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Instagram wants more ‘original’ content on its platform

More features, more original content? It seems Instagram is banking on the former to facilitate more of the latter.

On Wednesday, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, announced via a tweeted video three of the photo-sharing app’s latest features. In the video (and its tweet), Mosseri explains that these three features — product tags, enhanced people tags, and adjusting rankings for originality — are part of an effort to support creators and ensure they “get all the credit they deserve.”

📣 New Features 📣

We’ve added new ways to tag and improved ranking:

– Product Tags
– Enhanced Tags
– Ranking for originality

Creators are so important to the future of Instagram, and we want to make sure that they are successful and get all the credit they deserve.

— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) April 20, 2022

The expansion of the product tags feature was officially launched on April 18, and allows all public accounts to tag products in their photos. In the video, Mosseri said the newly expanded product tags feature lets users “drive some traffic or attention to a business or a creator or a company that you love, that you’re interested in.” Product tags are still only available for photo posts at this time.

The second feature Mosseri discussed was enhanced people tags, which is essentially an option in which users can identify themselves as a category (like “photographer” or “stylist”) and have that category appear as part of their tags in photos and videos, alongside their usernames.

The third feature mentioned in the video, and probably the most important, is what Mosseri’s tweet referred to as “ranking for originality.” Essentially, it’s Instagram adjusting its rankings to value original content more than reposted content. Whether or not this is good news or bad news depends on which kind of content you post. If you primarily aggregate content and repost other creators’ content, it means you’ll likely garner less attention on Instagram for your posts. If you produce original content, this is likely a boon for your work if Instagram’s newly adjusted rankings really do consider original content as more valuable.

Either way, if Instagram wants more original content (and less reposts of content from competitor platforms), then of the three changes Mosseri announced, this last one will probably be the most effective way to get there. But it’ll have to get the rankings right, which means correctly defining and identifying what “original content” is. In a response to a Twitter user’s question regarding that, Mosseri offered a simple definition of originality, but also admitted that identifying it may prove difficult:

“The idea is if you made it, it’s original. It’s OK if you edited it outside of Instagram and then bring it in via the gallery. Identifying ‘originality’ is hard though, so we will iterate over time.”

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