Analyzing Instagrams Latest Updates

Kylie Carrasco
By Kylie Carrasco

This May Instagram rolled out yet another way for users to gauge their audience’s interest – this time with emojis.

Instagram’s newest sticker, the “emoji slider” is the latest way to poll your viewers.

Upon realizing what a huge success the “poll” sticker was, Instagram added the emoji slider as an additional way to encourage Instagrammers to interact with each other’s posts.

This update is especially great for brands who are trying to get their content to rank higher amongst the Instagram algorithm. By using engagement driving stickers, your posts will receive more interactions, which lets Instagram know that users are happy to see it. The more interactions your post receives, the higher it ranks in the algorithm and the more it gets shown.

Here’s how you can use the new emoji slider

  1. Open up the sticker tray.
  2. Select the “emoji slider” sticker.
  3. Type out your question.
  4. Upload your story.

Not only will you gain insight about your audience, but you’ll also be able to determine how many engaged followers you have.

If used correctly, brands can also benefit from this new feature by using it to conduct research, provide social proof, increase account engagement, and build a relationship with their target audience.

So, the next time your interested in knowing how *Fire* your hamburger looks, or if you should stay in and sleep on Friday night, add a slider to your Instagram story and find out what your followers think.

Customizable Instagram Story Face Features

With Augmented Reality continuing to grow in popularity it’s no surprise that Instagram entered the virtual scene. While the term AR may sound futuristic, the reality is is that it’s happening now, and it’s expanding quickly.

One example of daily AR use, is Instagram’s face filters. Instagrams face filter feature enables users to turn into puppies, cowboys and even scuba divers – all within seconds. These filters add a fun element to Instagram stories and posts that allow creators to post unique content.

Enter the Facebook AR Studio

While Facebook has had AR camera effects for a while, they’ve just recently rolled them out to Instagram. By using the AR program, soon brands will be able to create their own 3d filters and effects to share on Instagram stories. The custom filters will be able to be used by anyone who follows the brand.

Instagram_Planning_Tool

Designed to go viral, custom AR filters are the perfect way for brands to reach a wider audience and increase their following.

So, what if a brand has a cool filter, but you don’t follow them? Don’t worry! If one of your friends follows the brand and uses it in a story or direct message, you’ll be able to use the filter as well!

Related: Facebook AR Studio for Instagram

Instagram Inbox Updates

Frustrated about not receiving all the DM’s you’re being sent?

Or maybe you’re the one sending the DM’s and never getting a response back…

Instagram hears you, and they’re listening.

This month, Instagram simplified their inbox making it easier to find and reply to the messages that matter to us.  Instead of automatically sending some messages to the pending folder, Instagram will now be sending messages directly to the inbox where you can see them.

In addition, you can now star or filter messages that you’d like to follow up on. Not only is this a more efficient way of organizing Instagram messages, but it will also make sure you never miss a message again!

While this may seem like a lot, it is not the end of Instagram inbox updates. Instagram is also beta testing a quick reply feature that will help you reply to messages.

These inbox updates will be beneficial to brands who have a team replying to and handling the messages that come in, as it will save them time and keep them organized.

New CTA Buttons

Along with a new Instagram inbox and message system comes new CTA buttons to add to your profile. These CTA buttons make it easier for business to direct their audience where they want them to go, quickly.  

The Latest CTA Buttons Now Available to Brands

  • Reserve
  • Get Tickets
  • Start Order
  • Book

The latest integration of these buttons is more than just a link in the Instagram profile. With CTA’s buttons like “Book” – users will be able to book appointments through 3rd party sites without ever leaving the Instagram platform.

This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to hone in on their – process. Not only does this eliminate unnecessary steps in the consumers journey, but it also keeps users focused on the goal which leads to better conversion rates.

Integrated with other businesses such as Fandango, GrubHub, and Open Table, these new CTA buttons allow users to book directly through the platform, making Instagram an extension of your business.

Instagram Feed Posts Can Now be Shared as Stories

Previously Instagram stories could only be created by selecting a photo from your phone’s camera roll. Recently, Instagram realized that users wanted to be able to share more than just recent pictures to their stories, so they made some changes.

Now, Instagram has made it possible to share photos from your feed directly to your story, without the need to re-upload the picture. All a user has to do is tap on the share icon next to the desired post and click “Add post to your story.” You’ll then be presented with editing options to customize the post. Not only can you share your posts, but you can also share posts from others whose profiles are public, thus eliminating the need to screenshot a post you’d like to share. Don’t want others to share your posts? You can easily opt out of this feature in Instagram settings.

Mute Feature

While it’s easy to unfollow someone you no longer want on Instagram, the social side effects of it can be detrimental.

Are you afraid to unfollow that annoying aunt, or maybe that annoying coworker – but don’t want to hurt their feelings?

Instagram’s new “mute” feature, has made “unfollow shaming”  a thing of the past.

The new mute feature allows you to unsubscribe from a user’s updates with just one click. While this is more likely to affect personal profiles rather than businesses, it’s still essential that a company continues to create engaging content that their audience wants to see.

Shop Instagram Stories

More and more businesses are turning to Instagram as one of their main social and even e-commerce platforms. With the rise in influencers and brands on social media, people are continually seeing products they love flow through their feed. Links and shoppable Instagram feeds have made it easier for people to find products they love without even trying. And now, Instagram just made it even easier.

This month Instagram announced shoppable Instagram stories, in which users can shop a product directly from an Instagram story they’ve recently watched. Not only is this huge for consumers, but it’s also great news for brands and influencers who find a vast majority of their following is on Instagram.

How will you use this new feature for your brand?

Instagram no longer notifies someone when you screenshot their story

In January, Instagram rolled out a feature in which it would notify users if someone took a screenshot of their story. While this feature was put in place to test out how much this notification would deter users from saving others content, Instagram quickly realized that if users want to take a snapshot of a story they will. And for those that don’t want it to be known, they will find ways around it – like taking a picture of the phone from another phone.

Because this was a beta test and only rolled out to a certain number of Instagram users, they have now stopped the testing and have taken the feature away altogether.

Share Stories You’ve Been Featured in

Instagram users are now able to share a photo or a video from another users story if they are mentioned in it. When given the option to share the story, Instagram will also present you with the ability to edit the story before posting it.

Instagram released this feature for those who were “caught up in the moment” – so much so that they didn’t take any pictures. Now, even if they didn’t capture the moment, they can still reshare it.

From now on, when users are mentioned in a story, they will receive a direct message prompting them to add it to their own story. The original posters story will also be visible when added, which allows that account to boost engagement as well.

Related: What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm Update

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Kylie is a Social Media Manager at Power Digital. Passionate about providing an integrated and unrivaled approach to marketing, she uses the latest industry trends and data led decision making to help clients grow their social presence and improve brand recognition.