Instagram's New Feature Could Save Your Dignity

by Eliza Castile

For most people under the age of 30, Instagram profiles are carefully curated to give the impression that you're living your best life. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a learning curve before you become an Insta-pro, but Instagram's archive feature is currently being tested, and may give you something to do with the poorly-framed latte photos lurking in the early days of your profile — or the group picture you uploaded at 4 a.m. last Saturday. (In the cold light of day, the need to tell everyone you're having a "g8ttt time" is a little less urgent.) Instead of deleting these posts forever, now you soon might be able to simply hide them.

It's an open secret that many Instagram users remove content that doesn't get enough attention by their standards. Until recently, if you later regretted deleting a post, the only way to add it to your profile again was to re-upload it. On Tuesday, however, an archive option began appearing on some users' accounts, and Instagram confirmed to Bustle over email that the feature is currently being tested.

Here's how it currently works. With the archive feature, you can choose to move an old post to a private space on your account, removing it from public scrutiny. Although other users can't see it on your profile, the post isn't deleted — you can restore it at any time.

Given that it's still in the early stages of testing, archives might not be available for all users yet. If you have access, though, you can archive a photo by tapping on the three dots on the right side of your chosen post. This pulls up the menu below.

Claire Warner/Bustle

Choose "archive," and the post will be removed from your profile. You can find the photo in the archive, which can be reached from your main profile page. Tap the little icon that looks like a clock in the top right part of the screen.

Claire Warner/Bustle

Voila! There sits your original post, safe and sound from the prying eyes of your ex, office crush, and/or extended family.

Claire Warner/Bustle

If you decide to throw up your hands and let the world know how weird you truly are, you can restore the post by selecting it in the archive. Pull up the options menu again by tapping on the three dots, and choose "show on profile." It should appear on your profile in the same spot it used to occupy.

If you're thinking you'll never use the feature, you're clearly underestimating the power of nostalgia. You might only be able to focus on your flaws in recent photos, but give it time. After a few months, you'll be wondering why you were so worried about your appearance when you were clearly having so much fun. Luckily, if you archived it, you can restore the photo to its place of honor in your profile, frizzy hair and all.

Then again, some photos are never meant to see the light of day. That's what the "delete" button is for.