2018 was a huge year for Instagram
From the arrival of Instagram live to the introduction of IGTV, we saw countless new modes of interaction making their way into the world’s favorite visual social media channel.
Now that the new year is finally here, the experts over at Insta are sure to be looking for plenty of ways to delight and engage their 1 billion monthly active users. That means that we’re bound to see plenty of updates pouring into the app during the next few months.
In the meantime, influencers, growing companies and consumers with the Instagram itch are all wondering which methods they should prioritize when it comes to sharing their Instagram moments.
The good news?
As connoisseurs of the latest Instagram trends, we’re on hand to keep you up to date on the Instagram new, old, and “not-yet ready”. Here are 5 great ways that you can interact with your followers and friends in 2019.
1# Tap into the Tunes on Instagram Stories
Stories are some of the most critical pieces of content in the Instagram world. In fact, more than 400 million people use Stories every day. However, you might have thought that up until now, your Stories had something missing – namely, your favorite tune.
Fortunately, your friends can now respond to your question stickers with songs from their music library, and you can even add your favorite melodies to your story too! This bonus feature is a great way to add a little more “heart” to your Instagram stories. What’s more, you’ll have a much easier time engaging your audience when you can delight two of their senses at once.
Open your viewer’s list to check the responses of your followers, then click on the play button to start listening to the songs that your fans left. It’s the new Instagram, complete with soundtrack!
2# Share Video with IGTV
IGTV made its fabulous debut during 2018, introducing Instagram users to a world of vertical video that could be up to an hour long for verified accounts. IGTV is similar to a streaming service in the way that it provides brands and influencers on Instagram with a way to share long-form visual content with their audience.
The main difference between IGTV and other video platforms is the fact that IGTV focuses on showcasing vertical videos taken with your smartphone. Essentially, Instagram wanted the content their users shared to be as authentic and “in the moment” as possible.
Already, we’ve started to see a number of major-league brands taking advantage of the unique and authentic appeal that IGTV has to offer. For instance, Chipotle was among the first companies that showed their users what they could do with vertical video. Make sure you consider IGTV for your New year Instagram strategy.
3# Make Authentic Connections with Instagram Live
Instagram, like most social media channels, thrives on the relationships between its users. For instance, the question sticker in “Instagram Live” allows real-time watchers on your Insta channel to engage with you through questions about your content. For instance, a fan could ask a fashion influencer where they got their new shoes or a cooking expert about their favorite pancake recipe.
The beauty of Instagram Live is that it provides people on the Insta network to connect in a more intimate and “instant” way. It’s pretty much the closest that you can get to face-to-face conversations over a social channel. You get the raw and genuine benefits of video content, combined with real-time messaging.
Questions in Live are still a relatively new feature for the Instagram community, rolling out across the latest versions of the app for Android and iOS. If you have any trouble with your new features, you can always check out the Instagram Help Center for some extra guidance.
4# Get Personal with Instagram Direct
Sliding into the DMs of your friends and followers on Instagram might not be a new concept. However, just in time for 2019, we’ve begun to notice a significant increase in the popularity of Instagram Direct – the messaging solution for Insta users.
During 2018, the developers behind Instagram Direct started to introduce new and engaging features for their audience, including video chat solutions and the option to add gifs to messages. In a very short space of time, the application evolved from something a lot like standard text-messaging to something that feels a lot like a real alternative to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
We’re not saying that all Instagram users will be willing to give up their other messaging apps for Instagram Direct straight away. However, if you do need to strike up a conversation with someone in private (for business or otherwise), you will have an easier option going forward. There’s already an Instagram Direct app available that stands alone from the standard Instagram app in the United Kingdom.
Instagram new features are popping all the time. We can only wait and see whether the option becomes a worldwide success.
5# Build Suspense with Moment Countdowns
Finally, Instagram just announced the arrival of yet another fantastic feature for the Stories tool. This year, influencers, companies and everyday users alike will have a new way to generate excitement and engagement among their target audience with a countdown sticker for upcoming “moments.” We have no doubt that plenty of people were taking advantage of this new capability on New Year’s Eve!
The interactive countdown option might not seem like a huge addition to Instagram, but it’s a great way to keep people interested in your content and take advantage of that all-important “Fear of Missing Out” that’s so useful with time-sensitive content.
You can choose from a wide range of countdown sticker options to suit your personal brand or style and name your countdown too so that your customers know exactly what they’re waiting for. To make life a little easier, the countdown sticker will also stay in your sticker tray for the length of the countdown, so that you can add it easily to other stories. Your friends and followers will also be able to add the countdown to their stories to share the Instagram love,and they can agree to get a notification when the countdown ends.
Which new features are you most excited about for your Instagram interactions this year?
Let us know in the comments below!