I recently went to send an Instagram photo to a friend and started to go through the typical routine of taking a screenshot within Instagram, finding the photo of the screenshot, and sending it along. Except this time, something else happened.
As soon as I took the screenshot, a toast appeared at the top of the screen telling me there’s an easier way to share the photo and giving me 3 simple ways to share. A link to the photo was automatically copied to the clipboard, and I sent the link to my friend.
This is a pretty simple interaction, but Instagram does a lot of really clever things here:
- They capture a moment of high intent. Because most people take screenshots to send Instagram posts to friends, it’s a perfect time to teach users about other ways to share content.
- They automatically detect the post I want to share. If there are multiple posts on the screen, the app knows which is the main post I’m looking at and selects that as the one to share.
- If I copy a link to the post and text a friend, iMessage shows a rich preview of the content. A thumbnail of the photo and a bit of info about the post appear, making it much more enticing to click on vs. just seeing a URL.
- (Most importantly) The recipient is sent back into Instagram to view the post, which serves as a great re-engagement trigger for existing users or a fantastic viral growth channel for new users.
Kudos to the Instagram product and design team for a very simple yet incredibly smart feature.