As the second most used social networking site, falling shortly behind Facebook, Instagram is always looking for new ways to cater to its audience and improve usability. 30% of the internet are now Instagram users so clearly, these changes are helping to grow its following.
What has been introduced so far?
Instagram recently introduced Instagram stories, a direct competitor for Snapchat. Instagram believe that this update will allow users to share a variety of aspects of their day, rather than just specific ‘perfect’ images. The photos will disappear after 24 hours and will not be shared on your profile. In a similar way to Snapchat, users are able to see who is viewing their stories and this has been claimed to be a great way to find out who your ghost followers are. With Instagram stories, we expect to see more videos posted on the platform. Typically, videos get much less engagement on this social platform, so this update could possibly change that.
If you haven’t heard of this change yet, perhaps you avoided all social media for the weeks prior to its launch. Basically, Instagram launched an algorithm based newsfeed similar to that which is used in Facebook. Newsfeeds will no longer work in chronological order as users will see ‘top’ posts from people or hashtags that they usually engage with the hope that no key content will be missed. Instagram has said that users miss 70% of their feeds so are now aiming to make each newsfeeds most relevant to each individual user. Although many users initially voiced their concern with the change, many seem to have now adapted to their new feed.
Instagram has created a set of business tools which will help make advertising on Instagram even more seamless. Business profiles now feature a contact button so that users can connect with brands on Instagram more easily. Instagram is also providing companies with a mobile analytics suite called ‘Insights’ that is a package of actionable information about customers. This is similar to insights that you get on Facebook pages.
Goodbye to spam comments
Instagram reportedly gave Queen of the Insta Girl Gang, Taylor Swift and other powerful Instagram users a feature which will allow them to remove negative or spammy comments from any pictures they have shared. This has now been rolled out to the public and will help users with a high level of negative comments to stop abuse spreading on their profiles. Instead of deleting comments individually, users will be able to delete mass comments instantly by entering keywords that should not be allowed on their profiles.
What are we expecting to see?
Save and add later
Instagram is currently said to be testing out a feature which will let users save drafts of their images ready for upload at a later time. It is said that the app will give you a prompt to save the photo once you click ‘back’ on the editing section. Instagram has not yet confirmed if this will be a permanent feature but it has been significantly popular with the users who have experienced this so far.
These changes will be great for brands looking to utilise the social platform as consumers are becoming increasingly open to brands connecting with them on social media. Although, getting content right is key to engaging your audience – after all, the audience on Instagram is much less likely to forgive a pushy or unattractive post. Instagram is still not a dominant platform for businesses, but there is still room to grow as we expect to see the number of brands on Instagram rise from 48.8% to 70.7% by 2017.