May 31, 2018Published by: Delia Howe

Focus on the ‘Gram!

Let’s face it, Facebook has had its fair share of negative publicity recently, following major backlash over the Cambridge Analytica data breach and the social media giant’s data protection policies. However, May began on a positive note for the company as it stepped forward to host its annual F8 Developer Conference. Mark Zuckerberg announced several new updates as reported by The Verge, including a Facebook dating feature, a new Oculus Go VR headset, and a Messenger revamp, to name a few. It also seems that Facebook is focusing a lot of energy on ramping up its visual kiddo - Instagram.

Instagram has been continually improving its user offering and most importantly for brands and influencers, its analytics. Recently, the image-sharing platform rolled out a slew of new updates. Here’s a roundup of its biggest moves and additions:  

Focus on music and beauty

To further become an intricate part of users’ everyday life, Instagram has created a separate Beauty Partnerships team to help beauty brands drive sales on the app, strengthening its role as a major platform for the beauty industry. It also announced native integration for online music streaming service, Spotify. Users will now be able to share what music they are listening to on their Stories, including a deep-link so that their followers can listen on their own Spotify accounts.

Usage insights

Social media managers everywhere smiled when news broke about Instagram’s updated usage analytics. This new stat will show how much time users have been spending on the platform - a metric worth its weight in gold for social media managers. While the option for brands to view how long users are spending on their accounts isn’t available yet, it’s only a matter of time. This will provide brands with more insight on the success of their content and give leverage to influencers making their case for partnerships.

Muting an account without unfollowing

A highly awaited feature, Time reported that Instagram has rolled out an option for users to avoid ‘offending’ friends or family who might be posting a little too much for their taste. The new feature allows users to remove all and any photos or videos from their feed, without actually unfollowing an account. Say good-bye to Insta-envy!

In-App payments  

Another game-changing addition is the ability to make payments without ever leaving the app. TechCrunch reported that some users currently have the option of setting up a payment profile, adding a card, and creating a pin to use for booking appointments at salons or restaurants. While the feature is likely to still be in a testing phase, it would create a new revenue stream for brands on Instagram, as a faster, smoother checkout minimises early drop-offs and increases impulse buys - creating a more direct revenue stream for businesses. Shopify and BigCommerce are already partnering with Instagram to onboard more brands.

There is no denying that Instagram is successfully converting more users and keeping them online with its constant innovations and updates. This MO has for the first time landed them in 91st place on BrandZ Top 100 ranking. What will the platform add next? We’re hoping the ability to access its analytics through desktop!

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