collabary

Instagram Updates Round-Up: Spring Changes to Look Forward to

Photo credit: Raphael Silva

 

With winter behind us, we can now look forward to the warmth and sunshine that spring promises. While for the time being we are relegated to staying home, Instagram is set to release some new features that are bound to keep our social media fresh, exciting, and most importantly, safe. 

We have divided our latest Updates Round-Up into two sections this week; the first to focus on how Instagram is changing to support users in these uncertain times, and the second to explore the updates that are rumored to be in the works. Whether officially announced or predicted, we will look at each update and discuss how this may affect your influencer marketing strategy. 

 

Instagram: Keeping People Informed, Safe, and Supported 

As the world moves through this difficult situation, Instagram has committed to helping its users stay united and engaged despite our shared isolation. In a recent announcement, Instagram revealed that it would be unrolling a number of new features to promote its users’ safety as well as some extra tools to boost financial support to a number of charities and health initiatives worldwide. These include:

 

Improving Access to Accurate Communication

Instagram intends to do this by ensuring that searches related to “COVID-19” will direct them to educational resources from trusted health authorities such as the World Health Organization. As well as this, unofficial or speculative pages will be removed from the Explore results, and false information that has been shared in stories will be downranked to stop the spread of misinformation. 

collabary

Photo credit: Instagram

A few weeks ago in our recent blog, we highlighted the need for brands and influencers to steer away from using language that creates unnecessary alarm or urgency. In the new changes, Instagram has prohibited advertisements that do exactly this, as well as those that promote the sale of certain related products. To further enforce this, users can no longer search for virus-related AR effects. 

 

Encouraging Stickers

collabary

Photo credit: Instagram

New stickers have been released that help users share helpful information with each other, including reminders to wash your hands, practice social distancing and, of course, stay home. In addition to this, the donation sticker has now been made available in more countries and a new COVID-19 section has been added to help people quickly identify relevant charitable organizations.

 

Co-Watching

collabary

Photo credit: Instagram

The co-watching has been in the works for some time, so it’s great to see Instagram releasing it just as it’s needed. This feature allows friends in a group video chat browse feed posts together that either one user has liked or saved, or that Instagram recommends. To do this, tap the video chat icon in the direct inbox or a direct thread. Once you are in a chat, tap the photo icon in the bottom left corner and you will then be able to experience the photos and videos together.

This feature is the perfect method to share what is usually a singular experience into a communal one, and we expect this to be wildly popular regardless of the global situation. We expect co-watching to have a number of effects on user engagement, including longer times spent within the app as well as encouraging more active sharing and saving of in-feed content. 

 

Rumored

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Updates Round-Up if we didn’t include rumored updates as discovered by popular reverse engineering sleuth Jane Manchun Wong. There are plenty of rumors this week, so let’s get straight to them!

 

IGTV Video Reactions

collabary

Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

Instagram is yet again proving its commitment to IGTV by adding this innovative feature that seeks to allow users to respond to IGTVs with video reactions. As the image reveals, users can even add different prompts to help boost user engagement.

 

Live Video Sharing to IGTV

collabary

Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

Another IGTV-related update will allow instantaneously uploads of live videos to IGTV, meaning users will be able to view creators’ content after its aired. This will ensure that live original content can continue to find an audience, which is bound to incentivize creators to spend more time using both features.

 

Focus on Video Chat

collabary

Photos credit: Jane Manchun Wong

 

collabary

Photos credit: Jane Manchun Wong

It is clear that with these two rumored changes, along with the above-mentioned co-watching feature, that Instagram is refining its video chat product. By including a messenger-style active tab and an easy way to quickly make video calls, Instagram will encourage more ready adoption of video communication.

 

Latest Posts

collabary

Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

As this post suggests, the latest posts feed would be similar to Instagram’s former chronological feed. Instagram currently uses an algorithm that organizes content depending on how interested a user will be in the post, which has likely been a huge benefit for influencer marketing content. 

It appears that this will only be a selectable feature as opposed to a restoration of the old way, so it is unlikely that this will have any major ramifications on the industry. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how users interact with content based on its perceived newness. 

 

Discover Accounts

collabary

Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

Creators and brands should be excited about the news that Instagram is providing more ways for users to find and connect with accounts that will be of interest to them. If anything, we can see this allowing brands and creators to reach even larger audiences as Instagram promotes connections based on a user’s activity and interests.

 

What’s next?

Want to learn more about how to leverage the power of Instagram with the help of the hottest content creators? Reach out to our partner consultants via hello@collabary.com. Additionally, if you don’t want to miss our Instagram Round-Ups, subscribe to our newsletter here.