Skip to main content

Instagram is testing a native resharing feature for the feed

Instagram is testing a native resharing feature for the feed


Will it revive the feed — or break it?

Share this story

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

After years of resistance, Instagram appears to be testing a way for you to reshare posts from other accounts to your own feed. The feature, which company executives have long resisted for fear it would corrupt the personal nature of the app, could bring new life to the main feed at a time when it is becoming rapidly eclipsed by ephemeral stories. But if resharing is rolled out to the entire user base, it could also invite in fake news, influence campaigns, and other negative consequences that Instagram parent Facebook has been working to address since the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election.

Instagram initially had no comment. After this story was published, the company said it was not building or testing a re-sharing feature. This story is based on screenshots viewed by The Verge and an interview with a source familiar with its development.

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. In its current form, posts can be reshared at least twice — in which case, the trail of both users who shared it previously appear in a stack above the post.

The Verge obtained two screenshots of reshared posts. Notably, one is a business account offering merchandise for sale. It seems possible that Instagram might limit the ability to reshare posts to businesses, which would be less likely to post misinformation and other unwanted content into the feed. Instagram also has a history of introducing some features, including scheduled posting or multiple uploads, to businesses first.

Instagram has a history of introducing features to business accounts first

It could not be learned when resharing might launch. In its current form, Instagram resharing looks extremely rough — more like a hack week project than the polished designs for which Instagram is typically known. That suggests resharing is still early in its development. As with all such exploratory projects, it could be killed before it’s ever released.

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resisted so-called “regramming” features for years. But it has been an ongoing debate, Systrom told Wired last year:

We debate the re-share thing a lot. Because obviously people love the idea of re-sharing content that they find. Instagram is full of awesome stuff. In fact, one of the main ways people communicate over Instagram Direct now is actually they share content that they find on Instagram. So that’s been a debate over and over again. But really that decision is about keeping your feed focused on the people you know rather than the people you know finding other stuff for you to see. And I think that is more of a testament of our focus on authenticity and on the connections you actually have than about anything else.

Instagram eased its ban on resharing this year when it began allowing users to reshare public Stories in which their accounts are mentioned to their own Stories. By limiting you to resharing posts in which you are mentioned, Instagram reduced the likelihood that the feature would change the intimate feel of the stories feed into something more Twitter-like. At the same time, it opened the door for a less restrictive resharing feature in the meantime.

Meanwhile, third-party apps that enable resharing of photos and videos have thrived. The iOS App Store has dozens of free and paid apps that will repost photos and videos to your accounts, typically by having you copy a link from Instagram and pasting it into their apps.

If Instagram rolls out “share to feed” broadly, we might be about to see that entire class of apps disappear.

Update, 9/21: This story has been updated to include comment from Instagram.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 20 minutes ago Not just you

Thomas Ricker20 minutes ago
Table breaks before Apple Watch Ultra’s sapphire glass.

”It’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Apple at the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra (read The Verge review here). YouTuber TechRax put that claim to the test with a series of drop, scratch, and hammer tests. Takeaways: the titanium case will scratch with enough abuse, and that flat sapphire front crystal is tough — tougher than the table which cracks before the Ultra fails — but not indestructible.

Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.

Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.

External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.

Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.