Welcome back to our Instagram update for May 2020! We’re so excited to share with you everything that has been released, updated or announced on the platform. Over the course of May Instagram had 8 announcements, making it clear they are taking the time in lockdown to implement improvements to their current platform, as well as introduce exciting changes. Take a look at our personal updates to Flick for May here! We have also released this blog post as an IGTV, which you can find on our feed.
Instagram May 2020 Update 🌸
Instagram Guides 📖
Instagram announced via Twitter that they have released their first-ever Instagram Guides, in collaboration with wellness creators brands, and accounts. The platform has said that they want Instagram to be a place where people can “easily find reliable information and inspiration from their favorite accounts.” Guides are a way to “easily discover recommendations, tips and other content” which are curated using photos and videos from your feed, and will also be discoverable via the Explore page.
As a response to the mental health struggles people are experiencing during COVID, the first guides will be solely focused on wellness content. They appear in a guidebook section on participating creator’s feeds, where IGTV videos and tagged posts would usually show on a user’s profile.
This is a great new outlet for creators to get noticed, but also to categorize their content. If they have a type of content they tend to create on their feed, for example, sharing advice on how to style, they can shift all of this content into a guide, for users to look through. It makes it easier for people to discover a hub with everything related to one topic, and the Flick team is really excited to see where they go! Here’s a look at what the guides look like:
Shopping has become even easier 🛍
As we already know, Instagram is making shifts to become more ‘shoppable’, and this was apparent in one of the announcements the platform made in May 2020. Facebook told fans that in the US-specifically, they would be introducing Instagram shop – “a new way to discover and buy products you like on the Instagram Explore tab.” They also said they would be adding the shop tab to the navigation bar, making it easier for people to discover new products in their feed.
On top of this, it is rumored that Instagram Live selling is soon to be rolled out, allowing users to shop for products from sellers, brands, and creators directly on Facebook and Instagram Live. Commenters will be able to ‘buy’ specific emojis to support their favorite creators, and find ways to buy products. This is already an extremely popular feature in Asia, which has seen a lot of success in shifting product for sales quickly, via influencers. It will be interesting to see how this changes influencer marketing when it gets introduced!
Support small businesses 🗣
A lot of smaller businesses are suffering, and are unable to make sales as a result of their valuable customers being housebound. Instagram has released a new sticker, which allows you to showcase your favorite small brands in a Story. The sticker uses featured posts from the brand you select and allows users to tap through to their page to check them out, and support them too.
Chat with up to 50 people in new Messenger Rooms 👋
Probably as a reaction to the growing popularity in apps like Houseparty and Zoom, Facebook has released new Messenger Rooms. This is an option to video chat with up to 50 people at a time, all selected from your Instagram followers and following. The feature takes you out of the Instagram app, and into the Messenger app when you create your room, as a move to cross-pollinate the two Facebook-owned platforms.
Instagram Improvements and Updates in May 🗞
A new way to combat hate? 🤞
Instagram is constantly trying to find ways to reduce the amount of hate on their platform and prevent cyber-bullying. You can now delete multiple comments, and block or restrict people in bulk, at once. This is specifically aimed at creators that see negative and spam comments on their feed on a regular basis. You can also now monitor and manage who tags or mentions you on Instagram, which has been updated in your Privacy Settings. Instagram has said that people can now manage “unwanted interactions more easily, especially when faced with a rush of negative comments.”
In the future, the platform also plans to test out the option to highlight positive comments, by pinning them to the top of your post. This is going to be tested in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled.
Keep your lives around for longer ⏱
You can now save your live videos to IGTV in case someone might have missed them, or just to increase the longevity of content, so they don’t disappear after 24 hours. You have to do this directly at the end of your IGTV live, so make sure you have your cover photo, title, and description ready before you go live.
In addition to this, the option to include ads on IGTV has also been introduced. IGTV ads will initially appear when people click to watch videos from previews in their feed.
Facebook welcome Giphy to the team 📹
Finally, Giphy joined the Facebook company as part of the Instagram team with plans to further integrate their gif library into Instagram and other apps. Let us know the gifs you are most excited to use!
We hope you enjoyed this installment of the Instagram update for May 2020! If you want to see what’s new at Flick this month, check that out here. Tune in next month, to see what else is new – and stay safe!