Instagram Unveils A Ton of Cool Features Just In Time for Summer!

In Japan, there is a concept called kaizen, which means striving for constant improvement. Well, it seems Instagram has taken kaizen to heart; several new changes have allowed for an easier process in using the social platform as a marketing tool. Since April, the social media app has rolled out many new features and added ornaments onto existing features. In addition to some user experience changes, such as integrating IGTV into the explore feed, Instagram has rolled out a plethora of changes to increase engagement and put a spotlight on content. Of course, properly utilizing these features in a way that aligns with your brand/persona takes some work. Our Markham based digital agency can help you create and implement a social media strategy that will help you stand out and rock the rollouts!


So, what updates are we talking about exactly? Here are a few of our favourite:


  1. Sponsored Stories with Polls


When Instagram stories were added in 2016, the feature initially received a lot of backlashes; comparing the feature to the almost-identical Snapchat stories. However, as Instagram as a social platform becomes more mainstream, there has been several improvements and add-ons to raise this feature above all else.


The recent addition of adding poll stickers to promotional stories enhances its effectiveness. The voting allows for user engagement and increases the chance that viewers will convert by swiping up. This is excellent news for any company using Instagram as a marketing channel!


  1. Insta-Checkout


Recently, Instagram introduced Insta-checkout, another feature that is dedicated to shops and companies using Instagram to sell products. After the previous update, of allowing businesses to tag their products in posts with prices and links to their website, this new feature just makes sense. How does this differ from the initial feature rollout? Users can now purchase products from their favourite brands and influencers without having to leave Instagram. Users simply click on the tagger product and Instagram then leads them to a checkout page where they can complete the purchase. From there, users can then choose to continue shopping or simply pop back on Instagram. This update makes it easier for smaller influencers and brands who may not have the tools to create a full website off the bat. It also makes shopping easy for users without a plethora of redirects.


  1. Good Causes and Fun Quizzes


The poll, slider, and question stickers quickly gained popularity on the site due to their ability to create genuine, simple engagement. Instagram took note and recently unveiled two new stickers.


The quiz sticker is similar to the poll sticker where a question is posed and users can pick an answer provided by the poster. The quiz button, however, allows for more options and is set to be utilized as more of a “get to know me” type button. Brands and influencers can use this button to test their audiences knowledge, for contest purposes, or simply to educate them on the matter. It’s a simplistic way for users to engage with one another and learn more whilst doing so.


The donation button has finally come and users can now spring a good deed into their online posting. The donation button allows users to choose a charity/cause of their choice with an interactive donate button underneath the name. When clicking on the donate button, there are a few simple steps the users can take to donate to a worthy cause. A big concern with this was the fact that some may try to manipulate the system and try to gain profit for their own self, however, Instagram has found a way to avoid this. Only registered nonprofits can be utilized with this feature, so no need to worry about uncredited sources trying to get some extra dollars.


  1. Goodbye Vanity Metrics?


Let’s face it, getting a high amount of likes is a pretty good feeling, even if you aren’t big on vanity metrics. However, Instagram has been testing out a feature that removes like counts from the public eye on some Canadian accounts. How does this work? Users will be able to see how many likes they get on their own images/videos, however, the public will not be able to do so (unless they count one by one).


Why did Instagram decide to do this? The exact reason is unknown, but many speculate it’s a way to rid consumer and user perception. Often times, people flock towards content with a higher like count because they correlate it to a higher level of trust and quality. On another note, some users rely on likes as a confidence booster and seeing similar posts to their own rack up 10x the likes may impact their overall perception of who they are and what they create. Regardless of the reason, if this rolls out to everyone, it could be a massive game changer, not just for Instagram, but for social media as a whole.


A surfeit of features have been introduced in 2019 and Instagram is working on unveiling even more features this summer. With that being said, influencers and brands alike should ensure they are utilizing these features in a way that is appropriate and relevant to their online persona. Nonetheless, we are excited to see what Instagram has in store for us this summer!


Looking to vamp up your social media game? Contact us today and we can help you with your quest to social media greatness!

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