Instagram Turns Your Likes Into Photo Albums

Social photo app Instagram pushed out a new update today on the iPhone. The first thing you notice is that uploads are a lot faster. Speed, quite frankly, is one of Instagram’s competitive advantages. But the update also includes some new features, the most important of which is the ability to see all the photos you’ve liked in the past.

It sounds pretty basic—and it is—but up until now Instagram has been a fleeting slideshow. Just like a stream of tweets, the Instagram feed is a realtime stream of photos. You had to launch the app to check it out. If you miss some, no biggie, more will keep filling your feed. But there wasn’t even a way to save photos other than your own. You could “like” someone else’s photo or comment on it, but that was it. Now, all of the photos you’ve ever liked are organized for you in their own album. You can find them under “Photos you’ve liked” in your profile, right under “your photos.”

Now liking a photo is not just a lazy signal, it is an act of curation, or at least a handy way to save photos. I like that very much.

The update has a few other features, such as auto-completing hashtags in comments. This is not something I personally do that much, but maybe I would if there was a way to organize photos by hashtags. Also, profile photos are now saved to your iPhone’s photo library and you can add a link to a website to your bio so that other members can learn more about you.