With over 800 million users - Instagram is one of the leading Social media platforms of the day. What makes it so popular; you ask? A neat, clutterless platform that understands where the attention lies.
Instagram started off as a simple photo-sharing app that later introduced 15 sec videos (later moving on to 1 min) thereby sidelining Vine at the time (circa Jan 2017). The upgrades continued with the addition of Stories and dozen multiple features till date easily rivalling Snapchat. Kevin Systrom said it best - “The question is, who executes the best? That is going to be the determination of who wins in the long run.”
In this spirit of execution, we can see Instagram updating its app and service again. So what really are these new updates all about? Let’s check out.
The Instagram Graph API
Instagram has officially upgraded and shifted from the earlier API to the Instagram Graph API built on the Facebook Graph API. This translates to businesses finding it easier to manage the organic accounts. Now businesses will be able to view posts that mention and tag their brand. One will also be able to view other business profiles.
To schedule your posts however you will have to go through a Facebook / Instagram Marketing Partner Program like Hootsuite etc….
Direct Messages Feature is one of the most social aspects of Instagram. Just imagine messaging with family, friends, or an influencer. Direct Messages adds the human dimension to a platform like Instagram that is becoming one of the most active places for businesses and brands online.
The new Activity Status feature lets the user find if their friends are active at the same time. Similar to Whatsapp / Facebook messenger - one can see the last active time under the username. Many a user will not be comfortable sharing this information online. So for them, there is an easy option to disable the Activity Status - by keeping it private. Tip : Settings > Show Activity Status.
Add Gif Stickers to Stories
This is one of the fun things that everyone will enjoy. Users can now amp up their communication by adding quirky, funny and hilarious gifs to their Stories. While posting stories you can click on the sticker icon to find the awesome gif feature. It’s right beside the Hashtags, Location and Polling feature.
These cool gifs are powered by GIPHY and trust me they have got an insane collection of pop-culture animated icons, characters and more.
The Type Mode in Stories
For all the type lovers out there. Here’s a new way to share text-based content and connect with your community. No more thinking of what image to share. Instagram has made it simpler now more than ever to share your thought - just Type It.
With options to change the background, appealing colour gradients and a variety of text that justifies like a charm. This is one feature - I didn’t know I wanted but now I can’t stop myself from using it every day.
Check out my Instagram feed - @jeetajani
From copying Snapchat to being copied by Snapchat. Instagram has come a long way. And is showing no signs of stopping. I personally am loving it. Love it / Hate it - Instagram is here to stay. So enjoy the ride! Keep Instagramming!
P.S - Vine 2 is coming soon. Here’s a link to the community forums ;D