Okay, so Instagram Stories just gets better and better.
As a wrote a few weeks back, I have nearly abandoned Snapchat since Instagram Stories came along.
For me, there are just so many more advantages to InstaStories: higher views, better analytics, less “spam” messages. InstaStories, of course, doesn’t have the silly filters that Snap does, but due to the fact that I’m not 16, I’m pretty okay with that.
Instagram delivered an update a couple days ago, and there is some really good stuff in there that I’m loving.
First off, you can now @mention people in your InstaStory. For example, if you’re at an event, and you take a selfie with someone, you can @mention them, and it will create a link to their profile. I have been putting their Instagram handle in my stories up to now, but now they actually link. This is a great feature.
You can also promote other businesses or users that you are doing business or collaborations with. Nice.
Instagram has also integrated Boomerang right into the app. Up to now, Boomerang has been a separate app that you had to download. After you made your little Boomerang video (which is basically an animated gif maker), you could download it to your camera roll or share it to Instagram. It’s now built right in. This is a strategic move for Instagram, who built and launched the Boomerang app last year. Integrating it right into Instagram Stories means it will get more use, and for them, hopefully become native to the platform.
Finally, and sadly this is only available to people with verified accounts, Instagram is testing the insertion of links into your InstaStories. Hopefully this is a feature that will be rolled out to the rest of us soon.
For me, one of the main challenges with using Instagram as a marketing tool is the lack of ability to link. For most people, the ability to add a clickable link exists only in one place: your profile. Which means that Instagram is great for building your brand, but not amazing for driving traffic to your website. Having the ability to link to my latest blog post in my Instagram Story would be huge for me. Here’s hoping this feature rolls out to everyone soon.
So there you have it! If you haven’t updated your Instagram app, go do it right now to take advantage of these cool new features. By the way, Live Video for Instagram is on its way…