Instagram Is Working On A New Profile Layout, An Instagram Stories Countdown Sticker & The Ability To Share A Instagram Story As A Link

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

This past week has been a busy one for Instagram as a number of new features were either launched or rolled out in testing. These features include a new ad type called Promote For Stories, Shazam integration with Instagram, and the option to share IGTV content in Instagram Stories.

Apparently, the photo/video sharing app doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse code hacker, recently spotted three potential updates that could be coming to the platform in the near future.

New Profile Layout:

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

The new profile layout is a slight change from the current one. It features the same basic information about a user- their handle, name, profile photo, bio, number of people they follow, and the number of people that follow them. However, the location of the information has been rearranged a bit.

The placement of the profile photo has moved from the left to right with the bio section being parallel to it and information regarding how many people a user is following and how many people are following them is underneath the user’s link of choice. Additionally, the text size for following/followers is smaller.

Most people will see the new profile layout as something that is simply a refresh of the profile layout, but I think it goes beyond that and provides a bit of insight on what Instagram wants the user experience to be. From the rearrangement of sections, it looks like Instagram wants users to shift their attention onto some particular sections of a user’s profile more than others.

When you go to a user’s profile right now, the first things that you typically notice are their profile photo, their number of posts, the number of people that are following them, and how many people they are following. However, this new profile layout deprioritizes a user’s followers/following numbers and encourages you to look at the user’s bio. It’s also interesting how the profile picture has been moved to the right, which is the opposite of where profile pictures are on most platforms, especially social media.

Instagram Stories Countdown Sticker:

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

Instagram is currently working on a Countdown Sticker that users can share in their Instagram Stories. Per the screenshots, users will have the ability to name their countdown, set an end date/or time or make it "All Day."

Facebook, Instagram's parent company, is going all in on the Stories content format. In a Q3 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Stories would be the future of Facebook and Instagram. With that in mind, it makes sense Facebook continues to work on, test and eventually roll out new Stories features especially ones that encourage users to churn out even more Stories than they had before. The Countdown Sticker feature falls in line with that. Like previous Sticker features such as Questions and Polls, it gives users another way to spice up their Stories and keep their viewers engaged. I can see the Countdown Sticker being utilized by users that are on the verge of making an announcement. For a example, an influencer could use it to let their followers know when their next blog post is coming out or a brand could create anticipation about a new product release. It could also be used as the countdown for wedding or the arrival of a new baby.

The Ability To Share A Instagram Story As A Link:

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

Screenshot: Jane Manchun Wong

Continuing the focus on Instagram Stories, Instagram is also working on giving users the ability to share their Instagram Story outside of the Instagram app. From the provided screenshots, users will have the option to "Share" or "Copy Link" to a particular Story. If it’s anything like the sharing functions for a standard Instagram post, users probably will be able to use the "Share" button to share their Story to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr while the "Copy Link" allows them to copy the actual URL of the Story and share to wherever they would like. There is also a “Report” option that lets users report any Story that they deem inappropriate.

Out of the three updates, this is likely the one that most people will be excited for. Being able to share a Story to another social media platform or even a website is great. Since people are not only consuming but creating more Stories content, it’s a no brainer to let users be able to watch and share them outside of the Instagram app. Instagram is also probably excited for this to be released as it falls exactly in line with their shifted focus to Stories. Despite the popularity of the content format, it is having trouble convincing advertisers the value of Story advertising and this may help with that. Giving users the ability to share a Story as a link will likely result in two things. First, users (especially content creators) will embrace the ability to share Stories to other platforms due to the potential of a bigger audience so chances are they will create even more Stories. Second, since Stories can be shared to other platforms, there likely will be an increase in viewership.

While it’s not a guarantee that these will be rolled out, it’s more than likely. Besides Wong’s tendency to be accurate when it comes to discovering new features and things that social media platforms are working on, the launching of these features make a lot of sense when taking into consideration the fact that Stories are a focal point of Instagram as a whole.