What’s New On Instagram for 2018
Instagram, never complacent with the success of its own platform, continues to roll out new features month after month, year after year. Last year, Instagram graced us with the ability to add links to Instagram Stories, which is great news for retail brands and publishers. Suddenly, they were able to find creative ways to actually drive traffic through Stories. Instagram’s Stories has been a blessing to marketers and continue to be one of the most popular features on the platform. Since the introduction of Stories, the average time spent on the platform has jumped from 15 minutes to 28 minutes, an 86.6% increase. Stories have proven to be an excellent place for user engagement. 1 in 5 brands receive at least 1 direct message (DM) from a consumer on an organic story.
With Instagram rolling out new improvements almost every month, it is continuously becoming a better promotional tool, but it can be hard to keep up with all the changes. At the end of 2017, Instagram introduced the ability for users to archive their stories on their homepage. Rather than disappearing after 24 hours, this allows visitors to your page to see your best work from Stories, in perpetuity.
Another feature that marketers will love is the “recommended for you” posts that reside on the main feed along with the posts from the accounts a user follows. This change to the newsfeed was introduced just a few weeks ago, and while recommended content isn’t entirely new to the platform (it can still be found in the “explore” section), it is the first time it will be housed on the main feed. Users scrolling through the home page of the app will come across 3-5 recommended posts, allowing them to discover new posts and view popular content. Engagement becomes more important than ever with this feature, as a concept of virality is added to the home page. If more users interact with your post, it will be displayed to more of their followers who may not yet follow your account.
Businesses with a tangible product should keep an eye out for Instagram and Shopify’s, new shopping feature integration. You may have already seen it on your feeds, but it will be released to the platform’s wider user base in 2018.The new shopping feature lets Shopify users tag their products in each photo, listing the item’s name and price right in the photo. Users can then click through to purchase the item right in Instagram, without having to leave the app. This integration will become a staple of influencer marketing. Celebrities, Instagram models, and even your friend whose fashion sense you envy, can tag their clothes, new gadgets, even food. Followers can then click right through the post to a Shopify page where they can purchase the item that caught their eye in the photo.
Instagram, boasting nearly 300 active daily users, is one of the most popular social media platforms. Marketers can and should take advantage of their latest features to be discovered by new users and drive traffic to their website.
To learn more about What’s New in Social Media Marketing in 2018, watch the webinar!