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Instagram has launched a new feature that makes it possible to share posts across multiple accounts simultaneously. Currently only available to iOS users, the feature allows account managers to share a post to two or more of their accounts without the need for duplicating posts or creating multiple versions for each account.

“We are rolling out this feature to provide a better experience for people who often post to multiple accounts,” explained a spokesperson for Instagram.

If you have a business with multiple locations or individual brands for specific services, you likely can already see the utility of the new feature. In the past, to post across several accounts you controlled, you would essentially have to recreate the same post multiple times or use third-party tools to create and schedule your posts.

Now, you can save the time and effort by selecting the “Post to other accounts” option when creating a new post. From there, you simply have to toggle which accounts you would like to share the content on.

It also means that brands who aren’t using third-party social management tools can now effectively manage their multiple pages from directly within the Instagram app.

Unfortunately for Android users, Instagram hasn’t given any indication when the feature might be available outside of iOS devices.

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Instagram’s live video feature is officially available to all 70 million US users. After announcing the feature in late November, the social imaging platform has announced the feature is available across America and will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks.

While it may be tempting to compare Instagram’s live video streaming to Facebook’s growing live feature, it is actually more similar to the live options available through Snapchat.

With Instagram’s live video, users can broadcast to followers in real time through Instagram Stories. However, once the stream is over it is completely gone. There is no saving or replaying old broadcasts. They disappear as soon as you end the broadcast.

How To Get Started Broadcasting

To get started streaming, you just have to follow a couple easy steps.

  • Tap the camera icon in the top left of the screen or swipe right from the Feed to open your camera.
  • Tap the new Live icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap Start Live Video.
  • Once you are ready to end your stream, just tap End in the top right.

Broadcasts can last up to one hour and you can choose to notify your followers when you go live. The number in the top right corner of the screen shows just how many followers are watching, and you can pin or share comments to others by tapping and holding it. You can also turn off comments entirely if you desire.

Marketing with Instagram Live Video

The idea of marketing your business through live video that immediately disappears may seem unattractive at first. Why bother with vanishing video when you can spend time crafting marketing campaigns that last, right?

However, live video can actually be a great way to make followers feel like they are in on exclusive events and information. The function is especially great for letting your customers and fans see special engagements like product launches or milestones for your business.

You can also use live video to engage your audience in new ways with impromptu interviews or Q&A sessions that help your followers learn more about who you are and why they should be invested in your brand.

For more info on Instagram’s live video feature, check out the video below:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.