Latest Instagram Feature Updates That Brands Need To Know

Instagram has continue to become one of the top to-go social media network for creators and brands to share their content with the large user base. As it constantly updates its offerings and features, here are some of the latest addition that has significant impact for both influencers, brands and marketers!

New ways to share Instagram stories

Ever since the creation of Instagram itself, Instagram stories has become another game changing feature for both users and brands. It has opened up endless opportunities for content creator to share genuine real time experiences and for brands to engage with users. This new way of sharing not just life’s highlights, but the in-between moments has helped to bring the whole community closer.

IG has released a new update (On Tuesday!) where users can now share their favorite stories from brands or influencers with their friends directly to their inbox. Users will just have to simply tap on the direct icon in the bottom right corner of a story that they want to share – select a friend or group to share it with and tap send.

What this means?

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With more ways to share IG stories, influencers and brands can look forward to having higher engagement and reach for their story content even if they disappear in 24 hours. With the rising popularity and addition of user-friendly features to IG stories, brands should definitely start investing in creating story content for their own account or to co-create with their influencer!

Instagram live with guest

Instagram

(Still in the test phase) In addition to IG stories, IG live is another medium that connects influencers and users in a deeper and more meaningful way. It works like a video call among the influencer and her followers where they can watch in real time and engage in instant conversation through live comments.

Now, Instagram is testing a new feature which would allow users to invite live viewers to join in a real time broadcast with the host. These live videos can then be saved to the camera roll and shared as regular stories after the live session.

 

 

What this means?

Fantastic opportunity! Influencers and brands can use IG live to introduce their products/services, run tutorials, reviews, contests or even exclusive interviews and behind the scene footages. With the new update, engagement with viewers can be brought to a new level by inviting them to join in the conversation and co-create content.

Replies for live videos

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As mentioned earlier, the incredible success of IG stories has led to multiple updates to further enhance users’ experience with this creative medium. The new update allow users to respond to any stories with their own pictures, videos, and boomerangs all their own in live time.

Users just have to tap the new camera button while watching a story and reply with creative tools available such as face filters and stickers. Users can also add a sticker of the story that they are replying to in their own reply, with the ability to resize and move around to their preference.

What this means?

Yet another way to make IG conversation fun and visual. For influencers and brands alike, this update provides numerous opportunities to bring engagement to a whole new level. One in particular is making use of stories to hold contest or interactive sessions. Users can now be requested to respond to stories instantly with their own content (selfies, boomerangs) to take part in various events/ giveaways.

Banned hashtags

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#hashtags are one of the greatest and easiest way to form and participate in a conversation within a community – think #petsofinstagram, #igphotography. Hashtags allow users to find other like minded individuals with similar interests. At the same time, brands are creating custom and innovative hashtags for their brands/ campaigns that allows their influencers and users to share content with the same tags.

However, there appears to be some problem going on with certain hashtags because apparently, some of them has been banned. Banned in this case did not mean that the hashtags can no longer be clicked on or if users are unable to type it altogether.

In return, there will be severely limited reach for post containing the banned tags and these posts will also not be displayed publicly in the discover section for any of the other hashtags used in the same caption. For hashtags that are banned, a quick search on IG will return only the top posts but none of the recent posts. Also, there will be a line at the bottom that indicates that the hashtag has been associated with content violating community guidelines.

What this means?

Brands or influencers who chose to use ready hashtags (not custom) should take the extra step to find out if they are banned. This will ensure that their content will not end up being removed from recent search or discover section which could severely affect the reach and engagement of the post.

Comment filtering and removal

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While IG has been created to build a community of visual content and conversations, like any other social media platforms, hate comments and bullying are still very much around. As we talked about previously, IG has released a new feature for users (especially celebrities) to filter certain keywords in a comment or even to block all comments entirely.

What this means?

It’s great for celebrities who fall under attack from hate comments spam just like in the case for Taylor and her snakes emoji. Even for smaller influencers, this feature can definitely help to clear up spam and offensive comments that lower the quality of their feed and content.

This is good news for brands too as influencers can now remove unwanted text for their sponsored post, allow genuine users to engage and respond effectively. However, in some cases where celebrities/influencers choose to turn off commenting due to overwhelming hate comments (Gigi Hadid’s case), users who initially wanted to comment their excitement and support for the influencer or the sponsored brand can no longer engage. Not so good for the brand?

 

Although the recent updates may not have been a huge distinct addition of offering, these small updates take into consideration every aspect of users experience; and here we can see why Instagram will continue to be a popular platform among the current digital generation users as well as brands!

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