Instagram Changes – A Timeline For Ecommerce And Marketing Managers
With Instagram being one of the top five most used apps of all time, it’s no surprise that the creators are updating it often. The best part for you? Did you know that Instagram has implemented a few dozen major updates in the last year alone?
Almost all of the Instagram changes are directed at businesses looking to get the most out of the platform.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of all the Instagram changes since the beginning of 2016 and how they’ve impacted the eCommerce and marketing worlds.
If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of how Instagram has evolved over time, and how you can use it for marketing, you’ve come to the right place.
Post On Instagram Without The App (June 2017)
Instagram introduced a feature that allows users to upload photos via their mobile browser. Although this feature is introduced first and foremost to enable the usage of Instagram on phones that do not support applications, it provides advantages for all of us. Through a relatively easy Google Chrome hack you can now post photos from your desktop, increasing image quality and ease-of-use even further. Are you keen on trying this out? You can read all about this clever hack here.
No More Mean Comments (June 2017)
Everybody has experienced the impact of trolls or spammers on their social accounts at some point in time. Instagram announced two new tools to block these negative experiences.
“Many of you have told us that toxic comments discourage you from enjoying Instagram and expressing yourself freely. To help, we’ve developed a filter that will block certain offensive comments on posts and in live video. All other comments will appear as they normally do and you can still report comments, delete comments or turn them off”, explains Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. For now this tool will be only available in English with more languages being added over time.
In addition, Instagram added a spam filter to block obvious spam in comments on your posts and live videos. The spam filter is powered by machine learning and will remove spam written in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. Read all about these new tools here.
Add A Link To Instagram Stories (June 2017)
As a reader of our blog you are obviously keen on driving more traffic from your social media accounts to your website. Instagram is rolling out the possibility to add a link in your Instagram Stories.
This gives you the opportunity to reveal new items or special offers in a teasing playful manner. This is a great addition to our visual commerce solutions. Read more about this new feature here so you can start enjoying the benefits soon!
Replay Live Videos (June 2017)
Adding a link is not the only new feature in Stories. Instagram now made it possible to share your Live videos in Stories for 24 hours. This way your followers will no longer miss out on your Live announcements.
Manage Instagram Via Facebook Inbox (June 2017)
With this new feature Facebook further integrates the two platforms. Now you are able to manage Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger comments and messages all via the Facebook Inbox.
To use the advantages of this integration in the updated Facebook Inbox, all you’ll have to do is connect your Instagram business profile to your Facebook page and open the Facebook Inbox. Now you can read and reply to comments on your Instagram posts from Facebook!
Does this mean you can manage Instagram completely from Facebook? No you can’t only rely on Facebook Inbox, since it doesn’t give you all the functionalities of Instagram. Direct Messages don’t show up (yet..?) in your Facebook Inbox.
You can read more about the recent Facebook Inbox integration and the possibilities here.
Multiple Image & Video Posts (March 2017)
With this new update, you’re able to post up to ten photos and videos in one post. You can choose different filters for each individual photo, but can only write one caption per post.
“Whether you’re creating a step-by-step tutorial, sharing the different elements of an outfit, or the best bits of a recent holiday, you can now share more than just one moment without worrying about over-posting to your feed,” Instagram explains.
While this isn’t one of the most profound Instagram changes, it’s still fun to play with and gives you more options to share with your followers. If you don’t know how to do it, here’s a step-by-step guide.
Instagram Lead Ads (February 2017)
Instagram lead ads are exactly what they sound like: Ads made to get leads. Here’s an example:
As you can see, in a lead ad you’re allowed a “sign up” button. This is a great way to build your email list. But that’s not all…
Not only does this help your ad stand out, but it also gives you the opportunity to display crucial information (the benefits to your subscribers) to increase conversions.
Read SME’s guide to Instagram lead ads to get started today.
Instagram Story Ads (February 2017)
With the release of Instagram Stories and Instagram ads in the same year, this update was a no-brainer. You now have the liberty to create a story with your product, including a link to buy it right from the Instagram screen. Here’s a quick explainer video:
Story ads are awesome for your business because they allow you to show up in front of your followers when they’re most engaged. Read more about Instagram Story Ads here, and check out Iconosquare’s guide to using Story ads if you want to learn how to do it.
Instagram is an ever-expanding platform, and ever since they were acquired by Facebook, they’ve grown exponentially. It seems all the Instagram changes are a perfect blend of helping businesses get the most out of the platform while protecting users from spam.
After all, without users, Instagram wouldn’t exist.
While these changes are only scraping the surface of all the updates Instagram has made since their beginning, it’s enough to give you a leg up on the competition and start seeing results from your marketing efforts.
Aren’t sure what you should be posting on Instagram? User-generated content (UGC)has been shown to increase conversions and engagement with your followers.
Note: We will be continually updating this list as Instagram releases more updates. You can subscribe to this article and you’ll receive an email when we add a new Instagram update to this timeline.
Author: Bill Widmer
This article was originally published in the Photoslurp Blog