How to Repost on Instagram: Social Media Company Testing Gifs, Regram Button

kendall jenner instagram
A shot from Kendall Jenner's Instagram feed, which has 85 million followers. Instagram / Kendall Jenner

The social media platform Instagram is reportedly testing features that its users have been asking for, including the ability to "regram" posts onto one's own feed. As The Next Web discovered on Tuesday, other beta features in testing include using gifs, building a list of "close friends" similar to Myspace's Top 8, and a mysterious feature called "add coffee."

Due to Instagram's testing structure, some users on the platform may have already seen these features in an early form. The "regram" button will likely resemble retweeting on Twitter or reblogging posts on Tumblr. For instance, instead of simply pressing "heart" on Beyonce's maternity photo (Instagram's most liked post of 2017), you might be able to simply regram the image into your own feed.

Early critiques of the features, specifically "regramming," point out that spreading misinformation will suddenly be a lot easier, making Instagram a possible target for manipulative companies who currently use Facebook to spread "fake news." This week, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel publicly blamed Facebook for allowing the rise in false news stories through its algorithms, saying, "Content designed to be shared by friends is not necessarily content designed to deliver accurate information. After all, how many times have you shared something you've never bothered to read?"

Until now, Instagram hasn't allowed users to do anything with popular image posts other than "like" them, comment on them, or message them privately to friends. A "regram" button will allow posts that haven't been vetted or fact-checked to spread like wildfire among users.

Snapchat, on the other hand, opened its content to digital publications—some, like Sweet or Brother, existing solely on the platform. That direct link from publication to reader leaves less room for manipulation of facts, and it's paired with what Spiegel says is an algorithm designed to fight against fake news. "The Snapchat solution is to rely on algorithms based on your interests—not on the interests of 'friends'—and to make sure media companies also profit off the content they produce for our Discover platform," Spiegel wrote in an Axois op-ed. "We think this helps guard against fake news and mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions."

Instagram was founded by two Stanford University fellows, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, in 2009. The company was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 and had 800 million monthly active users as of September 2017.