With continuous updates in 2019, Instagram has become more convenient than ever! The following added and enhanced features are bound to improve users’ experience, making it more exciting for people and businesses alike.
Instagram Video Scheduling
Instagram video scheduling has been introduced this January, which is wonderful news for businesses! It is an incredibly useful addition for allowing companies to post during peak posting times and effectively controlling who you can reach through your videos. Essentially, video scheduling will help you automate your posting process and better organise your marketing process.
Question Stickers during Live Sessions
Question stickers have been introduced in 2018, and updated this year to become available during live sessions as well. When you go live to educate your audience, introduce a new product and so on, you now have the opportunity for a Q&A. This allows your followers to interact with you by asking you questions and receiving answers, increasing engagement levels and deepening your relationship with them.
Introducing a new event? Or a product line perhaps? The brand new Countdown Sticker allows you to promote anything you desire in your stories by using a real-time countdown clock you can edit and adjust with various color schemes, emojis and text.
You can now promote your IGTV videos in your Instagram feed with IGTV previews! This is an amazing new feature to attract your audience in watching your IGTV videos and create more exposure and engagement. All you have to do is to post a 1-minute preview of your video in your feed and people will simply be redirected from there if they want to watch more.
Removal of Self-Harm Images
In order to cleanse Instagram from graphic content suggesting self-harm or suicide, they have now introduced the removal of any image including such content. This, however, means that any time of graphic image may be removed, even if the message of the post does not insinuate self-harm or suicide.
If your business operates in the retail industry you will be very interested in this new feature. Instagram has been widely and successfully used by businesses to sell products, and the process has been fairly convenient for customers. Instagram has now simplified the shopping process even more, offering more convenience and, potentially, more conversions for your business!
The new Instagram Checkout feature allows customers to buy your product without leaving the app. This means that there is no more redirecting and lags, all your customers have to do is enter information like their name, email, billing and shipping information, and once they have made their first purchase Instagram will secure this information for all future purchases. Simplification and convenience means happier customers and, subsequently, more conversions!
If you like advertising through Instagram stories, then this feature has just made your ads a whole more interesting! You can now add polling stickers to your ads allowing you to interact with your audience better in a more fun, animated and entertaining way. A massive upside for you is also collect information about your audience’s preferences, enabling you to adjust your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Instagram is also good at introducing changes you may have never considered you needed them. One such change is the lockout feature, where if you decide to change your username, you can lock your old username should you regret your new one, therefore easily allowing you to revert back to your old username. In essence, you can lock your old username for 2 weeks.
The brand new quiz stickers available in stories allow you to ask your audience multiple choice questions. In turn, people answer your questions and you are then able to collect and track the results. It is a great way of collecting data about your brand, products and services, while at the same time making it more fun and interactive for your followers.
Influencers can Tag Products
Influencers promoting your products are now able to tag the products they are using or that are visible in the post so that their followers can buy the exact same product without ever leaving the app and having to undertake frustrating online research. You can now not only promote your products through influencers, but also run the posts as ads from your own business account.
Landscape Videos on IGTV
When IGTV was launched, IGTV creators were only allowed to upload vertical videos. It was not long after that creators expressed their desire to be able to upload landscape format on the platform. This would enable them to produce more high motion content and a wider shot which means that they can include multiple figures in one frame. Instagram listened the creators and now has provided support for landscape videos on IGTV.
Donations on Instagram Stories
Stories for a good cause! Instagram introduced the Donation Sticker which creates a nonprofit fundraiser for users to raise money for a charity and good causes. The Donation Sticker is available in the US , but Instagram is working hard to make this feature available to the global market. IG users can click the Donate button on a story to contribute to the fundraising, where 100% of funds raised through Instagram will go directly to the charity. Instagram does not get a cut out out of this.
Ad Placements Open in Explore Section
Instagram has announced an additional advertising placement in the Explore section. When a user selects a photo in the Explore section of the app, a new scrollable layout will be shown with a feed of similar posts the specific user would like to see. Instagram users typically use this section to discover new brands and accounts to follow. Now, when someone is scrolling through this new feed generated by Instagram, they can see ads here just like in their normal feed.
Hiding Like Counts
Hiding of like counts indicates the ability to hide the likes count on your posts. This is still in beta testing, which means it may or may not come into effect. Nevertheless, Instagram wants to encourage users to focus on the posts themselves and connecting with people instead of worrying about the number of likes. No official statements have been released yet so we will be waiting for an update throughout the rest of the year.
To be continued..
Instagram creates continuous improvements on its features, by updating existing features, adding new ones, and maybe even removing old ones. We are still a little more than halfway through the year and, judging from the updates undertaken since January, we are sure to expect a lot more!