New Instagram Features 2018

Instagram’s user base is rapidly increasing. The platform owes its popularity in no small part to carefully researched, gradual advancement. It has a younger user base than its parent company, Facebook, on average (see graph below). It has also remained untouched by the Cambridge Analytica and privacy scandals affecting its parent. 

 

In this post we cover how the latest updates to Instagram can benefit your business. If you don’t yet have a business page set up on Instagram, we show you how. Read on!


Data: Pew Research

Empathy is Key

 

Michael Krieger, co-founder, said a while back that the core philosophy is about truly understanding users:

“Empathy is key in the design process, especially when you start expanding outside of your comfort zone to new languages, cultures, and age groups. If you try to assume what those people want, you’re likely to get it wrong.”

Today, we associate Instagram with its artsy and polished interface. It is famous for the seamless user experience it provides. This is possible because the company is focused on truly understanding how their user base thinks and behaves. Rather than charging ahead with changes and updates, the way Facebook sometimes does, they take a measured and considered approach.

Instagram will thus not be re-learning Facebook’s hard lessons about keeping the trust of the public. That said, the two platforms are still closely interlinked. For example, they have both in recent times understood the huge potential of video for marketing and branding. This can be a huge advantage for businesses that create their own media.

 

Just getting started?

 

Let’s cover some basics, first.

As mentioned, Instagram places its users’ experience as a top priority. It encourages design that appeals to people based on their psychology. 

 

Once you’ve set up your Instagram shopping page (great guides on that on Instagram’s own page, and here on Hubspot), you’ll want to have the reporting in place. There are in-built reporting options. But you might want something more in-depth, and integrated across all of your advertising on social media. You can use Fanpage Karma for just that.  It’s then up to you to make sure that all of the links you post are tracked for user activity.

 

Facebook and Instagram are directly linked, but there aren’t the same privacy concerns associated with the latter platform. So you have a lot less to contend with in terms of GDPR issues.

 

The new features

 

Careful research and cautious innovation has been a hallmark for Instagram. Still, the platform has taken big steps forward this year with some cool new features for businesses and creators.

 

Time Management Tools

 

After a long waiting period, it’s finally here. Instagram has made it easier for businesses to manage their time spent on the app. You get a new dashboard, revealing peak posting times so that you know when to schedule your next post. Speaking of which…

 

Scheduled Posts

 

Scheduled posts is a great new feature introduced this year. It’s all pretty much in the title – you can now schedule your posts in advance, and sit back while your content rolls out according to plan! This is coordinated via your Facebook business page, and it’s no problem to do when the two are linked by default.

 

IGTV

 

From their San Francisco press release on June 20, 2018 – “IGTV is different in a few ways. It’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long.”