IG update

What you need to know about the new Instagram updates

OCT 17, 2017

Your latest Instagram news round-up – from the new way to increase engagement through Stories, to why it’s time to give your Instagram bio an upgrade.

Shopping on Instagram

First introduced in late 2016 for a limited number of brands, this feature allowed accounts to include links to retailers’ websites on their posts. This month, e-commerce company Shopify and Instagram are together expanding this to allow posts to be tagged with items for sale. This lets interested users tap a link directly on the post to buy the item from the seller’s online store, without leaving the app.

At present, product tags are only visible to users in the US on physical items, like food, books, clothing, toys, art, stationery, and electronics, and only five can be tagged in both new and old posts. The feature has very much been in test mode throughout this year.

This new way to monetize the platform is sure to catch the attention of both brands and influencers. Merchants have until October 16th to get approval to use the feature, but once the testing phase is completed, Shopping on Instagram will be available to everyone.

Polls on Stories

A new interactive sticker is letting you ask your followers anything within Instagram Stories! They’ll be able to vote by selecting their preference through a poll, and you’ll get live results of what they think about your query. But remember: the answers you get won’t be anonymous.

Using this feature is easy: simply create a Story as you would normally do, then scroll through the stickers to find ‘Poll’, then edit the question and answers to suit your needs. Once users start participating in the poll, the Story will change so you can see the results: what percentage of your followers agreed with the options you gave.

Upgraded Bios

Refinery29 wrote this month that it was time to recognize your Instagram bio for what it is: ‘Your social media resume.’ As the adage goes, first impressions count. ‘If you’re looking to becoming an influencer or well-known blogger, this is the place to grab a brand’s attention.’ But how do you make yours different in just 150 characters?

The site recommends breaking down your interests, making ‘your bio as visually pleasing as your photo feed’, or listing your contact info upfront, giving Desi Perkins’s account as an example. You can even distinguish yourself from others by finding a font that best represents you – look to apps like Fonts Keyboard and Fonts for Instagram for cheap choices. Finally, they suggest adding ‘legitimacy to your profile by using Instagram Business Tools.’ These are all readily available ways to up your Instagram games, right now.

Which Instagram feature are you most excited about? Share in the comments!

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