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Instagram Tests ‘Fan Club’ Stories, NFT-Style ‘Collectibles’ In-App



Instagram appears to be working on a couple of different experiments aimed at boosting interaction in the app, and tapping into the rise of NFTs, or digital products, in-stream.

First off, Instagram is experimenting with a new Stories option called ‘fan club’ stories, which would enable users to post exclusive Stories content that can only be viewed by members of a fan club or approved group.

Instagram fan club Stories

As you can see in this example, shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, fan club Stories would only be viewable by group members, while users would not be able to take screenshots of these exclusive Stories posts.

That would add another option to the current Instagram Stories options. Right now, you can set your entire profile to ‘Private‘, so that only your followers can see your Stories, or you can create a ‘Close Friends’ list for more intimate Stories sharing, as opposed to sharing publicly. This new option would add in another category, which appears to be aligned with Instagram’s broader push to add more tools for creators to monetize their on-platform efforts, with paying members likely added to the fan club list, where you could then share exclusive content, 

We don’t have a lot to go on at this stage, but going on Paluzzi’s previous discoveries, we’ll likely get more info from Instagram in the next month or so. 

In addition to this, Paluzzi has also discovered a new ‘Collectibles‘ options in testing.

Instagram Collectibles

As noted, the option seems to link into the current NFT craze, and would seemingly enable Instagram users to bid on digital items in-stream. 

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Again, we don’t have much to go on at this stage, so it’s largely speculation, but it appears to be a new way to encourage digital art purchases by facilitating a means to showcase them on Instagram, with the Collectibles tag added to Stories when shared.

That could spark new engagement and purchase behaviors in the app, and again, help digital creators make more money from their work by enabling them to showcase such auctions to Instagram’s billion-plus users.

In that context, it makes perfect sense, and with the platform looking to encourage more buying behavior in app, it may be another way to prompt people to spend, and share digital artworks in-stream.


We’ve asked Instagram for more info on both options and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.



Taking a swipe at social media: More safeguard controls are needed



Instagram hits pause on kids' version after criticism

Social media – © AFP/File SAUL LOEB

Today, June 30th, is ‘World Social Media Day’. Does the world need a social media day? World Social Media Day was launched by Mashable on June 30, 2010. It developed as a way to recognize social media’s impact on global communication and to ‘celebrate it’.

Given the prevalence of social media, whether further publicity is needed is debatable. Also, not everyone is celebrating the contribution of social media for there are some who reman deeply concerned about online safety.

According to Miles Hutchinson, Chief Information Security Officer of Jumio, the event serves as a reminder to consumers and organizations of the importance of securing social media platforms to protect children from potentially harmful products and people online.

Hutchinson explains to Digital Journal about what the aims and objectives of the event are: “World Social Media Day reminds consumers and organizations of the importance of safeguards to protect children from potentially dangerous people, content and products on social media platforms.”

In Hutchinson’s view, a regulatory framework is needed: “Social media organizations, in particular, have an ethical obligation to protect children, and they can do so by leveraging age and identity verification methods to keep children from accessing mature content, purchasing age-restricted products, encountering predatory individuals or being exposed to privacy policies designed for adults.”

But do social media providers deliver?  Are they meeting this ethical obligation? The view of consumers suggests they are not.


Hutchinson finds: “Recent survey data shows that 83 percent of consumers want social media platforms to verify their users and hold them accountable for their online activity.” This high number requesting support from social media firms suggests that this support is not forthcoming.

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Hutchinson finds that there are too many threats on social media: “Federal investigators estimate that there are over 500,000 online predators active every day, that they have multiple online profiles, and that more than 50 percent of their victims are ages 12 to 15.”

This means social media firms are failing. Hutchinson continues: “It is evident that crucial safeguards are missing from these social media platforms, which are failing to protect children in the digital age.” What Hutchinson recommends is a series of measures, such as: “By utilizing identity verification, biometrics and multi-factor authentication to verify the age and identity of their users, social media platforms can offer children a safer internet experience while allowing for the adaptability and flexibility to meet new threats, regulations and challenges as they arise.”

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