What's New on Instagram?
With 1 billion active users, Instagram is a valuable tool for marketing across a variety of industries. As a business owner, it is important to keep up with the big players in social networking in order to stay competitive in your industry—which is why we’ve put together a list of new changes to Instagram that you should know about and use to leverage your business.
Access to Facebook Shops
If you compete in the ecommerce world, listen up! Facebook Shops is now accessible via Instagram. This means that businesses can create catalogues of products that users can browse, save, share and purchase from directly on Instagram. Select the products you want to showcase, add a cover image and choose a color scheme for your online store. Users can also receive customer support within the app.
IGTV is becoming more and more popular, so in an effort to make the posts more visible and to increase their organic reach, Instagram now displays them in your followers’ news feed as well as your profile feed. However, the post will play as a 60-second preview of the video that will then encourage users to watch the full video on IGTV.
Additionally, you can share your IGTV posts to your Story, which will display a 15-second preview of the video.
Image Alt Text
Make your content more accessible to those with visual impairments AND possibly improve your SEO rankings by taking advantage of the new alt text feature. To include alt text in your posts, first create a post. Then, before publishing, scroll down and click on Advanced Settings. At the bottom of the screen, under Accessibility, click on Write Alt Text. Fill in your alt text, navigate back to your post, and then publish your post.
Create Story Template
Engage your audience with even more creative Story posts in the new Create mode. Businesses can now combine interactive stickers, text and drawings into their stories without a photo or video in the background.
To access the Create mode, click on the camera icon in the top left corner and then swipe right on the menu at the bottom of the screen.
New Instagram Story Notifications
It’s now easier to see when you’ve been tagged in a Story with the new story notifications. Previously, you had to check your inbox for these notifications, which would pop up as a message request. Now, you can simply go to your notifications and at the very top, “Stories About You” will appear.
Inbox Organization Options
Stay organized with the new inbox categories—Primary, General and Requests. Messages from people you follow will appear in the Primary tab. Messages you receive from accounts that you do not follow will appear in the Requests tab and are then able to be moved to either the Primary or the General tab.
If you’ve lost several followers recently, it may be due to the new categories available under your “following” list. If you look at the list of the accounts you follow, there is now an option to see the accounts that you have “least interacted with” a.k.a. the accounts Instagram thinks you’re not interested in and should possibly unfollow. This is a great feature for cleaning out a newsfeed crowded with posts that are not relevant to you.
Minimum Age Limits
In response to their influx of underage users, Instagram has introduced the ability to set a minimum age to see your business account, profile, posts and stories. You can even set varied minimum age restrictions for specific countries.
To edit your age limits, go to Settings > Business > Minimum Age in the Instagram app.
Which of the new changes to Instagram do you think will be most valuable to your business?