Instagram is constantly updating and adding new features to enhance users’ experience.
Have you kept up with all of the updates in 2020 so far? To help you stay on track, here are the biggest releases that have come into effect this year.
Users can record 15-second clips, then add music and edit with tools such as a countdown timer or video speed adjustments. Reels will provide creators the option to share the video on Instagram Stories, send directly to specific users, or add it to a new Reels tab on their profile, similar to IGTV.
Have you ever come across a beautiful customer testimonial in your comments that you want the rest of your audience to see? A new Instagram feature now allows users to pin their top three favourite comments on a post, similar to YouTube comments.
Pinning IG comments allows you to highlight positive engagement and sentiments from loyal members of your Instagram community, possibly encouraging more of this same behaviour from others. This update may also prove to be a great marketing strategy, as it’s the perfect tool to put the spotlight on positive testimonials.
New features for Instagram Live
As brands and creators looked for new ways to interact with their followers during lockdown, Instagram Live became a practical, easy, and effective way to keep in touch. According to Facebook data, Instagram Live views increased by 70% from February to March.
Instagram announced several new features for Instagram Live, including a new button to upload your Instagram Lives directly to IGTV when you’re done, the ability to watch live broadcasts on desktop, and support for businesses and creators with Instagram Live Shopping and Live Badges.
While shopping and badges are both still in testing, we expect them to drive even more IG Live usage in the coming months. You can strategically use Live’s to extensively promote your products or services, and use the platform’s built-in features to help drive traffic back to your website.
Instagram has been testing a variety of new, in-house shopping tools including Shops and shopping tag expansions. Thanks to these features, brands can build enticing digital storefronts to promote and sell their products directly on the app.
Brands can market their products by partnering with influencers (via Instagram’s soon to be released ‘Shopping for Influencers’ feature), getting products featured on the Explore page, running Instagram Shopping Ads, or by sharing Instagram posts and stories with product tags.
Instagram Shopping presents a huge opportunity for brands to influence no-fuss sales and inspire shoppers. If you’re an e-commerce brand looking to increase your online sales, and you haven’t gotten started with Instagram Shopping yet, 2020 is definitely the year to do it.
New Instagram Stickers to Support Small Businesses
2020 has been a challenging year for small businesses, but Instagram has stepped up to offer support during this tough time. The app responded to lockdown with a ton of great tools to help small businesses continue to make sales that went beyond the apps shopping features.
The new ‘Support Small Business’ sticker for Stories allows users to mention the SMB’s they love, directly in the sticker, to give followers a preview of the account. Instagram also released new stickers and profile buttons for buying gift cards, ordering food, and donating to fundraisers.
These added stickers encouraged Instagram users to shop local and support the smaller brands that they love.
Monetisation of IGTV
This year, IGTV became another avenue for creators to earn money directly through a social media platform. The monetisation of the long-form video sharing platform aims to drive-up usage. Particularly now that Instagram will share a 55% cut of ad revenue with creators.
This is the first time creators will be able to make money directly from IGTV since its launch in 2018. According to the app, the 15-second long ads will begin showing up in the IGTV’s of 200 approved US creators, with plans to expand this globally.
IGTV is a great platform to reach new audiences, grow your engagement, and share extensive knowledge on a topic or product. Influencer marketing on IGTV is definitely a trend we expect to see more of in the future.