New Instagram Features

With Instagram rolling out a plethora of new features for their users, we wanted to give you a quick overview on some of the new tools and ways you / your brand can utilize them.

Instagram Stories

Swipe right or tap the top left camera and let the games begin. Instagram Stories are a new way to snap and share your daily life with your followers. Instead of showing up in their feed, Instagram stories appear at the top of the Instagram app, and are viewable for 24 hours. Similar to other picture snapping social media services, you can add in filters, text, draw (with a few different styles), and have your selection from a plethora of stickers. You can change privacy settings for your stories, which allows you to hide your stories from selected accounts.

Instagram Live Videos

Head on over to the same spot you would go for Instagram Stories and slide the bottom bar over to Live. You can now go live on Instagram, sharing your life with your followers in real time. You can track the number of viewers, and viewers can comment and like the video. Don’t want to see the comments? You have the ability to disable them, too. Live videos don’t have the same 24-hour policy though; they’re gone right after you end the live session.

Instagram Hands Free

You can now film videos for your Instagram Stories hands free! Instead of holding down the center button to record, you can click it once and the filming starts. To end, tap the center button again and you’re all set. Same stickers, filters, etc. apply.

Where can you see Stories and Live Videos?

  • Whoever follows you will see it at the top of their feed
  • A colored ring will appear around your Profile photo on your Profile
  • If your account is public, your video could potentially appear on the Search and Explore page

Shoppable Instagram Posts

You can now shop directly on Instagram! While this feature is currently in beta with specific brands, Instagram is *hopefully* rolling out it’s shopping feature to all brands. So how does it work? Companies can tag their products in the photos with a “tap to view products” button, which will lead viewers to a product description page and shop now button. Instagram will not be charging for this feature, which is great news for brands. Monetization will most likely come in a form of promoted shoppable posts, the same way you can promote posts now. Instagram has made sure that the tap to view button isn’t too intrusive and therefore doesn’t ruin the aesthetic of photos (plus one for all digital curators like ourselves!). We’ll continue to share more updates about shoppable posts as Instagram continues to roll out this new feature!

Which feature are you most excited about? Tweet us @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram – @somethingsocial.

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The Instagram Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s face it, we’ve all wondered what other people are thinking when they look at our Instagram. With social media being declared the highlight reel of how we live our lives, it only makes sense that we want to put our best foot (or photo) forward. So, being the social experts that we are, we decided to round up some of our do’s and don’ts for Instagram to help you live your best #Insta life.

DO: Engage with your followers!

While social media may be a place for you to express yourself, it’s also a place for you to interact with friends, family, fans, etc. Let your followers know they’re heard. Give them a like, follow, comment, anything to show you care.

DON’T: Follow and unfollow and follow again and unfollow again and you get the point.

Who doesn’t love a new follower? But there’s nothing worse than the haunting follow/unfollow cycle until you get a follow back. Just follow and let the Instagram course take its ride.

DO: Tag!

It’s a great way to engage with other brands and people. Plus, we all want to know where you got those super cute shoes and we don’t really want to ask. There are two types of tagging to be aware of – tagging accounts in the actual photo versus tagging accounts in the caption. There are pros to both. Tagging in the caption displays the account name without people having to click to show tags, giving immediate exposure. However, tagging the account in the photo adds it to their profile’s tagged photo section, allowing people who follow them to see it even if they don’t follow you. It also makes it more likely the account you’re tagging will see the photo even if they’re not logged into their Instagram at that moment. If you’re working with a brand or professional, make sure you find out if they have specifications for tagging!

DON’T: Take a sponsored post just to take a sponsored post.

More now than ever, our social media has become a reflection of not only who we are, but how we conduct our lives – what brands we use, what people we hang out with, what we want the world to know about us. Taking a sponsored post just for the sake of being #sponsored can cheapen your brand, whether it be a personal one or a professional one.

DO: Have fun with it.

At the end of the day, your social media should be fun! Nobody lives a perfect life, and even though Instagram may be the highlights, we all want to know you’re human from time to time. Be relatable; it’ll make your content all the more appealing to your followers.

DO: Take advantage of Instagram stories and Instagram live!

With Instagram rolling out new features all the time, Instagram stories are a great way to pop up on people’s feeds who don’t follow you, but probably should. Also, this is a great alternative to giving your followers a peak into your everyday life, without ruining your awesome Instagram feed.

Have some of your own tips or tricks? Tweet us @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram – @somethingsocial.

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