GAME CHANGING WEEK FOR INSTAGRAM 🔥
Instagram (aka 'IG') have been fairly quiet on the updates front recently, apart from allowing post scheduling and some additions to Stories, but last week they decided to keep everyone on their toes by rolling out not one...
...but THREE significant updates (especially for UK users)!
I'm doing more and more with Instagram these days, particularly since the recent Facebook updates which have reduced organic reach for business pages on the platform even further.
With most of my clients having some kind of presence on IG, running Facebook and IG ads together can be highly effective.
Diversifying your social media efforts onto Instagram as well, therefore, only makes even more sense (and will maybe make even MORE sense by the time you've finished reading this).
Don't mistake this for me advocating all that #DeleteFacebook rubbish though... clearly, all the people saying they are deleting their FB accounts and moving to Instagram don't have a clue who actually owns IG!
Not to mention WhatsApp, which nearly everyone I know in the UK uses...
[It's Facebook themselves, in case you didn't know]
So anyway, onto these new updates...
1. Do you sell products and have an Instagram business account?
You may have seen this feature before because - as usual - the US had it a while ago. But now, Shopping on IG is finally coming to our shores too!
What does this mean?
You will now be able to tag products in images (the same way as you can with people, see an example below) and users will be able to see the price and click through directly to buy!
Image Credit: VentureBeat
PLUS you can now add a 'Shop' page to your profile!
All this is a great way of getting around the pretty frustrating inability to add links to posts, isn't it?
Unfortunately for service-based businesses, however, this feature is only available for those selling physical products.
Regardless, it's a fantastic addition for both businesses and customers as it makes purchasing much easier and as close to frictionless as possible.
Not content with bringing this shiny new toy to users, IG then announced even MORE new features...
2. You can now add clickable hashtags and links to other accounts on your bio (see a screenshot of the notification I got for this below).
This will help make your profile even more discoverable, as well as giving you (and anyone viewing your profile) the ability to click through to other related posts and accounts.
It offers a great way for businesses with multiple sites to link to each other, again increasing the discoverability of your accounts.
Or, if you are that way inclined, I guess you could tag your boyfriend/girlfriend's account in your bio too, with a heart emoji or something...
Of the three updates, this is probably the smallest, but it's a neat little addition nonetheless.
(Subscribe at the bottom of the page on mobile)
NOW, possibly best of all...
IG have received a lot of negative user feedback about the algorithm meddling they did with people's feeds last year and switching to a non-chronological format similar to FB - so they've made some huge changes there too!
3️. How annoying was it when you followed someone new and then for a while all you saw was their posts at the top of your feed, even if they were days old?
Or, when you saw something interesting to come back to but scrolled down a couple of posts and then your feed auto-refreshed and you lost it?
Well, these annoyances are annoying no more!
To 'make feeds feel more fresh', IG will start to prioritise newer content over older posts and also test a 'New Posts' button, which allows you to control for yourself when your feed refreshes instead of it happening randomly.
All aimed at achieving IG's goal 'to be the best place to share and connect with the people and interests that matter most to you.'
So what do you think, will these changes make you think harder about focusing more on Instagram for your business?
Gil is a Facebook and Instagram advertising specialist. He has, however, been slacking on promoting his own IG account so any additions to his current 305 followers at https://www.instagram.com/gorundmg/ would be gratefully received :-)