Instagram seems to be working on several different experiments aimed at increasing in-app interaction and increasing the popularity of NFT, or digital products, in-stream.
First, Instagram is experimenting with a new Stories option called “Instagram Fan Club Stories,” which will allow users to post exclusive Stories content that only members of a fan club or approved group can view.
As seen in this example shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram Fan Club Stories will only be viewable by group members, and users will not be able to take screenshots of these exclusive Stories posts.
This will add another option to the current features of Instagram Stories. Currently, you can set your entire profile to “Private” so only your followers can see your Stories, or create a “Close Friends” list for more intimate Stories sharing, as opposed to public sharing. This new option will add another category, seemingly in line with Instagram’s broader desire to add more tools for creators to monetize their efforts on the platform, with paying members likely to be added to a fan club list where you can share exclusive content,
We don’t have much information at this stage, but given Paluzzi’s previous discoveries, we’ll probably get more from Instagram in the next month or so.
In addition to this, Paluzzi also discovered a new ‘Collectibles’ option in testing.
As noted, this option appears to be related to the current NFT craze, and will apparently allow Instagram users to bid on digital items in-stream.
ℹ️ Posts with collectibles will have the "Collectible" label. pic.twitter.com/imbwGmtx1a
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) June 21, 2021
Again, we don’t have a lot of data at this stage, so this is mostly speculation, but it appears to be a new way to encourage digital art purchases by making it easier to showcase them on Instagram, with the Collectibles tag added to Stories when posted.
This could encourage new forms of in-app customer engagement and behavior, and, again, help digital art creators make more money from their work by allowing them to showcase such auctions to a billion-plus Instagram users.
In that context, it makes sense, and as the platform seeks to encourage more in-app buying behavior, it could be another way to encourage people to spend money and share digital artwork in flux.
We’ve asked Instagram for more information on both options and will update this post if/when we get a response.