5 Big Instagram Updates and What They Mean for Your Small Business

September 8, 2016 Monika Jansen

Instagram updates

While you’ve been busy working, Instagram updates have been rolling out one after another. Here’s a look at what’s new over the past few months:

1. Updated news feed

Just like Facebook shows you posts in your news feed based on certain criteria, Instagram does too (with 500 million users and counting, this change was inevitable). Instagram posts are now ordered based on how recently the post was shared, your past interactions with the poster, and your interests (based on past interactions).

What it means for your small business: Gone are the lazy days of just posting stuff, knowing people would see it. Now you have to work for your spot in the news feed, which means you need to pay attention to quality, type of content, and your engagement metrics.

2. Increased emphasis on video

Video might not be taking over the world, but it is taking over social media. In a six-month period, Instagram found that the total time people spent watching video on its platform increased 150 percent. That’s huge.

What it means for your small business: Start creating beautiful and engaging video content for Instagram. You’ll have to experiment to see what works, of course, but it’ll be a short learning curve. People will either love a video, or they won’t.

3. “Stories” feature

Stories lets you share small moments in your day that you don’t necessarily want to keep on your profile. You can post both photos and videos, which will appear together in a slideshow format. All stories will disappear after 24 hours.

What it means for your small business: It means you can get really creative. If you already have a strong Instagram following but are not yet on Snapchat, play around with this feature to see what works.

4. “Picked for you” channels

Tap on the Explore icon, and you’ll see a new feature: videos grouped by your favorite topics and interests. New channels will be added over time, and channels will change based on what you interact with.

What it means for your small business: If your videos are featured on channels, you will greatly increase your reach and visibility. Commit to creating new videos on a regular basis, and keep on top of your engagement metrics to ensure you’re sharing videos people love.

5. Events channel

A few weeks ago, Instagram announced a new channel on Explore called Events. Events curates videos from live events – concerts, sporting events, etc. – and, like the other “picked for you” channels, is personalized based on your interests.

What it means for your small business: When you are at an event that is both related to your small business and might be of interest to your audience, shoot a short video and post it using the event’s hashtag(s).

What Instagram updates are you most excited about? Do you think these updates will help or hurt your social media marketing strategy?

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Author information

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen is a freelance copywriter and editor who helps with companies of all shapes on sizes kick their content up to the next level. You can find her online at www.jansencomm.com.

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