Instagram’s Big Changes

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2018 has been the year for change in Instagram Land as the Facebook-owned service switches it up. Instagram’s last monumental changes were in 2016 – it’s first since Facebook bought the app in 2012 - which saw people losing their minds. And in 2018, the latest changes to Instagram have been seeing people losing their minds all over again.

 

Chronological Feed
The 2012 changes to Instagram’s algorithm moved the feed from chronological order to “the best, most meaningful content” – or in social media giant speak - the posts with the greatest social value of reach, likes and comments. The algorithm mirrored Facebook’s feed flow of information but didn’t make sense for Instagram as an app based in the moment. Two years later, Instagram concedes the move might not have been the best one and announced it’s “introducing changes to give you more control over your feed that ensures the posts you see are timely.”

Shoppable Instagram Posts
The return to the chronological feed was likely lost amongst all the noise and chatter of Shoppable Instagram Posts – Instagram’s most significant change to date. The change accelerates Instagram from a social media platform where businesses are discovered to where business is done. Shoppable Posts are a game changer, turning online shopping on its head, allowing shoppers to buy directly from Instagram without leaving the app. We’ve got all the instructions, questions and answers >right here< for happy Instagram shopping and selling.

Instagram Direct Adds Privacy Controls
Snapchat and Instagram seem locked in an eternal struggle to outdo each other. Snapchat will release it first, but Instagram will release it better. In October 2013, Snapchat released Stories as a fun way to keep up with family and friends. Instagram took up the Stories gauntlet in in August 2016 with 100 million users now using Stories every day - in comparison to 75.2 million Snapchat users. Snapchat Stories have been recently absorbed into the new feed following a new design released end of 2017. When users send a direct message in Snapchat, there’s no way to control how many times the message is replayed – even though the message is available for a short period of time. But in Instagram Direct where users can privately chat using texts, images, videos and links, the new and original Keep In Chat privacy option has just been added. This is particularly ideal for businesses using private messages and images to send out exclusive offers and discounts to customers and extending its life or placing a limit when it’s used.

Instagram Scheduling
While we totally understood Instagram’s focus as an app based in the now, it still didn’t make life any easier for businesses when it came to scheduling posts on Instagram. We could schedule for Facebook inhouse or through third parties along with Twitter, Pinterest and even LinkedIn, but Instagram was proving late to the party. Social media managers and digital marketers the world over, however, heaved collective sighs of release with the news that Scheduling Instagram Posts landed. Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Facebook‘s Marketing Partners and Instagram Partners were all onboard - and making sure we were all invited to the Instagram Scheduling party too.

Type Mode For Stories
Instagram announced the introduction of Type Mode in stories as “a new way to share anything that’s on your mind with creative text styles and backgrounds — no photo or video required.” Similarly to creating a Facebook status with colourful backgrounds and stickers, the new Type Mode for stories turns words visual – ideal for Instagram given it’s such a visual platform.

Resizing Instagram Stories
Until recently, Instagram was strict about its Story dimensions of 1080pix x 1920pix. But Instagram is clearly realising it can only limit its users for so long, allowing Stories in all sizes and formats, simply by stretching to fit the screen with a screen pinch and a tap.

Carousel Ads Coming To Instagram Stories
As one of the most engaging ad formats on Instagram, Carousel Ads stand out for its high engagement, click through and conversion rates. And since they’re so effective in our Newsfeed, they’ll be a huge hit on Instagram Stories to tap through, swipe back and forth or pause. Carousel Ads are coming to Instagram Stories and so far, only Coca-Cola, Renault and Paramount Pictures are onboard for the ride, but there is no doubt this will be available to businesses soon.
 


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