Monday, January 7, 2019

The Sharing Ecosystem - Instagram for Writers.

One of the cool things about Twitter for writers is the ability to re-tweet fellow writers. It's become such a ubiquitous function of the platform that many of us do it without so much as a second thought.

Instagram is another social media platform that writers have taken to with enthusiasm. I myself use it a lot. It's helpful in teasing bits and pieces of the projects I'm working on as well as promoting my published titles. It's also useful in helping fellow authors reach new readers by way of sharing their posts. And yet, in my experience, I've yet to see the scale of content sharing on Instagram that I've seen on Twitter. 

I'm puzzled as to why it hasn't seemed to have taken off to the same degree. One reason could be that it's not as simple as it is on Twitter. It requires a few more steps to achieve the same or similar outcome. For me, the process of re-sharing or "re-gramming" content is really easy. 

I use an app called "Regrann", which I picked up free from Google Play.

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The app integrates with your Instagram app and the learning curve is fairly simple. In order to use it in-situ, all that's required is for you to choose the post that you want to share, tap on the three dot icon in the top right hand corner of the Instagram post and select "Copy Link" from the drop-down menu. The image will then open in a Regrann menu that looks something like this...

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You have several options available to you, but the one we want is the Instagram icon on the far right. Upon tapping this, you're then taken back to the Instagram app where you'll find the image has populated a new post. If you're satisfied with how the image looks, you can tap through to the "Write a caption" pane. Here, instead of writing a caption, all you have to do is tap and hold in the caption pane, triggering the "Paste" and "Clipboard" menu. Then tap "Paste".

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What happens is that the original poster's caption will populate the pane, along with a "Reposted from @(username)" - whose ever that is. Regrann adds a #regrann following the post. You can actually edit the caption as you wish. I sometimes do this if I want to add some content of my own - say, a shout out to the original poster of the content or some extra hashtags if I think they will help. 

Once you hit "Share", you're done. The post will appear in your feed along with the accompanying caption that essentially tags the original poster so they'll know you shared their content. 

There are numerous apps out there - on both Android and Apple platforms - that will help you achieve the same result and they each have their own individual quirks and functions. For me, Regrann has been the easiest app for me to adopt. 

It's a great way of helping your writer and creative friends *potentially* reach a new audience. I see a lot of re-sharing of content among many groups of Instagrammers - but not so much among writers.

It would be a good thing to see more often. 


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