Social media platforms change and improve their features frequently. They make updates not only to provide more functionality for users but also to stay competitive with other platforms. This has been the case for Instagram, which has seen several changes within the past year. Instagram updates have given consumers and businesses added features that make them want to spend more time in the app. Here’s a look at the most recent changes and how to make the most out of the latest Instagram updates.
Schedule content with Facebook’s creator studio
Creator Studio, which enables you to create and schedule posts, became available for Instagram (which is owned by Facebook). You can do live video, see your top followers, get insights, and keep a content library. It’s handy for companies who want to manage their Facebook and Instagram in one place, or for social media managers who oversee several accounts.
Create branded content with influencers
Branded content ads let influencers (aka creators in Instagram parlance) post content in connection with the brands they are repping. Branded content makes it clear there is a paid partnership. This can give brands more control over the content partnership with creators — and provides transparency and thus trust for followers.
Look at videos and images with another user
You can start a video chat with someone and look at Instagram together, one of the latest perks. While this is fun for consumers, businesses can use this feature with clients and co-workers. Imagine using the video chat feature with people on your team who are working from home as you go over a client’s campaign or using the feature with a client to look at what competitors are doing on Instagram.
Buy directly on Instagram
There were already shoppable posts, but Instagram now lets you buy in the app without having to go to a brand’s website to purchase. So far, most of the products are in beauty and fashion. If you find a product you like, you can add it to your Instagram shopping bag and check out in the app. This can benefit brands that want to reach customers who prefer shopping this way.
Try new stories features
This past year has seen Stories (the short videos and images lined up across the top of the home page) climb to 500 million users per day. Brands can take advantage of these views with regular Stories and Stories ads, in addition to three new features:
- You can create a poll in Stories ads to gauge what your customers want.
- View Stories in other accounts that mention your company’s name, under the Activity tab.
- Remix and share short videos — like in TikTok — with a Stories mode called Reels being tested in Brazil.
And, of course, there have been looooots of new stickers to add to Stories.
Make more out of IGTV
Videos longer than Stories are on IGTV, which is a separate app but works seamlessly with Instagram. (You can show a preview of your IGTV posts on Instagram.) Since this time last year, Instagram has enabled some IGTV channels to monetize their videos and some to create IGTV Live videos. If you create a series on your IGTV channel, your followers can now get alerts when new videos are added to the series.
Check out other new Instagram features
There are other new things you can do in the app:
- Add titles to Instagram Live.
- Set up a minimum age limit to view your account.
- Sort messages into Primary and General tabs in your inbox.
- Identify active followers under the Following tab, where you’ll see the categories Least Interacted With and Most Shown in Feed. This can help you get a clearer picture of your buyer personas or find new markets.
Also, Instagram has tested an augmented reality feature for brands that sell makeup and eyewear so users can try on products before buying them. Other industries may be able to use the AR feature in the future.
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