Instagram recently announced updates to make users’ stories more fun. Now, Instagramers can create Boomerangs without leaving the Instagram app and mention other users in their stories. Additionally, verified accounts can include a ‘see more’ call to action in their stories so users can click and learn more about a particular event or product.
Boomerang has been a prominent feature on Instagram since October 2015, allowing users to turn a burst of photos into a mini video that plays forward and backward. Previously, users were required to download the separate Boomerang app to create the mini videos. From there, they could save the videos to their camera roll and share it on Instagram. Now, when Instagramers swipe right into the story section, they have the option to create a Boomerang to share to their own story or save to their camera roll to share on Instagram or elsewhere. One question this raises: does the new feature mean the end of the separate Boomerang app?
Mentions are popular among many Instagram users, whether they are mentioning a friend in their own photo or video caption, or commenting on other content they think a friend would enjoy. Now, Instagramers can take engagements a step further by calling out who they are with in real time by mentioning their username in stories. Mentioning other users in a story is the same as mentioning them in a caption or comment – just type “@” followed by a username. Notifications for mentions in stories are also the same as if a user was tagged in a photo, with the notification appearing in Direct. Once in Direct, tap “preview” to see the story as long as it’s still live. If a user is mentioned by someone they do not follow, the notification will appear as a message request. In addition, those who are watching an Instagramer’s story can click on the username mentioned and they will be taken to the mentioned user’s profile.
Lastly, Instagram is testing ‘see more’ links in stories for verified accounts that gives their followers and story watchers a chance to dig deeper into products, services, music, movies, events, etc. A ‘see more’ button appears at the bottom of the screen that Instagramers can click, or swipe up, allowing them to view the link without leaving the app.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR MARKETERS
The addition of Boomerang in stories enables marketers to easily communicate with their followers in a way they prefer to communicate. These videos are fun to watch and make content more chewable for fans.
Consumers feel important when brands interact with them via social media. It builds relationships and brand loyalty. Especially when their photo or post is featured on a brand profile. Now that brands have the ability to mention fans in stories, they can deepen their relationship with those fans. Not to mention, when fans are featured, they are likely to let their friends and family know, which will drive more story views and potential followers and engagements.
“See More” Links
Currently, the ‘see more’ buttons are being tested with select verified users. However, if the feature is rolled out to all users and brand profiles, marketers will have a great chance to further engage their Instagram followers. Giving fans the opportunity to click through for more details and content helps position brands as thought leaders and potentially drives more purchases and leads. There’s no word yet on how engagement with the CTA will be measured. More details are likely to follow as the test rolls out to more users.