Sunday, 8 March 2015

Open letter to Instagram

"Hey Instagram,

You're a great friend.  I check in a few times a day and see what my friends are doing, see what people I have never met are eating for lunch in Paris, what outfit someone my height is trying on in America, what new items are arriving in my favourite stores, what cute poses or daft things several cats (and dogs) are doing....  I can even see fashion catwalks seconds after they happen.

I also post my own things... when I remember.  It's a great community and one I love being apart of.  Not too many adverts, some really supportive people (lets just side-step the troll issue that most forms of social media get nowadays).

However, there is one thing that I really feel you have room to improve.  You make the mistake of assuming that all of us only have 1 instagram account and only need access to post pictures to 1 account.  I know you have had trouble with spammers and inactive accounts, and removed a lots recently, so I understand that you might be quite apprehensive.  I just want to reassure you that 'it's ok'!  People might need access to more that 1 account for totally legitimate reasons.  The PR worker who manages several accounts, the business owner who wants to keep their personal life separate from their work life (and work streams), the blogger who might need access to a couple of accounts (maybe one for pet photos).....

If you only have one account then you wont feel my pain.  However if you have ever tried to use two accounts then I'm sure you can identify with my frustration!
Some of my captures.  Swatches, makeup, rainbows.. standard. (link)

While you don't ban us from having access to several accounts, you don't make it easy if we want to actually utilise several accounts.  Sign out from account 1, sign in to account 2, scroll, sign out account 2, sign in account 1... it's such a time waster and puts a lot of people off using the service just because of the time lost and the general awkwardness.

Take a look at Twitter.  They get a gold star.  They allow mobile users to log in to several accounts and easily swap between them with the tap of a button- non of this log out, sign in repeatedly rubbish!

I am sure you, being technological wizards, have the capacity to do this.  Even if you dont, then someone else can..... only you haven't released the API details, so no-one else can even attempt it.  There are apps which allow you to view multiple accounts, but none which allow a user to toggle between them AND upload/post to all of them.

It's such a shame, because you have a monopoly but you just aren't making the best use of it.  I hope that one day, you'll sort your issues out and create a better app- or resolve your trust issues and release the API.  At the moment it's sort of like you're the owner of a big park where you'll only let people visit on their own because of the size of the footpaths only takes single file.  You could improve the experience for everyone, but you'll need to spend a few pounds widening the footpath so people could visit and groups and socialise easier.

I'm hoping one day you'll make the experience a little easier for those of us who need to access, and post to, 2 or 3 accounts.  Then we can be total friends, not just acquaintances.  Best buds.  Chums. Insta-mates.  I'd like that a lot.

If you have the same problem/wish then add your support below and maybe instagram will consider revising the app!  Maybe someone has an alternative solution.  I tweeted about this the other week and it seems a lot of people have the same problem.  Fingers crossed 2015 will be the year instagram changes!

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