Instagram restricts stories content in planned test run

In a recent announcement by Instagram (as reported by T13), the app will be looking into putting restrictions on content that can be published onto stories by users.

This sudden change comes in lieu of some feedback that Instagram claims to have received from their userbase. The social media giant claims that users react negatively to finding feed posts in their stories. For those unfamiliar, feed posts are simply posts found on one's wall, that you scroll down to explore. Apparently, encountering these posts multiple times makes for a stilted online experience, and Instagram wishes to test the waters with some solutions.

In a planned trial, Instagram proposes that sharing feed posts to one's story be completely barred. And that's about it, really. Your social media experience will remain the same, save for this ability to feature a post for 24 hours as a story. This change may not be limited to Instagram, as such an announcement comes from its parent UK company, Facebook. This could mean that such a change could be seen on the Facebook app as well as Insta. The practical applications of such a feature are yet to be tested, since no official date and time have yet been announced for the trial period.

Of course, as is the case with almost every other online conglomerate, gauging reactions from genes audience members is always a mixed bag. However, early Twitter threads do highlight some muted amount of dissent, as people delve into why such a decision is happening. From anywhere to agreeing with Instagram's reason for the testing, to speculation about Facebook wanting to avoid copy strikes on most of their content, there are some strong opinions about the matter being passed around.

This author, while understanding how repetition can bog down a usually pleasant online experience, believes that the removal of feed sharing to stories poses it's own set of issues. Sharing from feed to stories is a quick way of highlighting important events that need to be broadcast to a larger audience, be it collecting donations or a cover song on the guitar. Such restrictions also take the element of choice away from users, which is always a mildly alarming thought to consider. Social media is ultimately a form of self-expression, and such information control can be viewed as a way of censorship.

Whatever the reasons, the trial period will run its course. There are no available dates for when this will start, so everyone still has plenty of time to spend with Instagram's current layout. Fingers crossed that the end result will prove to be an upgrade for the application, and not the source of online derision and ridicule. 

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