Instagram Save Collection

Instagram Save Collections

Lead designer


Improving people’s journeys from inspiration to action by building on the Save MVP

In April of 2017 we announced that 46% of Instagram users had used Save. Collections expanded the utility of the Save MVP by making it more useful for people who wished to save more content and group them based on interests, like fashion, or activities, like trip planning. In return Instagram stood to gain additional ranking and indexing signals that could be used to improve other surfaces like Explore.


Getting user feedback

User research revealed that collections were an easily understood product. However, due to the added complexity to the Save product, it was likely that it would only be used by a subset of all Save users. This subset was likely to save a lot more content and would find collections a valuable organizational tool.


Strategizing the V1

Considering feedback gathered during user research and Save usage data, I designed this version around the following principles:  

  • User intent. Not all savers would be collection users to start, so we needed to respect the behavior of existing savers while introducing the collections product. Then we could use our learnings to strategize a way to bring both use cases together in our next version.
  • Simple. Adding saves to a collection should be as simple as possible. We needed to keep the number of features to the minimum so people wouldn’t feel burdened by the act of collecting.
  • Scalable. We were creating a new behavior in the app so we should leverage familiar patterns that could grow with the product.


Saving to a collection from the feed. A long press on the save icon opens the collections tray. This allowed us to reserve the tap on the icon for saving without adding to a collection.

The collections tray reused the horizontal scroll pattern of the Direct Messaging tray while keeping the post in the background for context. The tray also uses a lightweight variation of the create form for people who wished to create a collection from the feed.


Viewing collections in the home. Toggles separate collections from the feed of all saves and remember the surface you visited last. This increased awareness of the new collections product without getting in the way of the regular save experience.


Adding past saves to a collection. The product allows people to organize their past saves easily, so they can get value from the product without doing much work.


We launched collections in April of 2017. Since then, people have been using the product to group their saves by their interests, with some of the most popular collection names being food, fashion, and dance. As expected, collections are only used by a subset of Save users, however these users tend to save more content and are more engaged. We will continue to iterate on the product and are excited to bring more exciting features in the near future. Learn more about the collections launch here.