Instagram's New Features Update
Instagram is on a hot streak of updates, and they show no signs of stopping soon.
While still facing heavy competition from Facebook and Snapchat, who are also releasing new features regularly, Instagram continues to feel uniquely interactive in its capabilities.
To that end, this month they’ve added another interactive tool: a new voting option for Stories called the “emoji slider” sticker.
As explained by Instagram:
“The emoji slider lets you ask more nuanced questions when you want to find out how your friends feel about something. By choosing an emoji for your question, you also add a layer of emotional context that helps those answering understand your tone and answer accordingly.”
Emojis are all about conveying tone, and that extra layer of emotional context is important within our native digital language.
The slider provides another way to prompt viewer responses to your Stories content, and (probably most crucially) it’s a lot of fun. Whether you’re a brand or an individual, there is always room for another way to boost engagement from your followers.
Users who post with the emoji sliders will be able to see the responses to their polls, whereas viewers will be shown the average response offered by other followers after they’ve voted themselves.
The slider represents another feature in Instagram’s ever-growing tool set, with its particular focus on Insta Stories.
Within the past three months, the platform has unveiled:
- Group video calling
- In-stream payment options
- ‘Focus Mode’ for better selfies
- The ability to share posts in Stories
- ‘Nametag codes’ for account promotion
- The ability to mute profiles
- Native Payments
They are also reportedly testing:
- Q and A stickers
- Music Stickers
- Slow motion mode
Instagram is making changes at a steady pace, including the appointment of a new VP of Product, former News Feed chief Adam Mosseri. As he brings in his expertise from his experience with Facebook, we’re excited to see how things will progress.
Mosseri isn’t the only spot of overlap between Instagram and Facebook-- it’s now possible to cross-post from Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories. However, the Instagram-specific functionalities you apply will not work on Facebook, which could look bad to users who try and fail to interact with them. If they can’t move the slider, why should it be there?
As you go about putting together your Stories approach, there are a lot of new tools to take advantage of.
Use them with consideration to make sure your brand doesn’t become too gimmicky, but don’t be afraid to experiment with them!
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