Instagram has long accustomed us to update after update in an attempt to create more tools for businesses to market with and, ultimately, more engagement for the regular users. And Kudos to Instagram, they’ve done a great job keeping us on our toes. Today we have a dozen more reasons to get excited and start tweaking our marketing strategies due to some cool Instagram updates. We’re curious to see which is your favorite Instagram update as well.

The Facebook F8 conference gave us some hot from the oven news regarding Instagram. Developers, marketers, independent businesses, girl bosses, influencers and all type of users have a lot to rejoice about. For once, Instagram is opening up a bunch of its features, making them accessible from 3rd party apps. Spotify and GoPro are the first two platforms to enjoy the integration. And the great news doesn’t stop here. But enough with the talk. Let’s get down to business.

 

Instagram Stories can now be posted from third-party apps

Instagram Stories is the hot feature of the moment, no doubt about it. And this new Instagram update makes it even hotter. From now on, you’ll be able to post Instagram Stories directly from your Spotify and GoPro accounts. This awesome integration allows for more ease of use but also benefits Instagram’s engagement rates. By simply tapping the share button in Spotify or in the GoPro app, users will have direct access to the Instagram Camera. From here, they’ll be able to continue business as usual with Instagram Stories. Oh, and there’s no need to connect your Instagram Account to the third party apps.

Already thinking about creative ways to use these new fun features? Great! From Spotify you can share stickers of songs, playlists or entire albums to Instagram Stories. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous with a GoPro in hand, you can share your recent shots in the blink of a button share. The fun begins on Tuesday and it will last as long as you have the energy to come up with great stories. Luckily, we have no doubt that you’ll rise to the occasion.

 

The Augmented Reality opportunity developers have been waiting for

While the announcement regarding the AR Instagram update means new opportunities for developers to play around. However, it’s also a great opportunity for businesses and users. Just imagine the diversity of face filters and world lenses that will soon be available . For now, just a selected few will get to test the beta version of AR on Instagram. The lucky ones? Well Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, NBA, Vogue, BuzzFeed, Liza Koshy, Jiffpom, Sephora, Nike and Baby Ariel. A little bit of something for all industries.

Keep one eye on these accounts but also keep one eye on the prize. What’s the prize? Well, if you’re a marketer, you can pair up with a developer to design unique, interactive experiences for your followers. Another step for building your branding in an engaging and meaningful way. You can now create virtual products for your followers to try on or other previews that will get them more into your products.

“AR effects are the next step in this evolution, allowing brands to build compelling, utilitarian visual experiences for their customers while driving tangible business results at scale with a built-in audience of 1.3 billion people. And what’s more, businesses can build their experiences on top of our AR Platform without having to invest in a bespoke infrastructure.”, wrote Aidymar Bigio, director of engineering for Messenger.

 

The Explore Page gets a facelift design-wise

If you haven’t been using the Explore Page at full throttle until now, then it’s definitely time to get started. The Instagram update for the Explore Page simply promises an easier user experience that’s even more tailor-made to your needs. How exactly will this be achieved? Simple. Through topic channels which you’ll be able to browse to discover more of what you’re into. There’s not much else to be said about this Instagram update. We’ll let the results speak for themselves. Actually, we’re eager to see if the tweak managed to fix the Explore Page initially shaky algorithm. So, in a few weeks, join us in testing the new and hopefully improved Explore page.

 

Group Video Chat is coming to Instagram

The Direct thread in Instagram will soon have a new meaning and a new button for users to push and hopefully not abuse, but enjoy creatively. And this will be a global phenomenon, let us tell you! Here’s the deal:

Starting sometime in the upcoming weeks, you’ll be able to start a video chat, one on one or with a small group of friends. During the group video, you’ll be able to minimize the window and continue chatting while performing other fun stuff on Instagram. Although Instagram didn’t yet say how many users a time will the group video chat will be available, rumor has it it will be limited to 4 people at a time.

 

Security updates for less bullying and more enjoyment

Security issues are on everyone’s tongue and mind these days, and for good reasons. The online medium gives birth to a whole new range of communication possibilities, but it also provides the anonymity or illusion of vacuum that makes bullying and harassment seem not such a big deal. Again, it’s only an illusion. And if it’s easier, it doesn’t mean it’s right. That’s why a new Instagram update will begin to filter bullying comments.

‘To be clear: we don’t tolerate bullying on Instagram. Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited bullying on our platform, and I’m proud to announce this next step in our ongoing commitment to keeping Instagram an inclusive, supportive place for all voices. We are also expanding our policies to guard against bullying young public figures on our platform. Protecting our youngest community members is crucial to helping them feel comfortable to express who they are and what they care about.’ says Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO

How will this work? Well, for starters, Instagram will automatically hide comments that contain mean references to a person’s appearance or character, including threats. This comes in the form of a filter that can be enabled and disabled from the Comments Control center. The filter also notifies users of repeated problems so they can take note and act on the issue.

However, Instagram doesn’t want to put the emphasis on the negative, but it wants to promote kindness. That’s why, on the 5th of May, Instagram will host a Kindness Prom and celebrate young leaders who are promoting kindness, acceptance, and growth.

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