Posts

Instagram Banner

How many times have you spent several minutes, maybe even hours, planning and scheduling the perfect post to social media, only to receive a torrent of hate in response? I don’t mean disgruntled customers voicing a complaint. I mean the abusive, hateful, and often vulgar comments that flood social media posts from brands, celebrities, and anyone else who chooses to post on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

These awful comments have become so commonplace many just view them as an unfortunate fact of life, but some social platforms are starting to take steps to erase the hate from their sites.

This week, Instagram unveiled a new filter that users can enable to hide inappropriate or abusive comments and messages aimed at making the image-sharing platform a safer place for brands and users alike.

tumblr_inline_odcy7uzhmv1qm4rc3_540

According to the announcement from Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, Instagram hopes the new feature will help foster a community where “everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.”

The new feature allows users to hide comments containing words or phrases that are frequently reported as inappropriate, but posters can also list custom keywords or phrases they wish to have hidden in comments under their posts.

While the feature gives posters more control over the comments they receive, it isn’t without its limits. The filter only blocks negative or inappropriate comments and can’t be used to block other abusive types of media uploaded to the site like image memes or videos.

Brands who receive rampant hate from trolls or abusive users also still have the ability to delete comments, report users, or block specific accounts.

Enabling the filter is easy. Just click the gear icon in your Instagram profile and click on the new “comments” feature. From there, you can toggle the filter on and off or add your own list of words or phrases you wish to have blocked from your page.

While the tool may be an effective way to filter out the random abuse many receive on social media, I would caution brands from using it as a way of hiding messages from users with legitimate complaints or issues, as that only tends to make matters worse.

Instagram is still typically thought of as a niche social platform. But, with over 300 million daily active users and counting, the Facebook-owned app is far from a scrappy upstart.  It’s a hugely popular platform that is still being overlooked by advertisers and brands.

Brands that incorporate Instagram into their social media strategy have been shown to receive high levels of engagement and brand awareness. Even more, the platform has been shown to be a powerful lead generation tool.

These aren’t the only reasons your brand could benefit from being on Instagram. In fact, Buzzoid compiled 22 reasons you should consider the platform into a stylish infographic. Check it out below, or at Buzzoid’s site.

instagram-stats-infographic

Instagram is launching a new feature, but many are saying the new feature seems inspired by another popular social photo app – Snapchat. The new feature called Instagram Stories lets users and brands share a collection of moments that disappear after 24 hours.

Insa1

If that sounds familiar, it is because the feature is very similar to Snapchat Stories. Not only does it allow users to easily package their best moments of a day into one easy-to-view collection, but Instagram Stories also includes the ability to draw on photos or videos to make them even more exciting.

“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over-posting,” an Instagram rep told AdWeek.

Insta2

The new feature is already available on iOS and Android mobile operating systems. It can be found at the top of Instagram feeds, where you can either share your own stories or tap icons to look at what others have shared in the past day.

Unlike most Instagram videos, clips included in stories are limited to 10 seconds. There are also no likes or comments on stories.

For now Instagram isn’t saying whether marketers will be able to take advantage of stories by promoting them like normal posts, however, businesses can still use the feature to engage with the community and build recognition for their brand and products.

InstagramBanner

The algorithmic timeline is starting to take over.

For the longest time, the algorithmic timeline was a defining characteristic of Facebook, while sites like Twitter and Instagram used chronologic timelines to keep people up to date as things happened in real time. However, Twitter made the controversial decision to implement an algorithmic timeline earlier this year and Instagram has officially announced they will be making the change next month.

Of course, this isn’t a total surprise. The Facebook-owned platform was bound to implement the algorithmic timeline sooner or later. In March, Instagram started testing an algorithmic which sorts user’s feed based on their interests and activity instead of sorting feeds by the most recent posts.

The announcement of the algorithm tests prompted a collective panic attack among many who bemoaned the loss of one of Instagram’s defining features and worried their posts would be seen by fewer people. However, Instagram says switching to an algorithmic timeline will actually increase exposure for posts, especially from influencers and brands.

According to the photo-and-video social platform, people miss 70% of the posts from people they follow when they use a chronologic timeline. The company says their tests showed the new timeline increases exposure and engagement, which is a win-win for users and brands.

“We found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way,” Instagram wrote in a company blog post announcing the official rollout.

 InstagramBanner

Instagram is breaking away from the model it helped pioneer by extending videos from the standard 15-second length to a full 60 seconds. The company made its name by taking advantage of the trend for micro-length videos similar to Vine’s 7-second length, but it is now stretching its legs with longer videos.

Instagram says it is making the change in order to “bring you fun, flexible and creative ways to create and watch video on Instagram.”

Of course, the new video length limits won’t be turning Instagram into YouTube all of a sudden. The extended limit simply allows people to latch onto longer and more diverse stories.

The longer clips will hopefully spur increased engagement for the company who is currently seeing record low levels of user engagement. Despite this drop in engagement, Instagram says the amount of time spent watching videos on the platform has increased over 40% over the past 6 months.

Along with the change to video lengths, Instagram also announced that iOS users are once again able to create videos out of multiple clips from the camera roll. Both new features have already begun rolling out for users and will be available for everyone in the coming months.

Of course, along with longer videos comes longer ads on Instagram, which should make marketers and businesses who use the platform happy. Longer ads translate into more opportunities to tell engaging stories and catch the attention of your audience.

Instagram Banner

Social media marketing is a great way to connect with your audience and raise awareness for your business, but getting started can be difficult. Every social network has its quirks and kinks to manage and you can’t use the same recipe for success across all platforms.

That’s why Instagram is launching a new official account, dedicated solely to sharing business tips and case studies to help inspire your marketing and advertising on the popular social photo platform.

The aptly titled @instagramforbusiness launched yesterday, starting with a showcase of Ben & Jerry’s, a company that has been marketing itself on Instagram since the platforms very early days in 2011.

instagramforbusiness

Instagram says business has always been an essential part of Instagram from its very start, and it expects even more to follow suit following the launch of Instagram ads.

In the future, the company will be sharing content through the account designed to inspire and motivate marketing and advertising efforts on Instagram. Here’s what you can expect to see shared on the new account:

“Each week, we’ll run exclusive, behind-the-scenes stories that inspire, inform and showcase the work done by three important groups in our business community from all around the world—brands, small businesses and creative agencies.”

In the coming week, the account will be sharing stories from a local Chicago florist called Flowers for Dreams and New York creative agency BBDO.