Instagram trials Memories prompts to increase engagement

Instagram is experimenting with a new approach to encourage users to revisit and share their old posts with the introduction of a 'Memories' story prompt appearing in some users' feeds.

The 'Memories' prompt is essentially a repackaged version of the archive feature, and once users tap on the prompt, they will be shown previous stories shared around the same date. The direct push to re-share past stories is similar to Facebook's 'On this day' prompts and aims to increase engagement within the app.

However, it could also be a sign that overall engagement on Instagram is declining. In 2015, Facebook faced a decline in content sharing and personal posts, which prompted it to introduce 'On this day' and memories prompts to reignite nostalgic engagement. By 2017, more than 60 million Facebook users were visiting their personal "On This Day" page daily, and the additional prompts led to increased engagement. Instagram, which is still seeing growth in Reels engagement, may be following a similar approach to revive personal sharing, which has declined as users consume more video in the app.

The new 'Memories' prompt could be part of a new push to re-engage user sharing and get people posting again.