Even though it’s mainly known as a photo -- and more recently, video -- sharing site, Instagram has been making a few changes to improve its functionality, with the most recent update being that posts can now be embedded.
More Social, More Integrated
While Instagram has become a popular content sharing tool, it was limited in what it could do. Originally, all a user could was just take a photo, edit it and share it on their Instagram account or through another social media site, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Now, users have the ability to embed Instagram posts in other places, such as on websites, within articles or blogs without having to redirect visitors to their Instagram account. The embed code is available by clicking the share button near the comments section and then copy and paste the code into the webpage, blog or article before it's published.
To protect copyright concerns, Instagram has added a feature where embedded posts automatically credit the original creator. The announcement also says that if an Instagram account is private, content cannot be embedded.
A Media Tool
Since Vine’s launch earlier this year it has often be positioned as a competitor to Instagram through its relationship with Twitter.
But Instagram isn't being pushed aside; it's moving away from photo sharing only and has been adding features in an attempt to keep users or lure new ones to the service. Along with the embed feature it has also added a way for users to create short, 15 second videos and tag friends in photos.
It's tempting to think about Facebook (and Instagram), Twitter and other services as engaged purely in a battle for users,” wrote Stuart Dredge, “But they're also engaged in a battle for media of various kinds, positioning themselves as a source for social content, but a source that maintains control over how that content is presented.”
This update will be good for any kind of user -- from advertisers who need to post photos to their website for marketing purposes to the everyday user trying to share a video on their blog. Some reports are noting that this update also stands to benefit journalists and media professionals.
The new feature is especially useful for news organizations that have already been embedding tweets and Vines but have had no way to share Instagram photos and videos of breaking events,” wrote Caitlin McGarry.
While the features that both Vine and Instagram have are similar, it remains to be seen which platform will become the tool of choice in the coming months.