Nowadays, a week rarely goes by without the release of a new social media feature. A few days ago, Instagram spoilt us with two shiny new updates – and also started testing for a whole lot more. Read on to find out more about these new bits of functionality and what they could mean for your business.
Reposting Stories and Posts
The ability to repost is notably absent from Instagram, but that’s all about to change – at least, kind of. Users will still have to rely on apps (or good old screenshotting) to regram content as a grid post, but a couple of new upcoming features will allow users to share other users’ content via their Stories.
The first feature (which is slowly being rolled out in the UK – have you got it yet?) allows users to repost other people’s Stories. The functionality is super simple; whenever someone @mentions your account, you will be given the option to ‘Add This to Your Story’ in your Direct Messages. This embeds an image of the original Story within your own, which you can then rotate and zoom as much as you like, as well as adding your own text and tags, and changing the background colour.
The second repost feature – which was spotted by TechCrunch in March – will see ‘Embed Post’ functionality rolled out to all accounts. This will allow users to embed any public Instagram post into a Story by simply tapping a button. The creative functionality is similar to above (resizing etc) but a ‘See Post’ link is also included which, when tapped, takes the user to the original post. The functionality is currently being tested with a small amount of users, and Instagram haven’t given a solid timeline for public release – yet.
Multiple Posts in Stories
This jazzy new feature was recently released for Android and will be hitting iOS devices in the coming weeks. The functionality allows users to add up to 10 photos and videos to their Stories all at once. And while it’s not particularly groundbreaking, it will enable users to upload and publish editorial and mini-films in one go – a valuable time-saver which will surely be welcomed by influencers and creators.
New Explore Tab
Instagram’s latest Android beta release revealed a design overhaul of the Explore tab, with the addition of category tiles and related hashtags.
Presumably, content is curated into tiles using common hashtags, although interestingly early testers have found that some surfaced posts don’t include hashtags at all; indicating that Google Photo-style image recognition is being used.
The Explore tab has always been a bit hit-and-miss, so this hopefully indicates an increase in quality and relevancy of suggested content.
Other rumoured features
As the old saying goes: you wait ages for a new feature, and then nine come along at once. Here are a few other potential updates which have been spotted in the wild:
- Mute: A simple feature which will allow users to mute other people without having to unfollow them. (Image captured by Jane Wong)
- Slow-Mo: Slow motion video (similar to the iOS native function) appears to be coming to Stories
- Quick Stories Reactions: Facebook-style Quick Reactions for Stories. An interesting first step towards interaction functionality for Stories; can we expect to see non-private comments in the future too? (Photo captured by Jane Wong)
- Facebook tagging: The ability for users to tag their Facebook friends in a post. This is an odd one, and it would be interesting to see whether the original image is pulled through to the tagged friend’s Facebook Photos.
- Video calling: Staying true to its Snapchat-stealing form, rumour has it that Instagram will be introducing video calling in the near future.
- *Bonus feature* Stories integrations: apps like Spotify and GoPro will be able to integrate directly into Stories (announcement from F8 Conference)
And that’s it – for now!