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Instagram Updates // Making sense of the latest changes


With 80% of users following at least one brand on Instagram and the platform quickly becoming a huge eCommerce channel, businesses can no longer ignore Instagram.

Recent Instagram updates have created a huge opportunity for brands to connect with their customers like never before. 

There seems to be a new upgrade every few weeks, it’s not always the easiest to stay on top of it all.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 2018’s most important Instagram updates. These updates should dictate your Instagram strategy going well into 2019.

Add Hashtags to Your Profile

Earlier in 2018, Instagram let users add clickable hashtags and mentions to their bio. This lets brands display their own hashtags in their bio and lets users easily browse their collection of USG.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open your Insta profile and click the ‘Edit Profile’ button’
  2. Click on your bio to edit
  3. Update your bio by adding usernames (using’@’) or hashtags (using #)
  4. Click ‘Done’

IGTV

IGTV is built around how we use our smartphones – vertically. Videos can be up to one-hour long for verified accounts or accounts with a large number of followers.

Things you need to know:

  • IGTV is similar to Instagram Stories in many ways. It’s possible to create swipe up call-to-actions with IGTV and Stories. One key difference is videos on your IGTV won’t disappear after 24-hours.
  • IGTV is a separate app that works with Instagram like Facebook and Messenger work together.
  • Viewers can like, comment and share your videos directly to a friend.

IGTV Helps to Build Your Brand

IGTV is a platform to provide your audience with quality content that brings them value. The swipe up call-to-action feature is a great opportunity for digital marketers to capitalise on. You should really think about getting started with IGTV!

 

Engagement Tools

Once upon a time, the only way to measure engagement on Instagram was by the number of likes, comments and Story views. With the introduction Interactive Stickers, including polls, questions and slider emoji, you now have more ways to gather information about your audience’s preferences.

interactive stickers

Image: Adweek

Ads and @mention in Stories

Advertisements

Brands can now use full-screen advertisements between the Stories of the people that a user follows.

This can present its challenges because users tap and swipe quickly when browsing Stories. The advertisement needs to be captivating from the very second to keep people from skipping.

@mention

Users can now share content straight to their own story if someone mentions them in a post or story. When users are notified that they’ve been mentioned, they are given the option to “Add This to Your Story”.

Shopping Tags

Shopping tags let Instagram accounts highlight a product in their image and link it to their website. This function is now also available in Instagram Stories. This is a great feature for digital marketers as it captures customers at the moment of engagement and redirects them to their eCommerce site.

shopping tags

Image: Engadget

Instagram Verification

Instagram has made it much easier for users to apply for the all-important blue tick of verification. Accounts with a larger following can go to Settings and request verification.

The three-step process has been made public and is now available in the Instagram app.

Instagram verification brings a strong sense of credibility to your account. This is certainly something brands want to achieve, especially when Instagram is fast becoming a powerful eCommerce platform.

What’s your favourite Instagram feature? Let us know in the comments below!

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