Being a social media manager means I always have to stay on top of trends and Instagram makes that increasingly difficult. Anyone else feel like they drop new features every 15 minutes? Well, thanks to this year’s Facebook Development Conference #F82019, there is a slew of new Instagram features. I’ve rounded up and taken a deep dive into the ones that will most affect businesses like yours. Here are the top three:
1. Getting rid of likes
Whoa. Take a minute, read that headline again, and take a deep breath - because there’s a lot to unpack here. Since the dawn of time (err - I mean Instagram) in 2010, businesses and people have been obsessed with their likes. I mean - we did just have an egg break the record for most liked Instagram post @world_record_egg. During F8 this year, Instagram announced that they may be doing away with the coveted IG likes. Now, before you go up in arms, Instagram is currently reporting that it will only hide likes from the people seeing your content, not from you. Analytics will remain the same, influencers will still be able to report engagement rates to companies, etc. The idea behind hiding likes takes the pressure off the average person (or average social media manager) to perform to a certain standard. Think about it this way: how many times have you deleted a post because it wasn’t getting enough likes? This alleviates that pressure to get a high number of likes all the time (especially with the ever-changing IG algorithm). Instagram wants to put more focus on Instagram as a creative outlet rather than a place that your worth lives and dies by the number of likes you get.
What this means for businesses: Really, nothing. They’re testing this currently in Canada to their over 24 million active users, and will potentially be rolling this out worldwide in the next few months. From what I understand, on the backend, businesses and creators will all still be able to see the performance on their posts, but their followers won’t. If anything, it urges businesses to post content that they love, tell their story, and inspire them forward.
Personally, I love it. The social media age continues to push out data that younger generations are stressed and obsessed with. It is like their online self-worth. It feels like a breath of fresh air to me.
2. Shopping on Instagram
Okay - so this feature isn’t new. You go to a business, you tap on the photo, and you’re linked to their website to check out. While this is amazing in theory, it has definitely had its hiccups. How many times have you gone from the seamless experience on Instagram to a businesses’ website that is not optimized for mobile, only to fumble around for a few minutes before ultimately exiting out of the website and never thinking about that company again?
Not anymore. This new Instagram feature lets you check out on IG. Never leave the app again - and continue that seamless Instagram experience from tap to order. Currently, the feature is in beta testing, giving this exclusive access to only a handful of brands including Warby Parker, Kylie Cosmetics, ADIDAS, Revolve, Prada, and Outdoor Voices. Once you add a product to your cart, you’ll be able to complete the entire checkout process right there on Instagram, as well as view shipping and tracking and save your card for future purchases right on Instagram.
What does this means for your businesses? While it’s not certain when this will roll out to all, this is a HUGE win for ecommerce. We suggest making sure all your products are currently shoppable on the app - this can be a lengthy process if you have a lot of products or if you’re new to Facebook Business Manager. You can also get some helpful resources here: https://help.instagram.com/2022466637835789
3. Influencers will now have “Shoppable Tags”
Ok - this is a big one. Influencer marketing is BOOMING with everyone flocking to their favorites for suggestions on clothing, beauty, tech, etc. Now, influencers will be able to work directly with brands to get shoppable tags on their content. Previously, influencers often had coupon codes or flooded their IG Stories with “Swipe up to purchase,” but no longer. We are entering a new wave of IG marketing. The new approach allows brands to give influencers the tags on the products they’re using and integrate Instagram’s shopping feature to buy right then and there. How many times have you seen something from an influencer, forgotten to shop at that moment, and then gone back later, forgetting who you saw the company from, and then made a purchase? I tend to do this a lot. While it doesn’t affect me, it does hurt your favorite influencer’s wallet. This will allow direct data from who is truly purchasing from the influencers.
What does this mean for your business? Influencer marketing just got a lot more technical. In recent years, there have been a wave of people buying followers to reach the influencer status they’re so desperately seeking. It’s only later that the brand realizes that they never saw an ROI because the followers aren’t actually people, they are bots. Now, influencers can see some benefits. No codes needed. Just give your affiliates the ability to tag your products and watch the sales roll in.
Instagram is constantly finding new ways to make sharing on social special, new, and exciting. These are just a few ways they’re continuing to shake up the space. Any new Instagram features you’re excited for? Let us know.