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The Latest Instagram Updates (and why you should pay attention)

Instagram has quickly become one of the strongest social media platforms for businesses, publicizers and the general public. New features, algorithms and capabilities are updated on an ongoing basis and this year has been no different. There have recently been some key changes to the app that can deeply impact your marketing strategy and ROI. Read on Instagram fam! 

Shoppable Posts

Currently, Instagram Business Accounts can tag shoppable items in their posts that link directly to their ecommerce websites. Instagram announced that it would soon be experimenting with these posts as ads. Translation: You’ll be able to target your shoppable posts to relevant users vs. organically in the feed. This is sure to amplify the number of interested eyes on your products and store, translating to higher engagement and return on investment. If you run ads on Facebook, there is just as great an opportunity on Instagram to market your products. 

mobile phone displaying shoppable instagram post analytics

Desktop Publishing

Using Facebook’s Creator Studio, you can now publish posts on Instagram from your desktop. Social media managers, influencers and businesses have been requesting this capability for years. Previously, you had to use a third party app to post from your desktop to Instagram, often still having to use a mobile device to publish the content. This is a huge advantage when creating social media content calendars and ensures that the posts you need to go out on Instagram actually do, without having to stop whatever you’re doing to publish manually from your phone.

mobile phone taking a picture for an instagram post

IGTV

IGTV (Instagram TV) videos were created to have longer duration than Instagram stories. At this time, videos taken or uploaded to your Instagram story can only be 15 seconds long. With IGTV, the maximum video length is 60 minutes or 1 hour. For optimum exposure, videos should be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long for every regular account. Meaning anyone using the app will be able to upload up to 10 minutes of content to the platform. However, all verified accounts with large followings can upload hour long videos from a desktop. This is a game changer for marketers, brands and influencers on Instagram who have video content they want to share.

mobile phone taking a video for instagram tv

Story Stickers

The latest feature to join the group of Instagram stickers available when posting a story is the “Chat” capability. Users can now start a group discussion with their followers. This feature is a nod to Instagram’s original mission which was to share authentic content with friends and talk about the things you love. 

Also available to add to your Instagram stories is the “Quiz” sticker which allows you to create quizzes for your followers to take. This can be highly beneficial to brands who want to see how up to speed customers are about their product or service knowledge. 

Other features are the “Donation” sticker (where you can raise money for a cause), “Countdown” (shows a defined time left until something happens ─ great for product launches or new features), and the “Questions” sticker where users can ask their followers a question. 

mobile phone displaying an instagram user interacting with a story

With over 1 billion users worldwide, there is a place for your brand or business on Instagram. Any posts, whether they’re organic in-feed or advertisements, should be focused on appealing imagery and engaging content. Share the things your followers love and want to hear about! Reply to their comments and like posts from the accounts you follow. Use Instagram stories and IGTV to provide users an exciting visually interactive experience. You’ll see an increase in brand loyalists and people who truly understand what it is you can do to help solve their problem or make their life better. 

Is your business on Instagram? How do you use the platform to gain exposure and interact with your customers?  

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