Snapstagram: Top 4 Instagram Updates You Need to Know [UPDATED]

Okay, there is no Snapstagram. I made this word up. But so Facebook and Snapchat did.

I was sitting on the couch watching David Attenborough’s Africa letting myself unwind after a long and digitally infused day of work. As social media obsessed, I think I only lasted half an hour or so before my hand almost naturally reached out for the phone. I opened Instagram to check out what was the ‘imaginary’ world up to. Holly cow! What is this? Instagram Stories? You kidding me. This was my first reaction to the new Instagram update I’ve experienced.

Instagram Stories

Insta Stories, which rolled out on Android and iOS the day I bumped into it, is the feature that is nearly identical to the central feed in Snapchat, which is also called stories. What a move! Not entirely unique though as Facebook adopted Periscope’s live broadcasting feature introducing, and now heavily pushing, Facebook LIVE. However, I must embarrassingly admit, I didn’t expect Instagram to roll out anything like this. I, however, have been waiting for some drastic updates. Facebook purchased Insta ages ago and did nothing with it for such a long time.

So, what does the new update look like?

Unlike the main feed, there are no hearts or other feedback mechanisms inside Instagram stories. But as on Snapchat, you can reply to stories with text messages — here they’ll appear inside the Instagram Direct mailbox. Swipe up on your own story and you can see a list of people who have viewed your story; you can also block individual users from being able to access your story on that screen.

If your Instagram account is public, your story is public, too — and you can creep on someone’s public story without following them by tapping on their profile photo. If your account is private, though, only accounts you approve can see it. And if you’re particularly satisfied with one of your story posts, you can promote it to the traditional Instagram feed by swiping up on it and tapping the share button. If you’d like to research a little deeper, check out the Instagram’s new stories are a near-perfect copy of Snapchat stories article; and, of course, any article on the Net at the moment.

Instagram updates (1)

I felt a little unsettle about the update because I know that Facebook attempted to purchase Snapchat but was politely showed to the door. As a result, Facebook released an identical to Snapchat feature which makes me wonder if this was even a legal move. Moreover, Instagram has its own feel and look. We love posting and scrolling through stunning images on Insta. Adding 24-hour lasting low quality snaps to the rich feel of Instagram doesn’t look right to me. Instagram describes its stories product as a way to promote the sharing of moments that don’t meet the higher bar of a traditional Instagram post. But it’s also designed to get people to share more, period. What do you think?

Some expressed their views saying that this is the beginning of the digital war between the giant Facebook and fast growing Snapchat. Mark Schaefer though says that the Facebook moves will probably not kill Snapchat but it will dramatically slow the company’s amazing growth. For example, I am already on Instagram. I like it. It’s a place of fun and comfort. Adding the pressure of creating yet another social network on Snapchat is a pain in the ass, honestly. It’s one more time suck I don’t need. So I may just stick with Instagram, and others will too, since it is now an easier-to-use alternative. What do you think? 

Instagram Stories is so new it is difficult to predict but entertaining to speculate about. I only stopped researching and playing with it that night because it was getting late and I had to get some sleep. Social media can be all-consuming indeed. I look forward to see what you think of this move and if you are going to adopt the Stories in your Instagram routine.

…Most people use Snapchat differently than social media gurus. The Snapchat audience is not trying to build a brand or attract a massive audience. They are using it as a personal messaging service. And it works really well. Snapchat is more than stories. – Mark W. Schaefer

I am now reciting the 3 other updates from the Top 3 Recent Instagram Updates You Need to Know in case you missed it last week. Enjoy the read and don’t forget to share what you think.

New Chronological Feed

New Chronological Feed

Instagrammers went in a frenzy following an announcement that the social app is planning an update that would alter the way posts show up on its timeline — a change borrowed from Facebook’s newsfeed. In a March blog release, the company stated:

You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.

To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.

The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.

No wonder Instagram users and small businesses are worried the new update would cause their posts to get lost in the sea of posts made by bigger and more influential brands. Posts will no appear in your feed based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content these 7 words (including articles and prepositions, of course) make many of us wonder ‘who the heck will you decide this likelihood?’

Although posting great images that your followers would want to engage with is probably still your safest bet and will continue to be so, many of us are wondering if this update will lead to the raise of advertising. Instagram is owned by Facebook, at the end of the day.

 The New ‘Minilmalist’ Logo

On May 11, Instagram unveiled a new logo; and had people feeling all the feels. The rainbow coloured camera that we’d all grown to associate with the brand underwent a facelift last month and as expected, it did not go unnoticed. The change evoked all kinds of emotions — ranging from funny to unpleasant — but many fans were not impressed. Obviously the brand’s intent was something else — “Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become,” Instagram’s official blog stated while announcing the change.

Again, people, surely, loved talking about it. Maybe this is what Instagram planned all along – generate a lot of noise out of… air, really. I posted a question in one of the Facebook Groups I follow and received a rainbow of replies. We talked about it for a whole day… and then? Nothing. We stop talking about it. Curious…

Instagram

Ian Spalter, Instagram’s head of design, explained why the change was necessary in his Medium post:

Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty. But the Instagram icon and design was beginning to feel, well… not reflective of the community, and we thought we could make it better,” he said.

Turns out, the backlash against the new simpler look was driven by familiarity and more than anything, nostalgia (‘90s kids, you feeling me?) Now that we’ve all recovered from The Great Instagram Logo Freakout Of 2016, there are more changes you need to wrap your head around.

New Business Tools

Instagram-analytics-tools

Here comes my favorite. In the last week of May 2016, Instagram officially announced a bunch of brand new analytics features that they would be launching in the “coming months”. These new additions to the app have been designed specifically for business users and include new business profiles, analytics, and the ability to turn Instagram posts into ads directly from the Instagram app. As mentioned earlier, we are moving towards the raise of advertising and will inevitably hit this iceberg. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will all die. Maybe advertising means more controlled content, better content and more targeted content. This is surely good, right?!

The new analytics feature will allow businesses using the platform to get a deeper understanding of user insights, follower demographics and post analytics. When the update is fully rolled out, we’ll be able to see where our followers are located, their gender, and their age. On top of all this, we’ll be able to track impressions, reach and website clicks – smells like Facebook indeed.

On one side, I am, of course, excited because nothing in stagnation is fun, in my view. I am excited to see Instagram changing. I am not surprised that Facebook is taking its purchase through the same business model journey. I don’t mind Instagram focusing on advertising a bit more. On the other hand, pre-advertising times were reasonably glorious; and people could share their stuff for free receiving genuine ‘likes’ because others actually liked it. I am not so sure about it now. I am, surely, excited about analytics; however do not expect them to blow my mind.

What do you think of these latest Instagram updates? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

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