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5 New Instagram Features You Need to Try

If Instagram isn’t already a part of your social media marketing strategy, there’s never been a better time to explore it. After Facebook, Instagram is the best place to capture the attention of engaged users: 60% of people on the platform are logging in daily. And Millennials? They’re there. 90% of Instagram users are under 35, making it the go-to spot for any trendy, cutting-edge brand.

And with this year’s feature updates, there’s more opportunity than ever. These are the 5 new Instagram features you really should try:

Share to Story

Stories have taken over, and for good reason! They’re bite-sized pieces of content that offer incredible value, are a little bit addictive, and the best part is that they’re fun. Stories are great for sharing behind the scenes looks at your business, quick tidbits of information, or exclusive deals (especially if you have access to the ‘swipe up’ feature!)

The only drawback is that this type of content doesn’t work well on the feed, and feed content typically can’t be re-purposed into stories, either… until now. Share Instagram posts into your story for maximum exposure… it’s easy!

How to: Just click on the arrow icon underneath the photo of your choice, then choose ‘Add photo to story’!

Video Chat

The manner in which professional meetings take place is changing, thanks largely in part to social media… and this new Instagram feature is taking things to a whole new level. In addition to having the potential to liven up relationships with your friends, video chat is also a great way to build relationships and deepen your connection with clients, partners, and peers.

For example: have you ever wanted to have an impromptu chat with a potential client? Or maybe you want to offer one-on-one coaching calls to your audience. How about hosting a focus group or mentorship program? Now you can do all that and more, without the hassle of sending over a meeting link or exchanging usernames.

How to: Open up a direct message, and find the video camera icon in the top right corner to get started.

Mute

Keeping your eyes open for inspiration is a good thing… until it starts distracting you. We’ve all been caught in the cycle of endless scrolling, and the truth is: it’s wasting our time. If you are constantly on your phone scrolling, it might be a good idea to minimize some of your distractions. This is where the new mute feature comes in.

Unfollowing accounts can seem harsh or rude, but taking a break from accounts that suck you in can seriously boost your productivity.

How to: Click on the three dots to the right of a username in your feed, then select ‘Mute’.

Questions for Stories

Ever wonder if you could fit a focus group in the palm of your hand? Well, now you can. This feature is actually a sticker, and it’s incredibly easy to use! Just add a photo or video to your story as usual, then choose the question sticker. You’ll start receiving responses from your audience, and can add your response back into your story when you’re ready.

This works perfectly for getting feedback from your audience on what types of content you should create, or giving them a glimpse into your more authentic self. It might be surprising that telling your followers what your favorite type of sandwich is can build relationships, but it’s true!

How to: Prepare an Instagram Story, then choose the smiley icon at the top of the screen. Select ‘Questions’ and drag to your desired location on the screen.

IGTV

Instagram is ready to tackle the video marketing industry… and you might want to give it a try. Instagram TV is their new long-form video app, allowing users to upload videos up to 10 minutes or one hour, depending on verification status.

But what makes IGTV better than any other video platform out there? Well, its vertical format makes for a mobile-first experience, and leveraging your existing audience has never been easier.

How to: Click on the IGTV icon at the top right of your Instagram home screen. Upload an MP4 and you’re good to go!

Which of these new Instagram features are you most excited for?

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