As soon as Instagram noticed that its users’ Stories and feed tray have gone stale or follower counts have stopped rising and we are drifting away from Instagram, it rolled out two new features to keep us connected and entertained.
Recently Instagram globally launched its Nametags feature resembling (or copied shamelessly) QR Snapcode on Android and iOS. Although technically they are not QR codes, they are scanned like QR codes to allow you to follow people you meet offline.
You can access these customizable codes from the three-lined hamburger menu on your profile. These codes can be scanned when other users tap and hold on your code through the InstaStories cam or Scan Nametag button on your own Nametag to instantly follow you. Emojis, AR embossed selfies or colors can be added to your Instagram Nametag so that you can show it off to help people discover and follow you. You can promote it by posting on social media or sharing it through Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS and more. (Believe me, my WhatsApp is full of these Nametag promotions!)
Actually, it is quite surprising that Instagram took this long to copy Snapchat’s Snapcodes that rolled out in 2015, which were later extended to unlock AR filters and open websites. These QR codes make a lot of sense on Instagram as it gets tougher to share these links on the app as people have started relying increasingly on Instagram to promote their businesses and commerce.
The second news is that Instagram has started to test school communities in different universities across the U.S. The app allows you to join your university’s network to mention your educational details and the sorority/fraternity you belong to. Your name will crop up in a directory mentioning from your school that you can further use to message or follow people; however, those DMs may appear in their pending inbox.
We can harken back the school communities feature to Facebook’s origins when the users had the liberty to set their privacy to display their content to everyone in their school. However, here users cannot instantaneously show your private Instagram to everyone from your school.
Instagram banks on information users have publicly revealed regarding their school and the people they followed to validate if they were genuinely aa recent alumni or student of a university. Instead of keenly signing up, users will receive a notification encouraging them to join the network.
To curb the misuse of the school communities feature, the company provides a tool for alerting in case any users employing it as a stalking tool. You can find a surfeit of three dots next to each user’s name by which people can report accounts they think that is unfit in a certain community.
The recent launch is the first launch under the leadership of Adam Mosseri, the new leader of Instagram after the company’s founder resigned. Critics are closely observing if the former member of Mark Zuckerberg’s inner circle and Facebook VP of News Feed will strive harder to promote monetization and growth for Instagram.