Instagram Blend could surface reels for you and a friend

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When you open Instagram, you’re greeted with a personalized feed that extends beyond just your friends’ posts, featuring algorithmically curated video content known as “reels.” These reels are tailored to your preferences and interactions, making your Instagram experience unique among its vast user base of two billion individuals.

However, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, seems to be exploring a new experimental feature called “Blend” that could revolutionize how users interact with content on the platform. This feature, first uncovered by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi on X (formerly Twitter), promises to combine the preferences and interests of two users.

According to the screenshot shared by Paluzzi, Blend will offer “Reels recommendations based on reels you’ve shared with each other and your reels interests.” It emphasizes that Blend will maintain privacy between the two accounts involved and offers users the flexibility to opt out at any time.

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The concept of Blend bears resemblance to Spotify’s similarly named feature, launched in 2021, which allows users to merge their favorite songs into collaborative playlists, complete with customized cover art and compatibility scores based on musical tastes.

Meta has confirmed to TechCrunch that Blend is currently an internal prototype and not yet being tested outside the company. It remains uncertain whether the feature will eventually be rolled out to users.

The potential utility of Blend on Instagram is intriguing, though its applicability may differ from Spotify’s use case. While Spotify Blend enhances shared music experiences, Instagram scrolling tends to be a more individual activity. However, users frequently share entertaining reels with friends, which could already influence the app’s algorithm.

Nevertheless, introducing Blend could offer a new dimension to Instagram interactions, especially among close friends or couples. Notably, this feature sets Instagram apart from TikTok, its main competitor in the short-form video space, potentially boosting its competitiveness in the market and garnering favor among shareholders.