The code was found buried within the Android version of Instagram and shows a prototype option to create public Collections to which multiple people can submit contributions. Instagram launched Collections two years ago to let users save posts and sort them into various categories. A "public" version of these Collections would effectively make Instagram a direct competitor to Pinterest.
Instagram Public Collections
Imagination dictates a feature like this could give users more ways to curate content. For instance, they could use Public Collections to bundle their favorite travel photos, artistic works, and even food.
The option was discovered by researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who was then able to create a screenshot of the prototype just using the hidden code even though the picture isn't available to the public yet. There's no "Public Collections" feature per se — just a toggle to make a private collection visible to the public, plus the ability to tag contributors who can add to the Collection.
Instagram isn't "testing this" feature, as TechCrunch reports, but the publication notes that this is the company's standard response when pressed about products not currently available to users but nonetheless buried underneath the app's code or are in development internally.
When Will Instagram Roll Out Public Collections?
It might take a while before Instagram actually implements Public Collections. There's also a chance it scraps the option entirely. A feature such as this one, in any case, seems like it could be useful, especially since it gives users the ability to curate and sort their content as they see fit.
Also, this isn't unprecedented. Facebook launched a Pinterest-style feature called "Sets" in 2017, which allowed users to share bundled posts to friends, and shareable Collections this past December, which worked in a similar fashion.
Whether or not Instagram goes through with the feature remains uncertain, but Pinterest has to hope it doesn't. Pinterest is reportedly preparing the initial stages to go public, and Instagram moving toward becoming a more similar service is nothing but a recipe for disaster as far as Pinterest is concerned. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we gather more information.
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