Instagram Update: What does it mean?
Earlier this year Instagram shook the social media world by launching Instagram Stories, an in-app (almost) carbon copy of Snapchat, minus the fun filters. The move left some questioning the position of Snapchat as one of the big players in social media. However, in the latest move, Instagram has launched three new features for Stories, moving away from Snapchat’s functionality and focusing on making the feature more fun and engaging.
But what do these features mean to marketers? We run through our thoughts below.
Much like you are able to tag other accounts in images on Instagram, you can now tag them in stories. This feature allows you to highlight others in the story or direct people to another account with a direct link.
This is probably the most practical feature included in the update and is likely to make a huge difference in marketers using influencers in campaigns. This means those looking to endorse products and brands can now do so in their stories with a direct link through to the brands page.
Already an established part of the Instagram arsenal, Boomerang allows users to create mini GIF-like images with their phone camera. Up until now this feature has only been available by downloading a separate Instagram owned app in order to create the snippet.
Although this feature is still not available to use directly with the camera feature on Instagram, the new update allows users to directly take a Boomerang in-app for use in their story.
Really, this is a ‘just-for-fun’ feature for marketers, however it does allow them to generate more interesting and engaging stories from seemingly less-interesting situations. Never has the marketing intern stirring the tea been so visually engaging!
One of the greatest issues to date that marketers have had with Instagam is the apps limited ability to include clickable links. Until now the only click-to-follow link available on the app is through the bio section on your profile.
With the new update, Instagram has provided a swipe up to ‘see more’ feature. This allows the user to link through to an article, website or ecommerce site of their choice.
Yes, this is THE most exciting feature in the new updates, but don’t get too excited. Instagram has announced that this ‘is a test that lets verified accounts add links so it’s easy to learn more’. So unless you are @therock or @chancetherapper you are unlikely to be able to use this feature quite yet, and we will only be likely to see it if it proves popular/useful with these accounts.
However, marketers working with verified accounts on marketing campaigns will be able to use this feature to their benefit, @therock has already been using the feature to link through to his latest movie.
How excited should we really be about Instagram’s updates?
In short it does appear that Instagram are starting to make it easier for brands to leverage the platform to generate more engagement and ultimately drive traffic to external sites. This is great news in terms of functionality of the app for marketers. However, arguably part of Instagram’s current popularity is the inability for a brand to throw marketing in your face and instead they must generate quality content that is worthy of an audience. The latest updates prove little concern with this mind, but they do show a move by Instagram towards further monetiseing the platform.