Instagram is developing 'Blend' - a feature recommending Reels for you and a friend

Calvin D

Instagram is in the process of developing a new feature titled "Blend," aimed at offering a private feed of Reels tailored for you and a chosen friend. According to a statement given to TechCrunch on Friday, this feature is currently in the early stages of development as an internal prototype, with no external testing underway as of yet.

The discovery of the feature was made by Alessandro Paluzzi, a reverse engineer known for unveiling upcoming social media functionalities before they are officially rolled out. A screenshot shared by Paluzzi on X revealed that "Blend" would cater recommendations of Reels based on the history of Reels shared between friends and the individual Reels interests of each user.

To put it simply, inviting a friend to join a "Blend" would lead Instagram to curate a personalized feed consisting of Reels it predicts both parties would find engaging. The concept of "Blend" shares similarities with Spotify’s feature of the same name, introduced in 2021, which allows two users to merge their music preferences into a single collaborative playlist.

The screenshots further illustrate that a "Blend" would be a private experience shared exclusively between the two participating users, with the added flexibility to exit a "Blend" at any given moment. While Instagram has remained tight-lipped about the finer details, including the dynamics of how frequently new recommendations would be added to a "Blend," the motive behind the feature is clear. The goal is to facilitate a shared discovery experience, potentially increasing the viewership and discovery metrics for Reels. Given the current trend of users sharing Reels through direct messages, this feature aims to leverage that behavior to offer proactive recommendations believed to be mutually enjoyable.

Should this prototype make its way to a public release, "Blend" would position Instagram Reels with a unique, collaborative function not presently offered by TikTok, its main competitor in the arena of short-form video content. Despite the fierce competition and TikTok's prevailing dominance, the introduction of "Blend" could potentially provide Instagram with a modest yet noteworthy advantage.