This week Instagram released its latest update, which includes three key changes that could impact the way your business uses the photo sharing app. Read on for the most important Instagram notifications you’ll get today!
Don’t be such a square
Previously, all images had to be uploaded to Instagram as squares – which meant leaving part of your picture cropped off or using an app like Whitagram to fill in the space around a rectangular photo. Now, your rectangular pictures can be kept in their original aspect ratio, making it quicker and easier for you to share your content just the way you want it.
Bear in mind, though, that the square format will still be the best way to make the most of the space on your followers’ feeds. And if you want to keep your profile looking smart, remember that rectangular images will be cropped down to a square thumbnail there. Have a look at the screenshots below to see how Salgado’s post about our upcoming Periscope seminar appears on the news feed and on our profile.
Lay it all out
In another positive move for those who like to get creative on Instagram, their Layout app has been integrated into the main app – making it easier to combine multiple photos in collages. Tailor every collage to include the photos you want, positioned however you want – the possibilities are endless!
Message in a button
Instagram’s direct messaging function has had a serious upgrade. Where users were previously very limited in what they could share in their messages, now you can send text, photos, and “like” hearts. You can also now create messaging groups of up to 15 people. Plus, most noticeably to a casual user, Instagram has introduced a “send” button alongside the existing “like” and “comment” options that sit under each picture on your feed. This button enables users to send the photo to their contacts through the messaging service.
Watch this short video from Instagram for a quick introduction to how people can use the new sending and messaging features to share – what else? – cat pictures.
But what does it mean for your brand’s presence on Instagram? Well, there’s good news and bad news.
- The bad news: fewer comments, and less measurable engagement. Currently an
incredible 40% of all Instagram comments are @-mentions, or “pings”, where users tag friends as a way of alerting them to the picture. The “send” button is likely to encourage them to take those conversations into a private message rather than the comment thread. Since the photo creator doesn’t get a notification when that happens, you lose out on insight into interactions that were previously public.
- However, the good news is that these improvements to direct messaging make it a channel that you can start using for private, in-depth conversations with customers. You may already be using the messaging functions on Twitter and Facebook to direct sensitive conversations such as complaints away from your public feed – now you can do the same on Instagram. You can currently send a message to anyone, regardless of whether you follow them or they follow you (except in the case of private accounts).
Don’t stop here…
Instagram can be a challenging platform to use effectively for business, especially when you’re trying to keep up with changes that can make a big difference to users’ behaviour. But that’s where Salgado comes in! We’re planning our next Instagram course for November, so if you want to stay on top of the trends and ensure you’re making the most of this popular channel, keep an eye on our website for more details.
In the meantime, why not grab your preferred Instagramming device, get the latest upgrade, and try out all of these new features for yourself.