“We’re no longer just a square photo-sharing app.”
There’s no question that Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing app worldwide. Launched in the fall of 2010, Instagram has taken the social media world by storm. It started off as a simple photo-sharing app, but has continuously evolved throughout the years. Instagram launched videos in 2013, stories in 2016, IGTV in 2018, and most recently, reels in 2020. These changes describe the shift in Instagram’s strategy to focus more on immersive content as opposed to static photos.
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has recently announced that the app is shifting away from primarily being a photo-sharing platform. Instead, the app will enhance its other features and embrace videos more significantly. In addition to videos, Instagram will focus more on messaging and shopping as well. This decision has stemmed from the rising popularity of both TikTok and YouTube. Adam Mosseri believes this change will help Instagram adapt to evolving habits among social media users. Keep reading to learn more about Instagram’s features and different ways to share your content.
- Stories are a quick and easy way to share content. Use text, music, stickers, GIFs, and filters to make your creations stand out among the rest. Click the viewer list to see how many people your content has reached. Stories will automatically disappear after 24 hours but you can add them to your highlights. This feature will allow you to permanently spotlight them on your profile.
- Messaging allows users to build relationships and connect with other users. This feature is an easy way to send messages, photos, and videos to friends. Start a private chat with one user or create a group message to reach multiple users at once. For businesses, this feature is convenient for communicating with customers.
- IGTV is perfect for discovering videos, clips, and vlogs from your favorite creators. This immersive experience will take over your entire screen and provide you with exciting content. Use IGTV to highlight behind-the-scenes content, interviews, tutorials, or webinars. To use this feature, upload a video anywhere from one minute to one hour long. Make sure to engage your audience by adding pop-up text, subtitles, or hashtags in the caption.
- Reels are a fun and entertaining way to share videos that are up to one minute long. Similar to TikTok, this feature allows you to record and stitch together multi-clip videos. Make sure to add audio and camera effects to grab your viewer’s attention. For public accounts, reels on the explore page provide a chance to reach audiences on a global stage. Learn more about Reels HERE.
- Instagram Live is the perfect way to actively engage with an audience. Use this feature to broadcast video content to your followers in real-time. This feature is often used to answer questions via a Q&A format. Invite guests to join your live video to attract their followers as well. After the live video is over, you may keep it on your story for up to 24 hours.
- Fundraising is used to give back the community and raise money for personal causes. To help non-profit organizations and charities, use the donation sticker in a story or raise funds on an Instagram Live. To raise money for personal causes, add a fundraiser to your profile and promote it across your social media channels. This feature allows users to contribute to crisis relief efforts, community projects, and more. Fundraisers last for 30 days but can be extended an unlimited amount of times.
- Shopping is now easy and interactive using the Instagram shopping feature. Creators are able to use real-time and pre-made content to share their products. Use collections to customize your shop and product tags to highlight items. Use product detail pages to provide pricing and product descriptions. Customers are able to checkout directly in the app for their convenience.
- Instagram Guides is a great place to share curated and scrollable content. To get started, head to your profile and tap the plus sign at the top right corner. Once you’re here, you’ll be able to give your best recommendations regarding places, products, and posts. This feature can also be used as a resource for shopping and influencer partnerships. Learn more about Instagram Guides HERE.
Make sure to use these features on Instagram in order to enhance your profile and rapidly grow your platform. Each one of these tools has a unique purpose and when used properly, will significantly help your account in the long run. These features have the ability to grow your following, expand your reach, escalate your engagement, and increase your overall visibility. Use Instagram’s tools to get your profile in front of the right audience and create meaningful relationships with your followers. With the right social media marketing strategy, your profile will be successful in no time!