This month’s updates don’t include any shocking new features, but instead the really exciting—and valuable—enhancement of features Instagram already had. They’re providing us with more flexibility and functionality for how we’re currently using Instagram as marketers, making it more effective and simple for us all at once.
In this update, we’re going to take a look at the new stories for desktop, Instagram galleries updates, the new threaded comments, and the ability to access engagement through Facebook.
Until now, Instagram Stories has strictly been a mobile-only feature. I had a feeling that wouldn’t last too long when Facebook launched mobile-only Stories, and then proceeded to make them available for desktop users within several months. But now Instagram is following suit– Stories will soon be available for the desktop and web versions of the photo-sharing platform we all know and love. This is a great opportunity for businesses, expanding the potential reach of their stories even further.
While almost all Instagram usage stays on the app, it’s possible that by expanding the desktop version of the site, more users may access the site online. Even if they don’t, ensuring that your stories show up for our followers to view every time they visit the site will only help you. In addition to being able to view Stories on desktop and the mobile site, you’ll also be able to upload Stories directly from mobile web versions of the site (but not desktop yet).
For those who are unable to keep the Instagram app on their phone or download it outright, this is a great opportunity. When it comes to almost everyone else, it will probably make more sense- at least for the time being- to keep uploading them through the app.
Several months ago, Instagram gave us the ability to share multiple images or videos in a single post. Previously, those images had to all be in a square format. The new update to this feature, however, allows us to now include multiple image formats in a single post– including landscape and portrait formats of both pictures and videos. This isn’t a massive update, but it does give us more flexibility in terms of content we want to share and creative ability. I’ve had multiple instances (including once earlier this week) where I wanted to post multiple images that were all only suited for a landscape view. As a result, I ended up having to post them separately; this new update would have prevented that.
Status update for this one: I don’t have it yet, but I’ve seen one influence who does. It will be rolling out within the next month to all users. Monitor Instagram Engagement From Facebook. Even though I use social media management software for my clients to streamline my marketing work, there are still times where it feels almost easier to just go in through Facebook (or any other native platform) to get a full look at what’s going on and address individual instances. And thanks to a recent update, we can now monitor and respond to Instagram engagement through our correlating Facebook profiles and Pages.
A large number of my B2C social media clients prioritize Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, with Facebook and Instagram being the two heavy hitters. Now, I can actually get notifications when one of my Instagram posts was commented on– and I’ll get it through Facebook, which I’m on more often for work. It’s possible to review and engage the comments all through the Facebook desktop site, which is a huge advantage. I’ve had this ability for the past week or so, including on some smaller and newer Pages. Most businesses and many personal profiles will probably have this ability within the next few weeks.
This seems like a minor update, but it’s actually capable of having a pretty significant impact on engagement on the site. Now, Instagram is slowly rolling out threaded comments on the mobile app. What does this mean? Previously, all comments were posted in order, straight down in one line. If you replied to someone but others commented after they did, your conversation will be broken and disjointed.
As a result, this will make it exponentially easier to actually communicate with our followers; it will allow for us to have legitimate organized, cohesive conversations. While this seems small, this is actually a pretty big deal; any time it’s easier and more pleasant for your followers to talk directly to you, the better. You can answer their questions quickly, have more significant bonding, and create stronger customer loyalty.
Apparently, September’s updates didn’t bring any astounding new features, but all of these “small” upgrades are appreciated. Threaded comments will make it easier to facilitate actual conversation on the platform, the Instagram galleries update gives us more creative wiggle room, and the ability to do more through the desktop (and Facebook!) increases the ease of use for many marketers who are feeling overwhelmed. These are all excellent opportunities to communicate more completely and more effortlessly with our followers and customers.