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Sorry, You Can't Archive Other People's Instagrams

Earlier this week, Instagram unveiled an exciting new update: Archive. Archiving your Instagram photos is an alternative to deleting them permanently. However, as this new function serves as a stash away for photos you've already shared, you can't archive other people's Instagram posts unless they've shared the original image with you and you've posted it to your own profile.

With this new feature, users can remove photos from public viewing indefinitely by moving them into a hidden section of their profile. After archiving a previously shared photo, users can choose to return it to their profile with a simple swipe of a finger if they change their minds. The archived photos create a sort of hidden photo gallery and a way to privately view your posts.

Since Archive seems to be a primarily private feature, you can't hide other people's photos in your own archive. The archived section of your profile is just a place to store your own photos. You also can't see anyone else's archive, only revisit photos stored in your own. In its press statement introducing the update, Instagram explained how Archive works:

To archive a post you’ve already shared, tap “…” at the top of the post and choose “Archive.” You’ll still be able to see it when you tap the Archive icon in the top right corner of your profile. That way, you can always revisit these posts and see previous likes and comments from friends. If you change your mind about a post you’ve archived, tap “Show on Profile” at any time and it’ll show up in its original spot.

The Archive update is a change in the way that users share their photos and a means of filtering what the public can view. By adding or removing photos from public viewing, users can tailor the image of themselves portrayed through their Instagram profile. Instagram explained this update as a part of the malleable identity that users create through their profiles.

Your profile is a representation of who you are and evolves with you over time. With Archive, you now have more flexibility to shape your profile while still preserving moments that matter.

Fortunately, there is no limit to the number of photos that users store in their archive. While the update is new and users are still getting the hang of Archive, it appears that there is room for as many photos as you wish to hide. In other words, feel free to hide every single one of your post-perm selfies — I know I will.