Twinning: the art of sharing a look or idea with your bestie. Duh.
Facebook and Instagram spent all of 2016 twinning. As we all know this is pretty easy for them since Instagram is a Facebook property, after all. It’s all fun and games, but is Facebook taking away too much of Instagram’s original ideas or giving it the features it needs? You decide.
Let’s start this silly list like 2017 – positive. Watch this pile of stuffed animals below. Without the zoom option would you know there was a snuggly puppy in the mix? We think not.
Instagram was the social media outlet notoriously known for not being able to zoom in on photos. What earrings was Beyoncé wearing in that photo? We will never know because Insta didn’t let us zoom. We would like to thank their developers for adding this like Facebook feature.
Starting today, you can pinch to zoom on photos and videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore. Dive into an adorable puppy’s smile or into every detail of your friend’s new shirt. Over the past six months, you’ve seen many exciting changes come to Instagram, from a new icon to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories. And as things change, we’re still focused on improving the core parts of Instagram. Zoom is available today for Instagram on iOS. Zoom will be available on Android in the coming weeks.
Algorithm: “See the moments you care about first.”
One of the biggest shake-ups to hit social media marketers was Instagram’s algorithm change.
Much like our friend Facebook, the algorithm was changed to the likelihood of a user being interested in the friend or business’ post. All the posts are still physically available, but just in a different order.
Back in its halcyon days, Instagram posts were ordered in the feed by when they were shared. Hence, Instagram. Instagram explains, “You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people and businesses share. This means people often don’t see the posts they might care about the most.”
We give this algorithm a big thumbs down. Not only did this take the fun out of the feed, but for businesses, it was no longer when you post, but having less ability to show up in potential customers’ feeds.
Business Profiles: Let’s Make This Facebook Official.
Facebook for businesses has been around for years now. There are unlimited benefits to owning a business page on Facebook. Instagram lacked this feature. All accounts were made the same without separate features. Until one day, Instagram took a note from the book of faces.
Instagram explains, “With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our business community to do more. So we listened. And, after hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear—stand out, get insights and find new customers.”
For us and all other businesses, we give this update a high five.
Insights: Knowledge is Power. Right?
When the news dropped about business profiles, we found out Instagram was finally supplying Facebook like insights: impressions, reach, profile views and demographic information.
This type of data gives businesses the insights it needs to develop relevant and creative content for its audience. The Blasters (aka me) give this Facebook added feature a bless emoji.
View Count on Videos: Bitey, Press Play.
This update was no surprise to us. More of, “why wasn’t video views included before?” It’s the most basic data video should provide to businesses. Welp. Instagram once again took a lesson from Facebook and added the feature for both businesses and personal accounts.
If you haven’t checked out one of our most festive videos, be sure to add your video view to our count. Hint, hint.
New Look: Coming in hot.
BAM. Instagram goes from unique retro camera to contemporary overnight. Not just the logo—all its app friends in Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse got major makeovers last year. This is a no brainer. Facebook saw the need for a facelift, but did users? Took us awhile to get used to. #js
This particular logo stood out from the rest. It was not modern like Facebook. The retro camera had personality. Maybe the makeover has grown on the Blasters, but was it necessary?
The app explains, “The Instagram community has evolved over the last five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more—a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”
Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse. We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app. The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become. Thank you for giving this community its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world. Every photo and video — from the littlest things to the most epic — opens a window for people to broaden their experiences and connect in new ways.
Live Video: Definitely not a Facebook Feature.
Guys. Do we even have to say this is a Facebook feature? Of course it is.
Instagram explains, “Live video on Instagram Stories helps your business connect with your community right now. When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.”
Well played, except we can all see you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses. We mean, Facebook.
Today we’re announcing two updates: live video on Instagram Stories and disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends in Instagram Direct. Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now. It’s easy to go live — just swipe right from feed to open the camera, tap the “Start Live Video” button and start sharing for up to an hour. Your friends may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in. While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn comments off altogether. When you’re done, your live story immediately disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime. When someone you follow starts a live video, you’ll see “Live” under their profile photo in the stories bar. During the broadcast, you can comment and like as much as you want. You can also discover new live videos on Explore. Tap “Top Live” to see exciting live videos happening at that moment. Live video on Instagram Stories and Explore will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks. You can learn more about today’s updates at help.instagram.com.
Saved Posts: Don’t mind if I save this delicious recipe video for later.
This is a personal favorite update. There. I said it. I love saving posts. Where was I doing this before the recent Instagram update? Facebook.
Whether it’s a funny dog video or a Tasty video tutorial, I’m slamming the save button like no one’s business.
For any brand or company on Instagram, this is the Holy Grail. Instagram explains, “For Instagrammers stumbling upon a business they want to remember, a new product they like, or a memorable ad, they can now keep track of favorite posts right from their profile.”
Starting today, you can save posts you’d like to revisit later. Now you’ll see a new bookmark icon underneath posts in your feed. Simply tap it to save a post to a new, private tab on your profile. There you can see all the posts you’ve saved — and they’re only visible to you. When you stumble upon a funny video you want to remember, a new outfit you like or even inspiration for an upcoming vacation, you can now keep track of favorite posts right from your profile. To learn more about saved posts, check out help.instagram.com. Saved posts are part of Instagram version 10.2, available today for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.
Advertising: The moneymaker.
Adapted from Facebook, businesses are allowed to advertise through Facebook’s Ads Manager or directly on Instagram (if they have a business page).
Instagram advertisers are able to use Facebook’s pixels, SDK codes, video slideshows and everything in between. Except, there is still no growth campaign. For right now, we’re just going to have to grown our audiences the old fashion way, organically.
Decision: Keep on twinning.
Most of personally miss Instagram’s original looks and vibes, but from a business’ perspective, these changes are mostly all beneficial. Any way to get your company noticed or bring in new customers is a win. Instagram is following the footsteps of Facebook by listening to brand’s requests and providing.