We have gotten this question a lot over the years. And since Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, it’s reasonable to wonder why a share button doesn’t exist for it.
There are two primary reasons you will not find an Instagram share button in Social Warfare (or most legitimate sharing plugins):
- Instagram doesn’t support it
- Instagram culture isn’t conducive to link sharing
Our hope with this article is to help you not just understand the technical reasons, but the marketing intelligence behind why we won’t just figure out a workaround.
Instagram doesn’t support it
Social share buttons exist mostly in part because the ability to share from one webpage to a social platform is created by the social platforms themselves.
In order for you to share a blog post to Facebook, there needs to be an API from Facebook that would allow that action to happen. Facebook is the gatekeeper to what apps or plugins are allow to publish on or through their platform.
So, in other words, Social Warfare doesn’t create the sharing function–the function is created, maintained, and controlled by Facebook. Social Warfare takes the share functionality of Facebook’s API and puts it together in a simple, fast-loading, user-friendly display for both you and your readers.
So if a social network does not have the API in place to support third-party apps and plugins publishing/sharing content to their platform, we cannot create a button for it.
Instagram has not created the necessary infrastructure, API access, and developer documentation to allow any sort of “share button” functionality to share web-pages to its platform.
Or simply put–Instagram just doesn’t allow it.
Instagram culture and link-sharing
Share buttons serve a very specific purpose–take this article link and share it to a social platform so other people can visit the link.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing app which has never really made it easy for bloggers or content creators to share links. User behavior on Instagram also tends to be intent on staying in the app and consuming content without leaving.
This is very much unlike a place like Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook where people are constantly seeking out interesting links to take them to other websites.
Remember–every social network has their own culture. You can’t treat Instagram like you treat Twitter because the users on that platform have drastically different expectations and intent.
While Instagram has added features over the years to make sharing links easier (via “swipe up” on Stories), this feature has been limited to select verified accounts.
We’ve spoken with influencers who have this feature and the unanimous conclusion was–Instagram users don’t really want to leave Instagram to read an article elsewhere. They want to stay on Instagram.