Instagram always holds a bouquet of pleasant surprises.
With the real world stuttering to a slow halt, the virtual world has the task of cheering up our lives. There is no place for monotony in this fast-paced world of social media.
Instagram has led the pack of social media platforms in introducing novel features and innovative functionalities for small businesses, advertising brands, and regular users. While the average engagement rate on Instagram has fallen from 2.1% in 2019 to 1.22% in 2020, Instagram has lived up to the challenge with ventures into hitherto uncharted territories.
The journey of Instagram in 2020 is a story in itself, and it is a real challenge to keep up with the changes. Let’s dive deep and check out the latest happenings.
This is the latest feature Instagram introduced in August 2020. Once you scroll through the latest posts from the accounts you follow, Instagram will start showing you posts based upon your preferences and activities. Increased screen time from exploring new posts translates to better advertising prospects for the platform. There is no way to turn off this feature currently even if you do not like the stream of suggested posts in your feed. By tapping the three dots above the post, you can inform Instagram that you are not interested in a particular type of post.
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This year has seen Instagram focus on making the stories section more immersive and appealing with the introduction of brand new story stickers. The stickers are an easy way to make your stories more noticeable and unique with beautiful GIFs. The “Stay Home” sticker in times of this pandemic adds a different ring to your story and places the story on top of the news-feed of your followers. Instagram has also come up with the ‘Support Small Business” sticker with which users can tag businesses on Instagram as a show of solidarity, and the posts will be similarly prioritized. Stickers like “Food Ordering”, “Gift Cards”, allow users to directly buy gift cards and order food from partner websites using a single click.
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Purchasing just got easier on Instagram with the rollout of Instagram Checkout feature this August. Currently being rolled out across the US, this feature is available to all eligible businesses having an Instagram shop. Users can seamlessly buy products on Instagram without leaving the app. The other noteworthy feature introduced recently is the option of live shopping. Businesses can go live with up to 30 products from their collection. When describing a particular product, companies can pin the product, making it easier for potential buyers to know more about them. Once a user decides on buying, a few simple taps on the screen, ensure a product is sold.
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In the current COVID-19 scenario, online shopping has emerged as a necessity. Instagram has redesigned Instagram Shops feature, which appears as a new destination under the Explore tab. This allows users easy access to listed products, personalized recommendations along with previews of new product launches. Compared to all other Social Media platforms, Instagram (51%) has the highest influence on shopping habits and purchase decisions, followed by Facebook (23%).
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Although a bit late, Instagram has finally woken up to the massive potential of short videos popularized by Tik Tok. Instagram Reels are a 15-second short video format for creative people to come up with engaging content. Supported by music from record labels on.
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With AR effects, animations, emojis, and a huge sound library, Instagram is eyeing a higher user engagement and retention with the reels segment.
Many a time, the real essence of individual or brand posts get drowned among a din of irrelevant comments along with spam comments bordering on bullying. The latest feature rolled out by Instagram attempts to put a check on this very trend by allowing users or moderators to pin certain comments which they think are relevant and add value to the original post content. Instagram allows users to pin three comments per post by a simple left swipe and users get notifications when their comment is pinned. This comes in the background of Instagram’s sustained effort to block offensive words, phrases, and contents through AI-enabled filters.
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The year 2020 marks ten years of Instagram. After a decade of operations, Instagram accounts for 1 billion active users worldwide. Razor-sharp utility features and functionalities supporting ease of operation has catapulted Instagram as the premier social media destination across all age groups. With the strong prevalence of high definition pictures clicked through our smartphones, Instagram is a virtual feast for beauty lovers. Coupled with e-commerce integration and short video features, Instagram is a heady mix of business, entertainment, social sharing, and sleek imagery. With a massive potential of growth, Instagram is currently a shining star of social media.Tags: Instagram, Instagram features, Instagram marketing, Instagram trends, Pinned Comments, reels, Social Media Marketing, Suggested Posts