Compared to most other platforms, which only roll out updates every so often, it’s particularly impressive. It could also indicate the ever-increasing value Instagram offers to both users and businesses alike.

In this Instagram Update, we’re going to go over the new streamlined disappearing messages, the wider release of the Shoppable Instagram features, and a quick (but important) update to Instagram Live.

Are you ready to know all the details?

 

Streamlined Disappearing Messages

Instagram and Facebook have both been stepping up their Snapchat game, especially with the new Facebook stories and Messenger Day. Instagram’s most recent development is their new Direct, which is their private messaging platform.

It’s been updated so that everything is more streamlined; regular private messages, shared posts, and disappearing photos and videos will all seamlessly show up in the same thread.

You can access your direct messages by swiping right on Instagram. To the left of the “Write a message” field, you’ll see the Instagram icon in blue. You can click on this to send a disappearing image or video. To send a non-disappearing image or video, click on the image icon to the right.

So how does this affect businesses? For one, we may be one step closer to a full-on Instagram take-over. I don’t think Snapchat will be fazed out entirely just yet because of its loyal audience, but we will start seeing more users drop off.

This feature can be used to create urgency and drive sales quickly. You could, for example, send a discount code or information about a flash sale, especially as an incentive to actions you want your users to take (like commenting on a particular post). You’ve got to use it before it’s gone, and since users can only replay the image once, it could help you get a lot of sales quickly.

As an added bonus, since disappearing content is streamlined into the regular messaging, users can reach out and ask you questions quickly, giving you the chance to start a conversation with potential customers.

Shoppable Instagram: Wider Release

Shoppable Instagram features were announced sometime around last October or November, and we’re finally seeing some movement in its development and release. While most businesses still don’t have access, a lot more do—and that’s a big step.

At the very tail end of last month, Instagram rolled out the feature to a large number of beauty, jewelry, and apparel brands. From the information at hand, it doesn’t seem like you have to pay anything to use this feature; it’s similar to tagging a photo, just with your product information.

 

These posts show up with the “Shoppable” icon in the bottom corner of the image, and will prod users to “Tap to See Products.” When you click on the tag, users can see basic price and name information of the item. Users can only see product tags on mobile devices.

When they click that information bubble, they’ll be taken to a more complete description of the item, accompanied by a “Shop Now” button. If they click the CTA, they’ll be taken to the brand’s site to purchase

We can also now tag pictures with a single product if we have a product catalog synced to our Instagram account.

Instagram Live: Now Saved

One of the only downfalls of Instagram live (in my quite humble opinion) was the fact that once the broadcast, the video was done and gone forever.

There were still plenty of benefits to using Instagram Live—especially considering the reach boost—but the lack of permanence made it less ideal. Why would you want to waste a big announcement or an interview with an influencer if you couldn’t reap semi-permanent results from it?

Instagram Live broadcasts can now be saved onto your camera roll. After the broadcast is over, save it to your phone, and then upload it as a regular video post. If the video is too long for Instagram, you can take it straight to Facebook instead. Either way, you can now save your valuable live broadcasts, allowing you to build momentum from them and drastically increase their visibility and engagement.

If you don’t have this feature yet, update your phone; it’s currently only available for iOS and Android phones.

 

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