When it comes to fostering and improving user functionality and interaction, Instagram has really blown our minds away with a lot of recent features—from stories (which of course is like an imitation to the Snapchat stories) to the Right manager to #followhashtags etc. If you are a die-hard fan, up-to-date with the team’s activities, then you probably know a lot has happened since the beginning of this year, if not, don’t worry we got you!
In June and very late May, the social networking site released about four new really big updates that can have major impacts on using or marketing on Instagram. It will seem that Instagram is looking towards providing everything the user needs within its platform—a walled garden. We would be taking a look at the Popular IGTV, the video call and the “Ask a Question” feature on stories. You would agree that if properly managed, the functionalities are significant enough to boost user experience and engagement, while also signalling an interesting point or marketers to push their brands to the community and serve their clients.
So, let’s dive into those amazing features. (Happy? well, I am!)
This is like the big deal now. The IGTV is a video hub that allows users to post videos up to 60mins (one hour) video as against the usual 15mins clip. Now isn’t that amazing? The videos have to be a full screen, vertically oriented with a resolution up to 4k and the good news is, it’s for everyone! The IGTV actually is a stand-alone app but integrated with Instagram which allows users to easily see clips from the people they follow and also get pop-ups from people (creators) they might be interested in. The videos start playing once a user opens the app but you can stream through your IGTV feed to get contents of your interest just like changing TV channels. Once a user is following a creator (ok, a creator is anyone that makes videos, especially for commercial bases) on Instagram, the video content will appear on the IGTV feeds.
This gives marketers an edge to create and share an hour-long video valuable for their brands. Don’t think this new feature is for marketers only; it’s for everyone who sees the need to take a step further in engaging their followers. On the conversations whether this would compete with YouTube, the Instagram/ snapchat stories experience can put things into proper perspective.
Instagram Video Chat
It was like this feature would take forever to be added but It is here now! Instagram took the fun to a new level as you can video chat/ call your friends, all you need is just to tap the camera icon at the top right side of a direct message thread. Cooler than you think, you can video chat one-on-one with a friend or small group friends. Users can also check their feeds while on call by minimizing the video. And in case of chats within small groups, those who aren’t able to join in the video call can still message within the thread thus partaking in the same conservation (now that’s awesome). Instagram just got a lot more fun yeah? It presents four different ways of chatting with friends at the top of the button.
We all know that as a social network, Instagram is all about connecting professionally and personally but video chatting is taking the connection to a new personal level.
The Question-Answer feature
This is the new one, this Q&A is an interactive rectangular sticker that appears either in your story or someone else story that allows users to ask their followers questions. This feature is different from the poll sticker or the emoji slider, it allows users to ask a question about anything (yes, anything), and get detailed opinions from the followers. This obviously brings more interaction and engagement with the stories features. To use the feature, there is a rectangular sticker (more like a box) where your questions will appear in your story, with a text area that enables your followers to fill in their answers. This could be a great opportunity to get feedback and also get opinions from followers on various issues including how to improve the quality of service for brands and influencers.
With all these new features and many more, Instagram is really trying hard to be ‘the last bus-stop’ for everyone. They are on their heels to keep users engaged and rooted on the app. With shopping coming to the platform soon, which lets users buy items directly from business pages, Stories and live video – Instagram is trying to lock in its users and make it unnecessary to venture outside of the app. Apart from the downside of relying steadfastly on one service to provide all your solutions without venturing to alternative features, your habits and data become even more marketable.
However, I think the pros are more than the cons. What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts.
P.S: Your Instagram app has to be updated for you to see all these new features. So guys get your app up-to-date and enjoy the most from the app.