Instagram has rolled out a number of exciting new features in the last few weeks with highlights, archiving, the ability to follow hashtags and teasers for shoppable posts. Like anything in the ever-changing world of social media, there’s a lot to take in, but we’ve explored what they all do and how brands could use them.
Highlights are a recent creation that will really help take Stories to the next level. They showcase Stories for longer than the usual 24 hour window, and remain visible until you remove one. You can add up to 100 photos or videos to a Highlight, and there’s no limit to how many you can create, so there’s huge scope for brands.
With so many available we suggest categorising Highlights will be important to help you stand out. They’ll offer lots of opportunities to showcase your best work, whether it’s to help drive users to a key campaign or to find out more about different aspects of your brand. A car manufacturer for example, might use different Highlights to promote different models, but it can be applied to almost anything.
This is also where Archive comes in. Before you might not have remembered to save your Story in time, but now all Stories are automatically archived. They’re saved in the same quality as uploaded, and from these you can reshare them to Highlights, as well as in messages, the feed, or even add them to a current story. An added bonus, for brands trying to keep track of their posts!
Follow a #
You can also now follow a hashtag in the same way you would an account.
It allows you to follow a campaign or brand hashtag for easy access to view content in discovery but also pull it into your feed. This new feature could be great for brands, especially when launching a new campaign, as captions can be updated with a call to action to follow a specific campaign hashtag, and as a result your followers will see more relevant content.
Most recently, a Shop tab appeared on the Profile of many Business accounts (although it has since disappeared). It is initially being tested across a number of high profile accounts, such as Fenty Beauty, and is only available on mobile.
Seeing it appear on other Business accounts is a promising and exciting teaser that Instagram may be that step closer to releasing its Shop function to everyone. Let’s hope for Christmas or the New Year, as it’s going to be a huge step towards monetising the platform.
With the brief preview we had of the Shop tab, we could see that once nine posts are created with tagged products, they will appear in the Shop, making it easy for customers to browse everything. It’s not only there that they can be found either, they’re clearly visible on the Instagram feed with a shopping bag icon so if users aren’t aware of the Shop tab, they will soon easily discover that they can buy items through their feed.
How it works is that once they click into the post, a user can tap on the image and a pop up will open with the product name and price. That can be then clicked again to take the user to the product on Instagram with more details, and from there a Shop Now button can take the user to the product website where it can be purchased.
Let’s see where Instagram takes us in 2018!