Not all of your Instagram pics are winners, and Instagram knows it. So the company has started testing a feature that lets you hide your published photos, keeping them tucked away in a private section of your profile that only you can view. Photos can later be unhidden and returned to their proper place in your profile, too.
Instagram refers to the new feature as your “Archive,” and the ability to “archive” photos is starting to appear in the “...” menu where you could previously go to edit, share, and delete photos.
Your embarrassing photos can be restored if you have a change of heart
In fact, “archive” shows up as the first option in that menu, and not because it’s first alphabetically: the archive option doubles as a way to keep people from deleting their photos. You’re still able to fully delete a picture if you want to. But with the archive, you have the option of hanging on to slightly embarrassing pictures that you may still want to see again.
Instagram users are able to browse photos in their archive just like any other part of their profile. From inside the archive, photos can also be restored to your profile page so that everyone’s able to see them again. It’s a minor feature, but it seems like it could be helpful here and there.
The archive option appears to have begun rolling out at least a couple days ago. And while several of us at The Verge have access, Instagram tells us the feature remains an “early test” and that availability will expand in the “coming months.” That makes it sound like this feature will eventually roll out to everyone, but Instagram seems to be leaving the door open for giving up on the feature.
When you get access, the archive will show up in the top right corner of your profile page in the app. A little pop-up will appear to highlight the new addition.
Update May 23rd, 10:40AM ET: Instagram tells us the archive feature is just a test for now and is not rolling out to all users, as we previously speculated.