5 Must-Know New Instagram Features
Instagram is an increasingly favored social media channel for young and old alike–with 59% of internet users age 18-29 and 33% of internet users ages 30-49 using the platform (according to PEW research center).
Aside from providing individual users with an outlet to share their photos, videos, and hilarious GIFs, Instagram is a dynamic platform for brands to tell their company or product story in a creative manner.
With it’s simple and clean interface, Instagram provides businesses with easy access to focused attention from current or potential customers.
With 70% of Instagram users following a business, your company would be wise to have an Instagram presence (source).
However, presence alone isn’t enough.
Instagram continually offers new features to ensure the best user experience and the ability for individuals, companies, or organizations to accomplish their associated goals.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned Instagram user, it’s important to stay up-to-date. Here, we offer you an overview of five new features on the app.
#1 Multiple Photos in a Post
They say a picture is worth a thousand words…but sometimes one picture just doesn’t cut it.
With the exception of paid posts from advertisers, Instagram users used to be restricted to one photo or video upload per post. This often resulted in too many posts appearing in succession from brands and individuals, annoying their following and often leading to unfollows.
In February 2017, Instagram changed the rules and introduced multiple-image posts, where users can upload up to ten photos or videos per post. Followers can swipe through each visual element in the post and receive a more comprehensive glimpse of the content being shared.
This feature benefits business accounts in a variety of ways, whether it be sharing multiple images of a new product or posting various photos and videos taken at a branded event.
#2 Two-Factor Authentication
Instagram now supports two-factor authentication (2FA), an increasingly common security protocol that can be used for a variety of digital accounts. In addition to entering a username and password, you will enter another piece of information that only you know.
If you don’t have this extra security layer turned on in Instagram, head on over to Your Profile > Menu > Two-Factor Authentication > Require Security Code, and make the switch. After entering and linking your phone number, you’ll receive a code to enable access.
In doing this, you’ll save yourself the potential headache of dealing with a hacked account down the line.
#3 Instagram Story Ads
Instagram Stories were introduced in August 2016 and are considered a competitor to fellow social media staple SnapChat when it comes to social video sharing.
If you aren’t familiar with Instagram Stories, they are essentially video stories located on a bar at the top of users’ feeds, with each clip that lasts for 24 hours before disappearing.
Brands can use the Stories to regularly update and engage their followers and/or create targeted Story ads to reach a wider audience of potential followers and customers.
Businesses can also add links directly into their stories to drive site traffic and increase conversions. This wasn’t possible until recently, and the main aim of Story ads was to raise brand awareness.
Now, businesses can also achieve increased conversions from promotions on Stories that encourage people to click through to purchase on their site.
To create a Story sd, you will need to use Adverts Manager on Facebook (which owns Instagram) and select “Stories” when editing placements.
#4 Instagram Collections
In addition to having the ability to save specific Instagram posts, users can now create collections, which are essentially folders to categorize and organize saved posts. Think of them as Pinterest boards that utilize the plethora of interesting posts on the app.
These collections are entirely private. For businesses, we recommend you utilize collections to gather:
- User-generated content regarding your brand or product to repurpose down the line.
- Groups of your own posts to track specific hashtag campaigns.
- Inspiration and ideas from other brands for campaigns and posts you’d like to mimic for your brand.
Instagram has several editing tools that allow you to get creative with your video posts.
First there was Boomerang, which allows you to create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth.
Now there’s Rewind, the newest editing tool that will spice up your posts by playing videos backwards. Using Rewind, you can creatively demo your product or service in a way that is visually interesting to watch backwards–especially if you sell something that can be physically assembled or built.
Currently, 48.8% of brands are on Instagram, and that number is expected to rise to 70.7% by the end of 2017 (source).
Our advice? Don’t be satisfied simply by knowing you’re included in that count. Take full advantage of Instagram’s creative and fun tools at your disposal to make your posts intriguing, engaging, and worth following.
Instagram is also a great place to encourage and repurpose user-generated content. Here are five ways your brand can leverage this kind of impactful content.