new instagram feature

With 2018 well and truly underway, we’re starting to see some really exciting updates for Instagram – in fact, February brought us some of the biggest updates that we’ve seen in months. We’ve taken a closer look at some of the newest features and updates to help you understand how this social media platform has changed over the last few weeks.

  • Carousel Ads Brought to Stories
    One of the highest engaging ad formats, carousel ads have significantly higher click-through and conversion rates. They’ve now been made available for Instagram Stories – they can have up to three slides of different media, including images and videos. Many people have pointed out similarities with Canvas Ads, sliding horizontally instead of vertically.This feature has not been widely released yet and is currently only accessible by select big-name brands (such as Coca Cola), but keep your eyes peeled because it’s sure to be here in no time!
  • Instagram Scheduling
    By far the biggest announcement Instagram has seen in a long time and one that will save marketers a lot of time. A new API has been released that allows for on-platform native scheduling. Business profiles will be able to schedule posts through the API and – even better – through third-party scheduling and social management software, like Hootsuite.But why is this such a big deal? Previously, management software could be used to create posts and place them on a calendar. But they couldn’t post directly to Instagram like they could with Twitter or Facebook.
  • New Stories Creative Flexibility
    Within the next few weeks, Instagram is set to be rolling out new options for creative flexibility in Stories. Previously, you could only post images and videos if they fit the exact full-screen dimensions – now, you’ll be able to post images and videos of all sizes. All you have to do is “pinch” the image when you upload it to get it to display at its original ratios.From a marketing perspective, it’ll be interesting to see how many brands actually use this feature and whether partial-screen Stories will get as much engagement as full-screen ones.
  • Stories Alert
    This feature is more likely to affect users than it will brands, but is an update that is still worth mentioning. Instagram is allegedly testing an alert feature that will let users know if someone else has taken a screenshot of their Stories. The platform has yet to comment on these rumours, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re true.Many people have pointed out that it’s another Snapchat-lookalike feature that it appears the platform is trying to replicate, but either way, it’ll be nice to know if people can see when you’re stalking them!
  • Type Mode for Stories
    Playing off a relatively new Facebook feature (whereby a post can show up like an image with a colourful background), type mode has now come to Instagram Stories. This is a feature that marketers are unlikely to rely on alone, but we’re sure that we’ll be seeing it used in a series of Stories to make announcements and share information.We’re a little iffy about this one – Instagram and Stories are both highly visual platforms, so we’re just not sure how text based images like this are really going to perform.

There you have it – some of the biggest Instagram updates that we have seen in a long time. Don’t forget to share your thoughts about these features and updates – do you love them, hate them, wish there was something else on the horizon? We cannot wait to see what this social media platform has in store for us over the coming months – 2018 is set to be a big year.