Don’t you love it when companies send you emails you didn’t sign up for in order to get you to start using their products again? Yeah, nobody does, especially when that email is coming from a social network like Instagram and contains all of the pictures of other people’s food and pets that you didn’t want to see. To be fair, Instagram is putting on a few years and needs to start trying to re-engage older users, and emails are proven to be a great way to do that. That being said, I’m sure the vast majority of us are just going to unsubscribe from the “Highlights.”
Four and a half years is a lot of pretty pictures. Instagram isn’t as young as it used to be, and it doesn’t want long-time users to slip away from its app. Luckily, it can still email them. Email isn’t dead, no matter how much we wish it was. High open-rates mean it still matters. Twitter bought a whole startup to power re-engagement emails touting the best tweets you might have missed. Now Instagram has started sending its own email digest called “Highlights” featuring a few of the best posts from people you follow. It could rope back in users who’ve strayed from the photo network. After spotting Highlights, Instagram confirmed to me that this is the first time it’s sent any type of promotional or re-engagement email. It’s so fresh there’s not even a setting to control it. When I tried hitting Unsubscribe to see where it took me, I discovered there was no email settings menu and no way to re-subscribe. Some people will surely bristle at the idea of receiving more email, especially one’s they didn’t explicitly sign up for. However, Highlights could solve an issue common amongst maturing social networks that show a live, reverse chronological feed of posts. It impacts networks like Instagram and Twitter, but not relevancy-sorted streams like Facebook’s.
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