Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: The Instagram Story
Over the last few months, Instagram has started to look like other popular social media platforms. Coincidentally, and perhaps not, over the past four months, Instagram has added 100 million users to its user base, making this jump the quickest rate of growth for the platform since its inception.
As we mentioned, in lockstep with this growth are Instagram’s release of new updates - updates that feel.... familiar. Obviously there are now Instagram Stories, a name that doesn't bother to hide it's inspiration. But, what else is new?
Instagram Live Video is quite possibly the biggest new update. This update falls in line with similar moves from Instagram’s big brother: Facebook. The feature allows you to grab your follower’s attention by streaming live video that will disappear after you are done recording. Followers that have live notifications will get a message when you go live. One area it differs from Facebook is that it does vanish after your live stream is done. In including this change, Instagram has added a sense of urgency for users to quickly tune in (and stay tuned in) for fear that they might miss out on this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity.
Insights to Stories are the next important new feature – building on the success of the Stories feature, especially for brands. Instagram Stories was not coy about it’s use of Snapchat for inspiration, but this is where they set themselves apart. The tool is powerful because it provides information about who your followers are, when they are online and more. It allows users to see the engagement for each individual story. Users are now able to understand how their audience is responding to their stories and which content they like to see more than others.
And don't forget about Carousel Posts which have taken off as users get used to creating a slideshow of photos into one post. This is a great tool for engagement as you can tag more users in a single post.
As Instagram continues to grow, it is important to stay on top of the newest updates because they will come at you fast and it's drawing the ever-important consumer eyeball. With this recent large increase of users to over 700 million worldwide, it's not going away.
Instagram is offering an abundance of new means to connect with your audience so making sure you understand and utilize these newest features as efficiently as possible will keep your consumers engaged with your brand.