Instagram has begun sending out “Highlights” emails that contain a selection of the best photos users may have missed from the people they are following. The emails hope to promote the photo sharing service and encourage users to continue opening the Instagram app.
No one really likes their inbox to be filled with promotional emails and spam, but email is still an incredibly effective marketing tool. Twitter recently began using it to send out “best of” roundups to its users, and now Instagram is trialing something similar.
Highlights emails contain a number of photos from the people you follow, helping you stay on top of the things you might have missed. Instagram hopes that you’ll want to see more and you’ll open up its app — then perhaps share some photos of your own.
The emails will surely lure occasional users who may not check Instagram all the time back to the service. As a casual Instagram user myself, I know it would work on me; I think Instagram is a terrific platform, but I don’t use it all that often, so I forget to open the app on a regular basis.
But there will be plenty of others who don’t appreciate Highlights, and at the moment, there’s no way to disable them.
“It’s so fresh there’s not even a setting to control it,” reports Josh Constine of TechCrunch. “When I tried hitting Unsubscribe to see where it took me, I discovered there was no email settings menu and no way to re-subscribe.”
Instagram has confirmed that this is the first time it has used email for promotional or marketing purposes, and for now, it seems Highlights is in the testing phase. Not all users will receive Highlights emails just yet, then, but if they work, that’s likely to change pretty quickly.