With updates happening as frequently as you Snapchat your best friend, it’s no surprise that the social media industry is constantly evolving. When it comes to business, updates are more than just a cool new feature – they’re crucial for reaching the right audience. With the title of the fastest growing social network, Instagram has had its fair share of changes, which are equally, if not more, important than other social platforms because of its rapid and maintained growth. While you’d probably rather spend your days watching this evolution of social media, it’s not realistic, so compiled below is a cheat sheet on the most recent updates, and what they can mean for you.
Have you ever looked at a post only to realize your eyes can’t seem to focus on the tiny mobile-sized image? And because it’s Instagram, you can’t exactly zoom in. Well, Instagram is slowly starting to roll out an update to increase image sizes, allowing them to be shared at a higher resolution. This not only allows for a clearer photo, but in my opinion, a much prettier one! Brands can now show crystal clear photos, highlighting even the smallest detail and saving your eyes from squinting.
Portrait and Landscape Photos
Instagram just recently announced that the platform will now support landscape and portrait photos and videos, no longer restricting users to the signature square format. (Although if you’re a creature of habit, don’t fear! The square format is still available). This means your friends won’t be cut out of photos and those #ootd images will show your entire outfit, without needing to resize it first. This is especially exciting for brands that want their images to have a bit more variety with their layout.
The “Explore” Menu
Instagram gave its search feature a facelift, and the results rejuvenate the platform. The new menu allows for a more detailed experience, enabling users to search by traditional hashtag as well as places or locations. The new search results are also categorized into people, places, or tags, creating even faster results. This is great for brands looking to engage in conversations, or for new users to follow.This update also comes along with a trending topics list, similar to Twitter, so it’s easy to join popular, timely, and trending social topics. The Explore menu also features communities, updated twice a week, that showcases images on Instagram you wouldn’t normally see.
Instagram ads were a big deal when the announcement was first released, but the new targeting will blow any marketer’s mind. Not only can you sync campaigns between Facebook and Instagram, but targeting will now act like that of Facebook. Hello, detailed audiences! Not to mention you’ll pay per click, which means small and big businesses alike can join in.
If you’ve uploaded an image recently, you probably noticed that geo-tags are suggested based on your location. This feature will make it easier for a brand to promote geo specific opportunities, like store locations, special events, or promotional deals. This is also effective if you’re an on-the-move, up-to-the-minute brand sharing behind-the-scenes updates or adventures around the city – you’ll easily be able to tag where you’re at and meet up with other brand enthusiasts who may be nearby.
I personally love the new “explore” menu the best. I love to see what topics are trending at the moment, and also love to check out the new communities that are featured. Dogs of Instagram or food markets around the world? Yes, please! What’s your favorite new feature?