Instagram is introducing a way for users to publish content together as a “collab.”
Engagement signals earned from the collab are shared between each user.
A Facebook representative confirms the ability to co-author content on Instagram is being tested for feed posts and Reels.
Collabs offer an easy way for users to get in front of new audiences while strengthening their relationships with other creators.
One use case that immediately comes to mind is influencer marketing.
If you’re a brand launching a product you collaborated on with a popular influencer, you can co-author an announcement post and share all the engagement signals generated by their larger audience.
This can also be a useful tool for artists, developers, and marketers who already collaborate on projects and post about their work on Instagram.
With Collabs they can now consolidate all the likes and comments they earn in one place.
Here’s more about how to use this new feature if you have access to it.
How to Use Instagram Collabs
You can check if your account has access to Collabs in the account tagging screen.
Create a post and select the option to tag people.
If you have Collabs you’ll see a new button on the tagging screen that says: “Invite Collaborator.”
Screenshot from twitter.com/alexvoica/, October 2021.
After selecting that option you can invite another Instagram account to be an official collaborator on the post.
When the invite is accepted, both names will appear in the post header and it will be shared to both sets of followers.
The post or reel will live on the profile grids of both accounts, and will share organic insights, like view count, like count, and comment thread.
Co-Author, Not Co-Create
Instagram makes it clear Collabs is designed for co-authoring content— not co-creating it.
The content has to already be created. Then Collabs can be utilized to give both parties credit for the work.
To illustrate the difference, a good example of a feature designed for co-creating content is TikTok’s Duets.
Duets allows people to build on other users’ videos by recording one of their own alongside the original.
It can all be done with in-app features, which is why it’s classified as a creation tool.
Both Duets and Collabs offer the benefit of exposing creators to new audiences, which is something Instagram isn’t traditionally good at doing.
And that’s not my opinion, that’s a thought shared by the head of the company.
Will Collabs help Instagram fix this problem?
More on that in the next section.
Will Collabs Help Instagram Be More Like TikTok?
Collabs looks like a solution for one of Instagram’s main weaknesses, which is enabling users to build followings without an existing audience.
CEO Adam Mosseri will be the first to tell you new users struggle to gain visibility on Instagram.
Instagram excels as a platform for known brands and public figures to stay connected with an audience they built elsewhere.
It’s getting increasingly difficult to use Instagram as a tool for building an audience from scratch.
That’s a pain point for Mosseri, who wants Instagram to be as good as TikTok at spotlighting new creators.
“Instagram is much better at helping creators that have already made a name for themselves do more online. TikTok is better at identifying new and young talent and helping them break out in the first place.
And we want to be really good at that. We have historically focused on that less, but I’m pushing my teams hard at getting better at doing well by the little guy.”
In theory, Collabs could help spotlight smaller accounts, but it requires them to have connections who they can collaborate with in the first place.
Creators who aren’t well connected won’t get as much value out of Collabs as those who are, but it’s a step toward Mosseri’s goal of doing better by “the little guy.”
Featured Image: karnoff/Shutterstock