There’s never been a better time to be on the ‘gram. The influential social media giant continues to roll out loads of smart innovations and fancy new features to give users more ways to connect and share content, and to take control over their comments and privacy.
And it’s clearly making the right moves. In the past six months, Instagram has attracted 100 million newcomers, taking its user-base north of 600 million. One of its more recent additions, Instagram Stories, has been particularly popular, with more than 100 million daily active users jumping onboard in just two months.
In our latest Moshing Out vlog, over on Facebook, we shared some of the cool features that have landed on Insta lately. In case you missed it, here are the highlights:
Instagram is finally rolling out the ability for all users to turn off comments on photos. This feature was previously available to only a small number of large accounts but, since early December, Insta has started to take it mainstream. Why? Because even though the comments feature is the way that users interact on Insta, we’ve seen big-name celebs like Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber deactivating their comments feature in response to cyber-bullying, people commenting repeatedly for their own self-promotion and repeated use of LB (‘like back’, an Insta-acronym used to get others to like a user’s photos). So, Instagram has listened to its users and taken action to improve the comments experience. This new feature isn’t available on the Windows 10 app yet, but will be introduced early next year.
Comment liking feature
Another fun new feature to land this month is comment ‘liking’. A la Facebook, all ‘grammers can now like individual comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment that has been made. Instagram has even said it’s thinking of tweaking its algorithm so that positive comments get bumped to the top and the negative ones get filtered to the bottom. Good idea.
Insta has worked superbly well for retail brands, and now the social app is taking it a step further with the option for brands to sell their products directly via the app. The feature was successfully trialled with 20 large US-based retail brands in November, and since then, Insta has continued to refine the features and roll it out gradually to other countries. It may be another few months till we see this in New Zealand, but it will be worth the wait. Brands will be able to post photos of their products and tag them with a product description. When shoppers click on the photo, they’ll get the item details; with a second click they’ll be directed to the brand’s website to complete the purchase. This is an exciting avenue for e-commerce on Instagram, and potentially a game-changer for brands who want to use Instagram effectively for advertising.
Introduced in mid-December, this new app update gives you the option to save any posts that take your fancy. Tapping the bookmark icon will save the post to a new private tab on your profile, which you can visit at a later date. It’s similar in a sense to making a Pinterest board of your favourite things – outfits, food, interior inspiration or whatever. It’s your own digital moodboard within Insta. This feature is fairly basic at this stage, but we hope to see multiple tabs made available in the coming months (we’ll keep you posted), so saved posts can be arranged and themed.
If you’re keen to up your Instagram game in 2017, we’d love to hear from you. But not until well in January. Maybe even Feb 🙂