Posting to Multiple Accounts in Instagram
Anyone who is in the position of having to manage multiple Instagram accounts will be very happy to hear that the social media platform is already in the process of rolling out this new feature, beginning with iOS users. In effect, what this means is that users will now have the ability to post a single update across multiple profiles simultaneously, if they choose to do so.
Beta testing of the new functionality
This new feature has been in test mode since back in December and having passed all the tests with flying colors, Instagram is now rolling it out on a limited basis to the first wave of users. Undoubtedly, this new feature will be extremely welcome to the social media managers for companies which must maintain several Instagram accounts.
In a sense, this new capability runs contrary to the original philosophy espoused by Instagram, and which it was founded upon. It will definitely make things easier for social media managers, and it will definitely increase the total volume of content on the platform, but the downside of that is that much of that content will be duplicated across multiple accounts, and is therefore simply repetitive content.
How it works
From within the Composer screen, users will now have the ability to publish feed posts to multiple accounts which they control, all at the same time, by toggling them on the Composer screen. When a user selects a video, a photo, or text file to post, the Instagram for iOS Composer screen will now include toggle switches for pushing that post out to any other accounts which you happen to be logged into. While Instagram has not made any announcements about the subject, it is assumed that this feature will eventually be rolled out to Android users as well, and will probably also be included in Stories.
While this will certainly make it easier for users to post various kinds of content to multiple accounts much more quickly, the simplicity which is gained is counteracted by originality which is lost. Without the ability to post the same content to multiple accounts, users would have to manually load different content to all those accounts, which would have the effect of keeping content much more original. While Instagram is well aware of the reduction of originality, an Instagram spokesman has confirmed that the option will be made available to all iOS users, in an attempt to provide a better experience for those individuals who frequently are required to post to multiple accounts.
It is expected that the primary beneficiaries of this new functionality will be social media marketing managers and influencers who are popular on the social media, and who routinely must publish the same promotional image or other types of content across profiles, rather than making these posts individually.
It may also make Instagram’s feed a little bit more alike because several different audiences across different accounts will all be seeing the same photos, the same captions, the same videos, and the same text. Previously, Instagram has steadfastly endeavored to maintain originality and personality in all posts, especially when it comes to sharing other people’s feeds with your personal audience, so this capability would seem to represent a departure from that philosophy.
Who should use this new feature
Industry experts caution users about making extensive use of this multiple update capability, regardless of its ease-of-use. They point out that a one-size-fits-all kind of post might in fact actually end up being a ‘one size fits none’ post. They recommend using this feature only when the different accounts you’re posting to have similar themes and similar customer bases or fan bases.
Someone with a personal account would probably want to publish content which has a more informal and intimate style, whereas a business account would be more inclined to post content which is generally accessible and which includes a call to action to users. A fake Instagram account, or Finsta, would probably want to remain on the sidelines and post its own raw content, just so they can get a little crazy with whatever they want to do.
User reaction to the new capability
While user reaction has necessarily been limited to those individuals accessing the platform via iOS, there has still been significant reaction noted by Instagram. Is it really an enhancement to the user experience, or for the audience of those profiles which are being managed? The answer to this question, of course, will come down to individual perspective, as well as to the many different groups who are following a person who uses the capability.
On the surface, being able to update multiple accounts with a single post can be a tremendous boon to business personnel who are trying to promote products or sales events across various accounts for their brand. It could also be extremely valuable for raising awareness of a specific cause or a hot topic across a number of profiles.
Some really creative users will undoubtedly find ways to utilize this new functionality in ways that provide other marked benefits for themselves. However, it does seem like the most common usage for the multiple update capability will be to reduce the total time spent in posting content to multiple accounts. That of course, will result in the same content being shared out by multiple different accounts.
The way forward
The content which gets posted across multiple accounts is not limited to text, but can also include images or video content, and in that same vein, Instagram is now also working on a new procedure which will make it easier to share Google Photos to Instagram, so that saved images can be re-purposed and can provide greater value. While it was previously possible to transfer Google Photos to Instagram (because Android provides native support for this process), the new feature will be a Choose From Photos capability, which is new to the Instagram app itself, and which launches Google Photo Chooser. It remains to be seen which direction Instagram will take in the coming months, down the path of originality, or down the path of greater ease for its business users.