Instagram, the social media giant that lets its users upload photos and videos, is used by millions of people every day. Over time it has gained major popularity with major popular celebrity constantly using the app and promoting their products. But celebrities aren’t the only ones use the app, every day many kids make their profile for the first time and start connecting with their friends. And that is why Instagram is testing a new feature aimed towards teenagers.
Instagram is testing a new feature that adds users in a group based on their colleges. The users must be enrolled in an university to use the service as intended, meaning no room for Alumni’s. With this, they can join a virtual community and interact with other people from the same college. Right now users can receive invite, upon which they fill out their university info and graduation year. From there, they’ll be connected with many other students with matching information.
This certainly seems like a smart move on the company’s part. It will be one of the first social media sites with a separate segment meant for college students. It can be beneficial for the students and bring in new users who haven’t considered using it before. It may increase interactivity and usage rate amongst users, specially since majority of the user demographics are teenagers. It will allow kids to network and build connections with new people in their area. However there isn’t a strong security system that prevents from random people who aren’t enrolled in a college to join the groups. Which means, anyone can falsely join the groups and spread fake messages. Not only that, there is no data yet that shows the students are interested in interacting with people in the college groups, which means this new addition could be a dud on arrival. There are many factors that can play into both the success and demise of this new feature. Moderation will be a key to make sure content is flowing through the groups and conversations don’t become stale.
Instagram is definitely taking the right approach as teens are slowly phasing out Facebook. Right now the feature is awaiting an official release date, till then the company will continue to work out the kinks and make sure it’s ready to use properly by launch.