What You Need To Know About Instagram’s Latest Updates

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Instagram’s Latest Updates

Social media is constantly evolving, especially as different social platforms continue to compete with one another. Instagram is currently working on rolling out a series of updates; these updates will improve the cross-link with their parent company (Facebook) as well as continue to edge out Snapchat as a social media network.

You may have noticed that some of these features have already rolled out, while some are still in the works. The updates include:

Slow Motion Video

The option to shoot a video in slow motion is the newest update to Instagram’s Stories. While most phone cameras already have a slow motion option, this feature allows users to shoot the slow motion video directly from Instagram. The social app hopes this will add a fun element to their Story options and increase usage, like their “Boomerang” and “Hands-free” video options have. This also adds another competitive element to Stories, as Snapchat already offered a slow motion option, as well as hyper-speed and reverse options, for videos.

Mute Profiles

Do you have that one person in your social circle who really annoys you on social media, but it would create drama if you unfollowed them? Or maybe you and a friend got into a fight, and while you don’t want to go to the extreme of unfollowing them, you need a break for a little bit? Instagram now offers a solution. Rather than cutting all ties and unfollowing a person, you can mute their profile. This means that person won’t pop up on your News Feed anymore. The individual is not notified that you have muted them, and it still shows that you’re following them.

The mute option is not available for users yet. When it is, though, you will be able to mute a profile by clicking on the ellipses in the top right corner of their post, and scrolling to “Mute Posts”.

Stories Calendar

Instagram will now offer a calendar view for your stories. In your Stories options, there will an option to view a calendar; the calendar will show a snapshot of the content you shared that day, giving you a clear visual of what days you were active on your story and what you did.

This is a tremendous tool for businesses, as it will help align with content calendars and track post frequency. For marketers tracking their advertising trends, this is a great benchmark to use.

Stories Reactions

Similar to reacting to a post on Facebook, you can now react to an Instagram Story. The reactions include a laughing emoji, a shocked emoji, a heart-eyed emoji, and a sad emoji. Additionally, these “Quick Reactions” (as they’re being coined) include a hand-clapping emoji, a fire symbol, confetti for celebration, as well as a one hundred sign.

The Quick Reaction option comes up on the screen when you opt to reply to someone’s Story. When you send the reaction, the emoji response you chose is sent to them via direct message and floods their screen. This is one way Instagram is making the interaction between users more customized and modern.

Tagging Facebook Friends

Also new to Instagram Stories is the ability to tag Facebook friends. When you tag someone’s Facebook profile on Instagram, they get a notification via Facebook, and it appears in their News Feed. This is one of the lengths Facebook has gone to in order to improve the integration between the two apps, and it can also improve a posts organic reach, as it is being broadcasted across both social networks.

New Explore Layout

Instagram is about to overhaul it’s Explore Page. The Explore Page is tailored towards each user, allowing the individual to discover new people, businesses, and ideas that Instagram’s algorithm has put together for you based off of your searches and the profiles you are already following. Explore will still be customized towards each user, but it will be organized into topic channels, allowing you to browse your interests in a more organized and more in-depth way.

This new layout will enable brands to research what kind of content is appearing in the topic sections, as well as the popular hashtags people are using. This will inform companies how they can better tailor their social media plan to increase their reach.

Video Chat

Recent research indicated that despite almost half of Instagram users utilizing the direct messaging tool, 85% of messages people send go to the same three friends every time. Instagram derived that this application was being used more intimately between friends as opposed to being a broad-ranging communications tool.

In order to build off of that intimate connection, Instagram is implementing video chat. The video chat option will be brought to the social app in the next couple of weeks and will be accessible through the direct message system. To start a chat, you will simply click on the video camera icon situated at the top right corner of your direct message screen. You can chat with multiple users or just one person. You will also be able to minimize the video and explore Instagram while continuing the conversation.

With this update, Instagram is able to directly compete with both FaceTime and Snapchat. However, unlike Facetime, Instagram video chat will be available to users across more than just Apple devices. Snapchat’s video chat option faced some kickback after its original reveal, with users complaining of frequent accidental video chats and difficult navigation. Instagram seems to have taken this feedback into account when releasing their video chat option, as you can see the placement below is out of the general-click area where one types their message, reacts, or inserts a photo.

What These Updates Mean

Instagram continues to develop as Facebook applies more similar interactive features on the app, such as reactions and cross-networking tagging, strengthening the bridge between the two social media powerhouses. Additionally, Instagram continues to strengthen it’s Story option as it competes with Snapchat Stories.

These new updates will allow users to connect more directly, really emphasizing the social interaction in social media. As Instagram continues to add more options for personable communication, it begins to eliminate the need for other social apps.  These new features also allow companies to better strategize their content, as they will be able to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns more, as well as find new ways to stay topical.

Does your company’s Instagram profile need a boost? We’re here to help. Contact us here.

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