Instagram Removing Story Sharing Won’t Help Its Users, Experts Say

The change would impact small businesses and content creators the most

Key Takeaways

  • Instagram is testing removing the ability to share feed posts in your stories.
  • The removal ultimately would impact small businesses and content creators, who rely on it for engagement purposes.
  • Experts say disabling the feature would be a bad idea.
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Instagram is testing the removal of one of its key features, and experts say it will do more harm than good. 

The social media platform has quietly begun testing the removal of the ability to share individual posts in stories. Experts say removing this feature would impact small businesses, artists, and influencers the most, since they depend on Instagram to make money and reach a broad audience.

"I’m disappointed that this simple, seemingly innocuous feature is at risk," wrote Mary Miles, digital director for Weinberg Harris & Associates, to Lifewire in an email. "It has significant implications for brands and influencers who rely on the platform, and may create a disconnect that could drive users away from using it."

Why Share Feed Posts?

According to Social Media Today, some users have started to see an announcement at the top of their feeds that reads, "We hear from our community that they want to see fewer posts in Stories. During this test, you won’t be able to add a feed post to your Story."

An Instagram spokesperson told Lifewire that they will listen to community feedback from the test to "better understand how people feel about and engage with these types of posts."

Of course, Stories is one of Instagram's most popular features, and people increasingly turn to sharing feed posts to their stories to work around Instagram's complicated algorithm.

"I’m disappointed that this simple, seemingly innocuous feature is at risk."

"Instagram changed its algorithm somewhere in 2018, which limited the reach of a user's posts to a viable audience," wrote Valentina Lopez, co-founder of Happiness Without, to Lifewire in an email. "Content creators needed to make sure their latest content got as much reach as it can. Therefore, they shared their posts in their stories, and it has been working quite well all this while."

Lopez also said that another advantage of sharing your post in your story is that you can’t attach a link to an in-feed post, but you can with a story

"[The feature] highlights in-feed posts that were posted several hours ago, which would otherwise have been overlooked," Lopez added.

Impacts Of Removing It

There’s currently a petition on Change.org calling for Instagram to not disable the feature. As of Monday afternoon, it had more than 72,000 signatures, with many of the signers voicing their concerns about how the change would impact them and their businesses.

"For small businesses who cannot afford other forms of advertising, this could be a deadly blow," wrote Ryan Salomon, CEO of Kissmetrics, to Lifewire in an email. "Story sharing is a free form of advertising, and removing that will slowly create a trickle effect that slowly hinders sales on products."

Alena Iskanderova, a paleontologist who uses Instagram to document her fossil findings, explained to Lifewire in an email that a lot of her Instagram engagement relies on followers sharing her posts through their own stories. "It’s not just a metric," she said, "it's more a feedback from my followers which posts they like the most, what information is relevant, [and] which posts [are] worth the shares."

Instagram blog header encouraging users to share their posts using stories

Information-sharing accounts would be affected by the change, too. Medical Herstory shares information on health experiences through medical education, patient advocacy, and storytelling. Founder Tori Ford told Lifewire that this story sharing feature is crucial to sharing and spreading important information across the platform. 

"It helps build community with other creators who share similar goals and ensures that important information isn’t lost in a slew of Instagram posts by reminding your followers of pertinent topics," said Ford. "We can infer the consequences of the removal of story-sharing because Instagram has already begun shadow-banning sexual education content, which has greatly impacted how we convey important information about sexual health to our audience."

"[The feature] highlights in-feed posts that were posted several hours ago, which would otherwise have been overlooked."

However, experts still say there will be workarounds if Instagram ultimately decides to follow through with the test and remove this feature altogether. 

"Creators can still screenshot posts and show them on stories, talk about their new post/promotions, other creators, etc.," Alexi McKinley, owner of Upwest Social Agency, wrote to Lifewire in an email. "It truly isn't the end of the world; we would just have to come up with a better strategy (which I believe is Instagram’s reasoning for this in the first place)."

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