Instagram has come a long way since its inception back in 2010. In just 10 years, it has amassed a database of 1 billion monthly active users, and since owned by Facebook, it holds an even powerful grasp, becoming one of the core oligopolies within the social media industry.
Social media is a highly effective means of promoting a business and increasing its reach and exposure, but unless you know the rules of the game, it will prove difficult to implement a successful marketing strategy and position your business as an expert amongst millions of other social media accounts.
In this blog post, we are going to be talking about what we think are the best Instagram updates and new features of 2020.
Why does your business need social media?
If you are still on the fence as to whether or not your business needs social media, let us help you come to a decision.
It is a proven statement that every business needs customers, and whether you believe it or not, your customers are using social media. It is an incredible but true fact that the average time spent on social media daily is 2 hrs 30 minutes. That is just over 10% of an entire day! You may think that social media is a place for teenagers and moms who wish to share gossip, but you may be surprised to know that is far from the truth. Social media is used by many people of all ages, genders, and parts of the world.
Many businesses do not use social media because they believe that their customers do not use it, however, you will be interested to know that this could not be further from the case. The real reason is that because they were not able to get results, they assumed that their customers were not using it. Not every social media platform is right for your business and not every social media platform will be used by your target customers. That is why you need to pick and choose wisely and really understand who your customer is, and where their attention is.
We have a full blog post dedicated to answering the topic in question, so if you would like to read more, click here.
We also have another brilliant blog post on A Simple Guide To Social Media For Your Business.
#1: Growth Metrics Added To Instagram Insights
Update Launch Date: January 2020
Audience growth is now displayed over seven days within a bar chart and tracks your accounts follows and unfollows over selected time frames. Accounts can see which posts and stories are generating the most followers, and the activity tab will now aggregate any stories that have mentioned your account over the past 24 hours.
#2: Instagram Tests IGTV Ads And Monetization For Creators
Update Launch Date: March 2020
Instagram began testing in-stream video ads on IGTV, much like the ones already displayed between videos on Facebook. This will allow monetization for creators, who will earn 55% of ad revenue, which matches Youtubes rates. As competition between platforms continues to rise, Instagram is finding more and more ways to encourage their creators to publish more and more content within Instagram. These in-stream video ads will introduce a direct form of monetization for creators, much like other well-known platforms such as Youtube & Tiktok.
#3: Instagram Direct Message Finally Comes To Desktop
Update Launch Date: April 2020
Instagram users can now finally read and reply to their direct messages within the desktop browser version of Instagram. This will prove extremely useful for small businesses that use social media as a form of customer service communication and who do not opt to use third-party CMS (content management system) platforms.
#4: Shopping Comes To Instagram Live
Update Launch Date: May 2020
Instagram reported that between February and March, as lockdown orders were issued worldwide, the viewership of Instagram lives increased by 70%. In order to help brands and creators further take advantage of this increase in online activity, accounts can now tag and display products within live videos.
For businesses that perform a lot of live videos, this will prove to be a brilliant feature as you can speak about products and services within real-time, whilst also directing viewers to purchase right there and then.
#5: Access To Instagram Shopping Expands To More Businesses
Update Launch Date: June
Instagram expanded the access to Instagram Shopping to more businesses, meaning that any eligible business or creator account located within supported markets that have at least one eligible product can use Instagram’s shopping tags.
In order to be classed as eligible, product listings need to be able to purchase directly from a website (that has been verified) or through Instagram checkout.
#6: Reels Rolls Out To More Than 50 Countries, Including The U.S
Update Launch Date: August 2020
Instagram’s TikTok inspired feature is now available in more than 50 countries, including the U.S, Australia, Canada, and Japan. The feature was released in India in July 2020, due to the banning of popular app Tiktok. Instagram seized the opportunity to gain even more online attention as U.S officials began to threaten TikTok restrictions.
#7: Messenger And Instagram Direct Merge Begins
Update Launch Date: August 2020
Another big update for August 2020 came with the start of the messenger and Instagram direct merge. The paper airplane icon in the upper right corner will soon be replaced with the Messenger lightning bolt and speech bubble. This update shall bring more colors and emoji reactions to the Instagram inbox and the ability to swipe to reply.
The goal over time is to allow users to chat with their messenger contacts via Instagram, and even host messenger rooms with up to 50 people.
#8: New App Released For Businesses On Instagram And Facebook
Update Launch Date: October 2020
Facebook has done a full rebrand of its Pages Manager App, which is now referred to as the Facebook Business Suite. Businesses can manage their accounts across Facebook and Instagram due to its cross-app backend integration. Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says the app is being built for small businesses first, but will eventually expand to all businesses across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp.
#9: Product Tags Now Available For Instagram ads
Update Launch Date: November 2020
Brands are already able to add product tags to their Instagram posts, however, this latest update brings the ability to add them to Instagram ads too. Just like with Instagram posts, when product tags are clicked on, it will allow people to see product details, add it to their wish list if they so desire, or make a purchase.
To create an ad with a product tag, simply set up a new ad with the ads manager or promote existing shoppable Instagram posts.
If you are interested in finding out how VEVS and our team of experts can help your business when it comes to marketing, please visit our digital marketing page for more information.
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