Brian Feldman, writing for The Awl:
The Shitpic aesthetic has arisen from two separate though equally influential factors, both of which necessitate screencapping instead of direct downloading. The first is that Instagram, which has no built-in reposting function, doesn’t let users save images directly. This means that the quickest way to save an image on a phone is to screencap it, technically creating a new image.
I've had this idea for a story for a long while: a rant wherein I complain about how people are ruining Instagram with "shitpics" like the ones described in the linked piece. It drives me nuts; more and more, I see people --- friends included --- posting stupid memes and filtered screenshots. I just don't see the value there.
Just unfollow them, you say. But unfollowing a bunch of people completely misses the point. Ask yourself: Is it not better to post real photos (filtered or not) than to post memes? It's very, very rare that I'll Instagram a screenshot; 99.9 percent of the time, what I share are real photos of real things that've been through VSCO Cam first. The bottom line, I think, is that the serial meme-posters and the like are ruining what makes Instagram so special. In fact, I'd love it if Instagram did a "content purge" every once in a while, a la the follower purge from last week.