Instagram: New Features and Updates Summer 2020

Instagram: New Features and Updates Summer 2020

Instagram is a noisy platform and to stand out, brands and marketers must stay up to date with its changing features. Check out the key updates of recent months and how they will benefit your store!

Written by Molly Allen

3 min read

Instagram: we've all heard of it. In fact, 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily, with 130 million Instagram users tapping on shopping posts every month. This is an incredibly powerful platform for ecommerce business owners, and can have a significant impact on the performance of your online store. Having a strong Instagram strategy will help to build brand awareness, engagement and support the promotion of products - all the things that a brand strives to be successful in!

However, Instagram is a very noisy platform and to stand out, brands and marketers must stay up to date with its many features and updates. In this blog, we detail the key updates that Instagram has released in recent months and how they will benefit your store!

Customisable Storefronts

In May, it was announced that Facebook & Instagram will be updating their social shopping feature to include custom storefronts that allow you to design a Facebook & Instagram store that sits alongside your website. Although the shopping feature has been available for a few years now, this update will mean that for the first time brands can build a social store that is in-line with the branding and website’s design.

By customising the feature, retailers can ensure that their social store fits perfectly alongside their branding and create a more aesthetically pleasing place for their customers to shop. Facebook and Instagram shops should now feel like an extension of your store, meaning that your store could virtually have not 1, but 3 checkouts!

Find out more about how you can apply this new feature to your Shopify store by checking out this blog.

Instagram Story Stickers

You may have already noticed, but in April the platform added extra stickers to the stories feature. The gift cards, food delivery, and donation stickers were added for users to be able to support local businesses in the wake of the global pandemic.

As physical stores were no longer able to open, the platform added these stickers so businesses were able to advertise their offerings - for free - giving the user the option to order food, purchase a gift card or simply donate. Although lockdown restrictions have been easing across the globe in recent weeks, it doesn't look like these stickers are being removed anytime soon.

Profile Supports CTAs

As well as adding stickers to the stories, businesses are now able to include the gift card, order food and donate options as clickable call-to-actions on the Instagram profile. Again, this feature has been designed to support businesses during the pandemic and it means that the user can click on the button and complete the purchase quickly and smoothly.

Paid Badges for Creators

Influencers are a big part of Instagram's platform and in recent years have become one of the key reasons why Instagram has become so successful. Influencers can drive a lot of users over to the IGTV feature, which is something that Instagram is trying to achieve.

Badges in Live is a new feature that allows the audience to purchase "badges" during Instagram live videos so they can participate and show their appreciation. It's a great way to enable creators to generate income from the content they're already creating.

Badges appear next to a person’s name during the live video. Fans who have bought badges in Live will stand out in the comments and unlock additional features, such as placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart.

IGTV Ads

Paid ads are coming to IGTV! At the time of writing Instagram is testing this feature with a few brands in the US so hopefully this will be rolled out more broadly soon. This is great news for brands. The videos will be in the usual vertical format and will have a maximum run time of fifteen seconds. The platform will be testing different ads experiences throughout the year, such as giving the user the option to skip the ad after a few seconds. Because this new feature offers monetization for the platform and its creators, Instagram wants to get this right!

Product Tagging In The Caption

In June 2020, Instagram began trialling the option to add product tags within the caption. The app currently allows brands to tag products within the post themselves, similar to how users can tag other users. However, with this new update users will be able to purchase the product from the caption. This allows the brand and marketers to detail more information about the product and link back to the product being described. Victoria Beckham was one of the first to test out this feature and it will be interesting to see the impact that this will have for ecommerce businesses, both large and small.

This billion dollar platform is announcing new updates on a monthly or even weekly basis that will benefit businesses. If you want to work with an agency with a team of experts who ensure that their clients' social strategies stays ahead of the curve, find out more about the social media services we offer or drop us a line to see how we could help.

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