Instagram plans to announce Thursday that it’s adding a new “Photos of You” feature on the app where users can see Instagram photos that they’ve been tagged in. The new feature makes sense for the company as it thinks about how to make money on the app, since users can tag both people and brands, and the photos will then display Facebook-like tags on a user’s profile screen.
In a blog post, the company described the update, which will be available on Instagram for iOS and Android:
“There will now be a Photos of You section on your profile. When someone adds you to a photo, you’ll receive a notification and the photo will appear in your Photos of You. Want to make sure you like the photo first? No problem: you can easily adjust your settings so nothing appears on your profile until you approve it. Before your Photos of You section is visible to other people, you’ll have until May 16th to play around and get used to the feature.”
Tagging someone is different than just mentioning them in a comment, so photos you’ve previously been @-mentioned on will not appear on your profile page immediately.
The focus on people and tagging your friends and favorite coffee shop is quintessentially Facebook, a company that’s always talking about people, whether it’s the launch of Facebook Home and a phone organized by “people instead of apps,” or the re-launch of News Feed with the emphasis on large photos of people.
And by being able to tag businesses, like your favorite coffee shop, in addition to your friends, the update points a clear path to Instagram setting up for advertising, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted at on Wednesday’s earnings call.
“I’m really proud of how Instagram is going,” Zuckerberg said on the call Wednesday. “Kevin and his team made incredible progress since last april, and the Instagram community is growing even faster than the Facebook community did when it was this size.”
Zuckerberg said advertising on Instagram is “something we’re thinking about,” which wouldn’t be surprising as Instagram moves into its second year under Facebook’s ownership, a deal that was announced in April 2012, but hadn’t produced many changes to Instagram at first. However, tagging people and having a page aggregating photos of you are both very Facebook-like features, and being able to tag brands would set the company up to create brand-specific Instagram accounts and features like Facebook Pages.
For users, it’s important to note that the “Photos of You” will become visible to your followers on May 16, so you can play around with the feature until then and approve photos before they go live to others.