Instagram announces new features – augmented reality (AR) ads, gifts, interactive stickers, notes and scheduled posts – aimed at increasing connectivity and providing creators with more ways to monetize their brand.
Founded in 2010, Instagram allows users to upload photos and videos and share them with followers. Users can interact with content by liking, commenting and sharing posts with others. This platform is “popular among Millennials and older GenZers with 61.6 percent of users falling into the 18-34-year-old age demographic." (Hootsuite).
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How can marketers effectively use Instagram to increase brand awareness, loyalty and engagement? In this blog, Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, explores new features on Instagram to give marketers a competitive advantage.
Best New Instagram Features for Marketers:
Augmented Reality (AR) Ads
Instagram has announced the expansion of augmented reality (AR) features by introducing AR ads. With AR ads, marketers can build immersive experiences allowing users to visually try the product before they purchase it.
“Users can interact with the ad by seeing how it interacts with the space around them, taking a picture to share to their Instagram Story, and tapping the call-to-action button to visit a URL encouraging them to purchase the item” (Medium). Since it is a relatively new feature utilizing AR ads can increase brand awareness and improve the experience between the brand and the customer.
Starting in February 2023, US creators will now have the ability to receive digital gifts from fans. “For eligible creators, a gift option will appear in the bottom left corner of their Reels which fans can purchase any type of gift they would like to send, allowing creators to exchange and withdraw them for real money.” (Embed Social).
This new form of monetization will allow creators to earn more from their presence on Instagram and develop an engaged and supportive audience.
In October 2022, Instagram announced a new feature, called Notes, that engages users and their followers in a new way. “Notes are available in Instagram Messenger, last 24 hours, and consist of up to 60 characters of text and emojis to share your thoughts and start a conversation” (Meta).
This is a casual way for people to learn more about who they are following, get recommendations and be casual when connecting with one another.
Ditch third-party apps and schedule posts in-app for more convenience. “As of November 2022, Instagram allows users with professional accounts to schedule posts up to 75 days in advance.” (Instagram).
“Users are able to set a specific publication date for their posts, but this feature does not allow cross-posting to other Instagram accounts or different social media platforms” (Napoleon Cat). This automated feature allows you to post often and consistently during optimal times for audience engagement as well as allowing you to spend more time with clients or on other projects.
While interactive stickers on Instagram have been around for a few years they were only available for use on Stories, but now marketers can capture the attention of their audience on Reels. The following stickers will be available for Instagram Reels:
Stickers are a fun way to create a community where consumers feel comfortable engaging with a brand and are more likely to support the business by purchasing products or sharing information about the business with their circle of influence.
Utilizing Instagram’s new features improves the relationship between a brand and its audience by allowing businesses to embed interactive elements on its page and making it easier for users to support their favorite creators. \
Our team of social media experts are here to help. Give us a call
By Toyin Oluyede at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.