Has Instagram's template feature become a tool for collective expression? Here's what users think!

Piyush Singh
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Template feature

Are we yet to explore the untapped potential of Instagram's template feature? Hear from content creators on how it can help reshape social interaction and expression.

You've probably heard about Instagram's template feature by now which allows numerous people to share similar kinds of stories. Personally speaking, it has become a customary part of my feed with at least one person using it. Recently, we saw people share a template, “My Best Day” and it didn't take long for it to become a whole new trend; this template resembled Netflix’s homepage. Started by a user named Yajan, this allowed participants to place an image or video of themselves having their best day into a template that looks like a Netflix series lineup.

Netflix trend

What’s interesting is this feature that was launched a few months back is now a viral trend among the users. The feature thrives on how it makes Instagram users share moments they might not otherwise think to post. From sharing their favorite sky pictures to nostalgic memories, it has become a reason for them to check their picture galleries from time to time. This not only adds a fun and interactive element to their stories but also creates a sense of community. 

Template feature

Last month, a story template titled "All Eyes on Rafah" was being widely shared on Instagram. Millions of people united in sharing this template, aiming to draw global attention to the plight of Palestinian citizens. In this way, the template feature provided a platform for people to express themselves collectively. It turned into a movement where millions could share their support and spread awareness with just a few clicks. This collective action grabbed the attention the movement aimed for. This made us wonder if features like these can become a catalyst for collective expression. 

We spoke with several content creators about their thoughts on the potential of this feature. Apart from seeing it as just a way to engage followers, creators have also accepted it as a tool for collective expression and sparking meaningful interactions.

Also Read: 6 legal policies and rules that you should know about social media

Here's what these creators had to say!

User experience and appeal!

We wanted to know what was driving people to use this feature in the first place. Ayesha Sanghi mentioned how it enables multiple people to share similar stories or content formats. "It's a powerful tool for joining in on trends and collective expressions within the community." Ayesha highlights the accessibility of the Template feature, which encourages widespread participation among users. The simplified process of joining the trends is adding to the features popularity.

From a content creators point of view, Himanchal Gupta talks about the impact of the feature on engagement. "When multiple users share similar stories, it's incredibly powerful. Templates drive much higher engagement too, often tripling compared to regular stories." Himanchal's observation brings our attention to the feature's ability to amplify content reach and user interaction significantly. 

Community building and connection:

The crux of our whole conversation was to understand why the feature has so much potential for supporting collective expression. Susmitha Siddi believes that the 'Add Yours' template fosters a sense of community and collective expression. "Suppose you started a trend that resonates well with the audience and they start engaging with it. This communal engagement encourages users to share personal stories and perspectives, reinforcing bonds and creating spaces for mutual support and understanding." Siddi also elaborates on the feature's effectiveness in generating viral trends. "This feature stands out for creating viral trends because it makes it easy for many users to come together. This collective participation not only boosts visibility but also encourages more users to join in."

The same simplicity of the feature can also be useful for brands who want to engage better with their audiences. "Brands can easily join viral trends, boosting their visibility. It's a fun and interactive way to connect with followers and keep them engaged." Netflix's template that became a trend can be a great example of it. Susmitha identifies the Template feature's dual role in marketing—enhancing brand visibility while also strengthening your bond with your audience. 

What's in it for content creators? 

Rena Goswami highlights how content creators too can use the popular feature to their benefit. "The feature on Instagram is useful for creators. It lets them kick off challenges, connect with followers, and showcase their creativity. This creates a win-win situation for all parties involved." The most appealing thing about the feature is that the person who is taking part in a trend or even creating a trend doesn't have to build things from scratch, and in this way it makes it easier for people to come together for similar interests. 

But every coin has two sides. Community engagement facilitated by this feature, while generally considered positive, can also have negative implications. The ease of participation and sharing within communities can sometimes amplify harmful messages or fuel contentious debates. In instances where misinformation spreads rapidly or divisive viewpoints gain attention easily, the feature can inadvertently contribute to polarization and online toxicity as well. 

What do you think about this feature? Share with us in the comments below! 

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