How would you improve instagram?
0 votes
in Product Improvement by (20 points) | 1.5k views

3 Answers

+2 votes

Clarifying questions 

Let me start by asking a few questions.

Me: What are the users unhappy about ? Is it ability to add photos ? Apply filters ? Follow/Unfollow ? Add layouts on photos? Live Tvs ? Search functionality ? Finding relevant content ? notifications ? Too many spam profiles ? 

Interviewer : Spam profiles. 

Me - Does that mean users are followed by spam profiles or are they receiving spam messages or spam comments on photos?

Interviewer : Followed by Spam Profiles 

Goals - Instagram is a community of people, sharing memories in the form of photos and videos. Instagram is also a market place with seller side and buyer side.

Metrics - 1. Reduction of spam profiles on the platform 2. Overall NPS score by users

Users - Users can be segmented on the basis of usage - Frequent users who share and view content and spend X amount of time on the platform. These users engage more in terms of buying products and seeking experiences by following influencers. Casual users who post once in a while but mostly just view content. InActive users who dont share much about themselves but are on the platform on and off. 

Issues with the product - 1. Spam Followers (Spam - Inactive profiles following active users) 2. Scraping data and reselling to 3rd party 

We will focus on 1st problem here.

Solution - 

1. Define policies to identify spam profile. Use ML/AI to categorize them and delete them from the platform. 

2. Use data science to only allow upto 10 degree connections to be followed. For example - User 1 can only follow user 2 if they are within 10 degree of connections. (Exclude businesses from this)

3. Limit the number of 'follows' in a day (Assuming automated bots are used to mass follow active users)

Tradeoffs - All the solutions above can impact seo and growth. There's a possibility of legit profiles being categorized as spam. Identify a way for these legit profiles caught by the software to be put back in the pool.

Prioritize -

Number 1 - Bigger downside on seo and growth. Existing infra can be leveraged to implement technology. Medium implementation effort. Number 2 - Medium downside on seo and growth. Medium implementation effort.
Number 3 - Low impact on seo and growth. Ideally a user will never hit this ceiling. Medium/High implementation effort
Summarize - To receive relevant followers on instagram, we need to focus on reducing spam profiles on the platform. This can be done by defining max number of follows in a day and using ML Algorithms to implement this on all except business profiles. Resulting in overall quality profiles on instagram.
by (24 points)

I am curious to understand why you would categorize solution 3 as a medium/high implementation effort. I would imagine it's relatively easy to implement a logic that limits the number of accounts that a user can follow in a day?

+1 vote

Product Understanding

Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos, videos, stories, and live videos with their friends/followers. It also enables users to talk to/ message people. There are various filters available that users can use to make their stories and post look better/ more interesting. It also helps brands run advertisements.

Problem Statement

Improve Instagram is a vague statement, there could be various things around which improvement could be required to increase revenue for the company, increase user engagement, increase retention. Here we'll try to solve for increased engagement


Users engage with Instagram with the following ways

1. Linking posts 

2 commenting on posts

3. Creating posts

4. Creating stories

5. Watching stories

6. Messaging people

We can capture an increase in these activities per day to see if the steps we take to engage users are working

User Profiles

1. Frequent Users - users who create posts/stories daily. Use the messaging service and like/comment on other people's post daily

2. Casual users - users who use Instagram daily but post only occasionally. They like other peoples post though

3. Lite users - Users who don't use Instagram regularly

We'll look at the issues that Frequent users face and try to solve them as further increasing their activity would lead to overall engagement on the app

User pain points

1. Users post regularly, they have to come up with witty/likeable captions for all their posts, which takes a lot of searching outside the app

2. They have hundreds of post and if they want to check some older post it takes a lot of time

3. They have to check other peoples post for inspiration and again it talks a lot of time to find a particular post they want to check

4. It's difficult to look at followers activity if one person went on a post liking spree, the users have to scroll a lot to see other people's activities. Browsing other people's activities helps people discover new content and like different things.

I would like to address the 1st pain point as it is directly affecting people's ability to post more, who are already willing to post more.

Possible Solutions

1. Create a catalogue of quotes from famous people, books, authors, poems and make them searchable by tags like beach, tree, vacation, moods. Make it available on the screen where users are prompted to add a caption to the image so users can find their favourite quotes within Instagram and don't have to look anywhere else

2. Give users the option to like captions for posts and allow people adding posts to look at the most liked / trending captions to draw inspirations

3. Get people to add location and tags to their posts and based on the tags, location, and the image use ML to suggest captions

Evaluate Solutions
Out of these possible solutions, solution 1 would give users the most diverse options for captions which they could also relate to the most and hence drive maximum engagement. 

by (18 points)
–1 vote

In the absence of clear objectives and outcome, I will hypothesize based on user feedback available on online communities and forums such as Reddit, that users didn't like the fact that their feeds didn't give them the sorting function by new. To improve Instagram, a sorting capability could be added:

  1. Default (Let Instagram handle it)
  2. New
  3. Two-way (show posts from those accounts that follow each other. Assume that the accounts that follow each other are friends or shared interests between them so they would want to see posts from their friends.)
  4. Most popular
  5. I'm feeling luck! (Allow users to discover new content as well in their feed.)
I think your answer doesn't have the right structure. Have a look at the Interview guide on how to answer a product improvement question here
Good luck!

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