No likes, no worries
Instagram is using Canada as a guinea pig for their new initiative designed to encourage users to focus on the photos or videos shared, not the likes count. The company has hidden the total number of likes on shared content across profile, main feed and permalink pages. So instead of seeing a number next to the red heart, you’ll simply see the names of any mutual followers who have liked the post. However, while your followers won’t be able to see how many likes you’ve received, you and your business still can. For those in the influencer marketing game, this just means follower reporting and analytics will become even more integral in the contracting process. Transparency will be a major key and it will be important for small businesses to understand basic analytics when engaging influencers on their own. Such influencers already have the ability to switch their account to a ‘creator profile’ where they have access to a wider range of analytics relevant to their business that you can certainly ask for in the engagement process.
Start spending…without leaving the app
Instagram have enlisted a small group of creators including the likes of the Kardashian/ Jenner gang, Aimee Song and Vogue to trial an in-app shopping experience. These accounts will have the ability to tag products in their posts so that users can shop and checkout without leaving the app at any stage. This is an upgrade on their current shoppable tag feature which has users redirected from a post to a company website. Say good bye to messy URL links and product tagging. The intention is that with time, creators and businesses will be able to make it far easier for users to purchase products on the spot.
Ads like you’ve never seen them before
Businesses can now get even more creative in their efforts to cut through the noise of paid advertising. Instagram has just beta launched an interactive IG story advertising option that allows businesses to include polls in story advertisements. This is in an effort to encourage users to watch for longer and engage with the brand and is currently available to all businesses so start playing!
Time to get (even more) creative
Instagram has not only re-skinned the camera design for shooting stories in app but will be allowing users to share content that isn’t photo or video in ‘Create Mode’. The company has suggested popular creative tools like effects and interactive stickers can be posted without needing to take a picture or shoot a video which will also be useful when wanting to share a poll or text based story to followers. The app will also be offering users the ability to create their own story filters through their new extension Spark AR Studio, so you won’t be limited to the classic ‘Melbourne’ filter we’re all guilty of adding to our moody morning coffee shots.
Find all of this overwhelming? At the end of the day Instagram is a platform built to hero original, creative content so that should always be your focus. Add value to your followers and consider the rest a bonus once you’ve truly nailed that.