Instagram has rolled out a succession of updates recently and they just keep appearing. For its more than half a billion (nope not a typo) users some of these have thrown them into a serious loop. Here are the top things you need to know about the apps new features:
- Algorithm Driven Feed: Posts no longer appear in chronological order. Instead, Instagram’s algorithm determines which posts you would most like to see and displays those first in your feed. The order is based a lot in your engagements with the specific account, so if you want to see your best friend’s posts, start liking and commenting!
- Ads: More and more ads are appearing in our newsfeeds as Instagram opens up their advertising to not just big companies, but any willing to spend money, much like newsfeed Facebook ads. Made to emulate real Instagram photo styles, these ads are specially designed content created to grab user attention.
- Instagram Stories: With a pretty direct challenge to Snapchat, Instagram released a new story feature so users can post short photos or videos complete with text and stickers. Stories appear at the top of the home feed, or tap an account’s profile image to view. We’re excited to use this for client events and behind-the-scenes looks! New aspects of stories have slowly continued to roll out. The latest update is the ability to mute stories of some accounts you follow and to easily save your own story posts to your camera roll. P.S., if your Instagram account is public, your story is too.
- Business Profiles: Created for users managing a business feed, the most important aspect of this feature for the general public is the contact button. Businesses can input their phone number or email, so customers can get in touch directly from the app. For the account manager, the update includes the option to promote posts and to see analytics. This is the first time Instagram has shown users how many people are actually seeing their posts, as well as at what time of day and what day of the week.
- Zoom: Ever look at a group picture on Instagram and want to zoom in on the faces? Now you can. Instagram has launched a new zoom feature enabling users to use two fingers to enlarge a portion of the image. All those ‘Can you spot the XYZ’ photos are about to get a lot more complicated.
Now we wait to see what other features they roll out – hopefully we’ll be able to see analytics on the computer, not just our phones.