me for years about the app and since the Zuck acquired Instagram, some new things that confuse me even more.
Let’s start with the most recent one, shall we?
Facebook Places over Foursquare? Really?
I get it, Mr. Zuckerberg! Knowing my exact location is of utmost importance to you. Fine. But Facebook Places? Does anyone use that? “Doesn’t matter”, you’ll say. He needs that data. Fine. Sold. Bad decision for users, but fine. But if that is the decision, then first of all, why does the app still say Foursquare when choosing a location? Furthermore, if I do select a location on Facebook Places from within Instagram, then post the picture on Facebook, why doesn’t the location show up on the post the way the Foursquare location did? Confusing and annoying. Worst of all? This was not communicated to the Instagram community in any way.
Wait, Seriously? You Can’t Tag People on Facebook from Instagram?
This one seriously has me pondering Zuck’s sanity. Until the acquisition, the fact that I could not mention someone on Instagram and tag them on Facebook the way I could on Twitter was annoying and just strange. How difficult can it be to recognize an Instagram screen name and tag the person accordingly on Facebook? Well I always answered that question by telling myself that “Zuckerberg does not care about Instagram and its users. Why should he waste time enabling this type of cross-posting?”
Well, that sorta changed when he made it very clear a billion times that he is indeed interested in Instagram and its users. So yea, that happened but guess what hasn’t changed… Awkward.
You Can Zoom in, But Can you Zoom out?
Another frustrating and downright confusing feature missing from Instagram is the ability to take a picture that does not fit in the square (when we gonna get some high res support?) and zoom out to make it fit? You know there is something wrong when there are other apps created for the sole purpose of letting users fit their pictures in Instagram. Yes, really. So, you can zoom in, time to let me zoom out too.
Editing Posts, Oh, Editing Posts…
So it seems this is somewhat of a pain point for Facebook and truth be told, the social web, in general. As an exec at Twitter told me, enabling someone to tweet something, accumulate retweets, then change the original tweet? That can be somewhat dangerous. So Twitter does not allow editing of tweets of any kind. That is fine. It makes sense.
Then there’s Facebook. You can edit a post on the web, you used to be able to edit a post on mobile, but in the latest update, at least on iOS, that option is gone. But here is where it gets tricky and just totally confusing. Go ahead, post a picture from Instagram on Facebook with a caption. Now go to that post on the web and edit the caption. Didn’t work, huh? Still shows the original, right? Now click through to the actual post on Facebook. Go to your profile and tap on the actual post. The edit shows! Now go back to the feed, no edit… Great job there, Zuck. Mind getting your act together?
Ok, those are just some examples of things the Facebook and Instagram teams should be working on like yesterday!
As for Instagram itself, there are some issues I never understood that if fixed, could make the app significantly more appealing! The interesting thing is, most of these are absolute no-brainers. No, they are worse than no brainers, they are “How the heck does this not already exist in Instagram” ers!
Zooming in on others’ Photos
Wait, what’s that? The leading photo sharing app does not support zoom? I am forced to view the photos in a small screen on a small phone without the ability to zoom? Um… At least there is an iPad app! Wait, what? There isn’t? I give up!
So a Photo-Sharing App, you Say?
How is there still no Share option on Instagram? Again, the fact that there are apps that have one purpose, to allow me to share someone’s Instagram picture, is a clear indication that something is very wrong.
I Have Said it Before and I Will Say it Again… High Res Please!
What year is it again? 2014? You mean it’s that year in which our phones take better pictures than most high-end cameras did two years back? And remind me again why the leading photo sharing app cannot take advantage of this? Anyone? Boggles the mind!
To sum up, I love Instagram, we all do. It has so many benefits for users and even for businesses. We love it at Zula! But for now, I am still browsing my Instagram feed in Flipboard where I can easily zoom in on pictures and even share them onward. Dear Kevin Systrom, please call Zuck into a face to face and address these issues asap.
A dedicated user!