Earlier this year, Instagram introduced a feature called "Archive" which allows you to hide Instagram posts from your gallery, but not actually delete them. I'll be the first to admit that when the ability to archive Instagram posts rolled out, I was like, "why?" Like, who needs this, and why do any of us care? There are way more fun and important updates we'd all like!
So, I let people know but kinda moved on and forgot about the whole feature, cuz there was really no application for archiving content that seemed super important. But, I've been asked about this (or about deleting posts) a few times recently so I figured why not explain this all in more detail for you.
As I mentioned, the idea behind Archive on Instagram is to take any post in your gallery and "archive" it. This removes it from your gallery so no one else can see it any more. But, if you wanted to keep it, and all the engagement and analytics that were on the post, Archive allows you to do just that. And, if you wanted to reactivate the post later and return it to your gallery, it's one tap away from that.
So, how do you do it?
- Select a post from your gallery that you want to archive and tap on it to view it
- Tap on the 3-dot button in the top right corner
- Select "Archive" from the new window
It's seriously that simple.
Then, if you wanted to review those posts again for any reason, simply tap on the clock looking icon at the top of your profile, and there you go. Any and all archived posts are there for you to review. If you're a business account on Instagram, then any data and analytics from the post will still be visible to you too.
And, if you decide you want that post back in your feed, open the post from the Archive section, tap on the 3-dot button and select "Show on Profile". And, boom, just like that - it's back! As if nothing ever happened.
Ok, so that's all easy enough, but why on Earth would you actually want to use this function?
Here's the thing, for personal accounts, there are plenty of reasons - you want to hide something from a potential new relationship or even if you're applying for a job. Maybe you have a really funny post with tons of love from friends but you just don't want that image to live on forever on your profile. Maybe you just wanna hide some memories of the past, but not delete them forever.
Personal accounts are a little easier to justify archiving. But for business accounts and brands, the reasons are much different and more strategic.
If you regularly run contests on Instagram, it's common to see lots of responses and engagement happen on the post even after the contest is over. Thanks to the algorithm and other reasons, people often see your contest post after the contest has ended.
To avoid this confusion, simply archive the post(s) promoting the contest once the participation window is closed. Not only do you prevent confusion for your audience, but you still retain all the likes and comments to review for contest participation. This is definitely a great reason to start archiving!
Old or Irrelevant Posts
Much like personal accounts, there are possibly some things on your business profile that just don't jive with where your brand is at now. Or maybe you had different products or services in the past which aren't available now.
Whatever the case, if you do have these older and irrelevant posts that don't align with your brand, you can archive them to streamline your gallery.
Now, to be fair here, I don't really encourage this. Personally, I think it's good to see how brands have evolved on Instagram over time. I like to see older posts that show a different style or content. It's authentic and makes a brand more relatable when you realize they weren't always the same "perfect" look you see today.
Similarly, there may be aesthetic reasons to archive posts. For example, if your content is all about food but you have posts that ventured off into other topics like fashion or scenic shots, you may want to clean those up and archive them, allowing your gallery to remain more cohesive.
Or, if you are generally working with a color scheme or alignment styling (down columns or across rows), an out-of-place post can really mess with that beautiful grid! Again, archiving that post that stands out can help you regain that aesthetic appeal.
Honestly, I think this may be one of the biggest reasons this tool was introduced. It's likely more valuable for big companies, but anyone could find this helpful.
Let's say you post something that turns out to offend a group of people or is deemed insensitive or some other public issue. Of course, as a brand, you want to issue an apology and delete the post. BUT deleting the post deletes all remnants - the post verbiage, the interactions, the comments (positive and negative). As a brand, being able to review all of this data to see where you went wrong or how you could improve it is really important. But if you delete it, you have to rely on screen shots to save any information. Instead, with archiving, you can remove it quickly from the public space but still hold on to the valuable information to review as a company.
So, there are a variety of reasons to archive posts. Essentially, if you ever think about deleting a post, I would encourage you, instead, to archive it. That way it's not gone forever and if you did want it back or wanted to see the data on the post, you still have the option.