Instagram has received its fair share of comparisons lately. It’s trying to be TikTok. It’s trying to be a shopping app. Now, Instagram is trying to be the defunct, OG social media site Myspace. That’s right: Instagram is apparently working on a feature that would allow users to have a song play when someone visits their profile. Who asked for this??
Reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi—who has been responsible for uncovering upcoming features on platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter—tweeted today about the possibility of this feature. Your chosen song will appear listed in your bio underneath the coveted spot for links. Best of luck to everyone trying to quietly stalk their hot coworker while in the office. Their favorite song is going to start blasting as you frantically try to shut off your phone, only to somehow turn it up louder and louder and oh my gosh...that’s the opening scene of a 2023 romcom, isn’t it?
But seriously, Instagram is for checking in on the girl who bullied you in high school to read her posts about weight loss tea and her four blonde children. I don’t need to know that she likes the Chainsmokers. I already know that on a spiritual level.
Paluzzi clarified in a follow-up tweet that “the music is NOT played” automatically when you click on a profile, “but this may change before official release.” It also isn’t clear if users will be able to upload their own songs, or choose from a partner music platform like Spotify or Apple Music. (It’s likely the latter as Instagram is not very friendly to copyright infringement and I doubt most people will be uploading original music. Apologies to the indie rock musicians reading this.)
This is huge news for my 16-year-old self, desperate to express who I really am and what I really feel through song. For the record, if you visited my MySpace in 2007, you’d be met with a custom Top 4 friends and Rilo Kiley’s “Silver Linings.” My 32-year-old self, however, is less excited about this development—as are a lot of other folks, it seems. Instagram’s gotten a lot of flack this past year for promoting videos over photos, shadow banning folks, showing users content they aren’t interested in, among other complaints. Even Queen of Instagram Kylie Jenner was basically like, “This place sucks.”
Instagram really took all of that to heart and…just kidding. They were like, “Let’s add MUSIC to the mix!” I really imagine some old guys sitting around swishing a whiskey ball around Don Draper-style, saying “You know what the kids really groove out to these days? MUSIC!” And then they all cheers and go take a four-hour lunch break to cheat on their wives. (Just kidding. This is making tech execs sound way cooler than they are.)
My best guess is that Instagram is hoping this nod to cyber nostalgia will temporarily make us forget just how un-fun the social media platform has become. But I beg of you, Zuck, please let us just look at photos of people’s food and vacations. Let me judge someone’s engagement ring or floral choices. Instagram is the app of haters, and there’s no need to turn it into anything else.