If you’re a rabid Instagram user — and these days, who isn’t? — you’ve no doubt stumbled upon a pic you wish you could save for posterity. Unfortunately, Instagram’s lacked a dedicated “save” button since its inception — short of sharing a link or snapping a screenshot, the app’s lacked an easy way to save pics and loops privately. On Wednesday, though, that finally changed: the Facebook-owned app rolled out a bookmarking feature.
“When you stumble upon a funny video you want to remember, a new outfit you like, or even inspiration for an upcoming vacation, you can now keep track of favorite posts right from your profile,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Starting today, you can save posts you’d like to revisit later.”
It works exactly as you’d expect. A new bookmark button, similar to the one on Facebook, saves Instagram posts you deem worthy to an offline gallery. They’re available for perusal from new private tab in your profile, and, as you might expect, can be removed just as easily as added.
It comes on the heels of new features meant to better position the pic-sharing network against social media competitors. Earlier this year, Instagram implemented an algorithmic method of post ranking and introduced Stories, hour-by-hour video and photo slideshows that disappear after 24 hours. In November, it rolled out Snapchat-like ephemeral messaging: users can “swipe right” on the home screen to beam private, self-destructing photos and videos to friends. And it added a live-stream feature that lets users broadcast real-time video to followers.
Instagram, some pundits say, is chasing after rival Snapchat’s lucrative market. The app’s daily active users total 150 million; it’s projected to generate more than $935 million this year alone; and its parent company, Snap, Inc., has a valuation between $25 billion to $35 billion.
Instagram boasts about 500 million users and an estimated take of around $1.5 billion this year. But most of its growth is overseas — in a recent blog post, Instagram said that “more than 80 percent,” or about 400 million, of its users live outside the U.S. And on average, smartphone users now spend more time in Snapchat than Instagram. According to app analytics company App Annie, Snapchat ranks among the highest of social media apps in terms of daily engagement.
Recent research appears to corroborate those findings. In spring of this year, a survey of 6,500 U.S. teens conducted by investment bank Piper Jaffray showed that 27 percent considered Instagram their favorite social network, down from 33 percent in fall 2015. Snapchat, meanwhile, trended in the opposite direction — about 28 percent of teens said the ephemeral messaging app was their most important social network, up from just 19 percent in fall 2015.
Facebook reportedly tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013.