There has always been one feature conspicuously absent from Instagram compared to other social networks: Re-sharing.
Twitter lets users retweet other people’s tweets onto their profile, while Facebook users can share posts from other users and pages, but Instagram has never added similar functionality.
But that might be about to change: Instagram is now testing a way for you to reshare posts from other accounts to your own feed, a feature which company executives have long resisted for fear it would corrupt the personal nature of the app.
The feature, known internally as “seamless sharing,” introduces a new “share to feed” option into the “…” menu that appears in the top-right corner of every post in the feed. Reshared posts appear in the feed underneath the username and photo of the user who shared it.
It’s not clear how Instagram is experimenting with the feature, or when it will actually launch more broadly — if at all. Tech companies sometimes test out features and tweaks that they don’t ultimately implement.
But if ultimately incorporated, the change could have a radical impact on Instagram’s feed — opening the door to strangers’ material appearing is users feed unexpectedly, and boosting the reach of popular and viral accounts. As The Verge notes, it could also aid the spread of fake news, a persistent problem for Facebook.
However, this is something that Instagram users have wanted for a long time, often turning to unauthorized third-party apps to make it work. In that light, it could well be a popular move.