One of the key new updates on the platform is the introduction of Monetisation via Subscribers for US Creators. Instagram has opened fan subscriptions, making it possible for selected people to earn money from their audience through direct, continuous support from their communities. With subscriptions, creators who have over 10k followers are able to charge a monthly fee (between $0.99 and $99.99) which then gives paying members access to subscribers-only live-streams, subscribers-only posts and Stories, as well as access to in-comment streams to help creators identify their top supporters. As marketers, it’s important to remember that this has nothing to do with selling products. For creators and Influencers, monetising an Instagram account doesn’t really have anything to do with directly selling physical or digital products to a social audience, it simply means earning money for the content you’re already putting out there on the platform: posts, Reels, and Stories.
Instagram’s also working hard to add new ways for users to control their in-app experience, such as new tools that better enable you to take a break from the app. ‘Quiet Mode’ will switch off all notifications and will add a Quiet Mode notifier to your profile status and implement an auto-responder on your DMs. This is a great way of giving users more control over their Instagram usage, providing them with the space that they need to do other things like study or drive. The platform will even begin prompting its younger users to switch on Quiet Mode when they spend a specific amount of time on Instagram at night, in an attempt to reduce the risk of spending too much time on the app. Users will also have the option to customise their Quiet Mode hours to fit around their schedules and once the feature is turned off, they’ll be shown a quick summary of notifications so they can catch up on whatever they missed. This could be a huge step in the right direction for Instagram – and we think we can expect to see more platforms begin to follow suit!
The new Notes feature for Instagram is an interesting update that has left many marketers scratching their heads. Nevertheless, it’s not going anywhere in a hurry and the potential to take-off is always there, so it’s always worth keeping yourself in the know. The new feature allows users to send short 60-character messages to groups of their Instagram friends. The message will hang around for 24 hours before it disappears (sounds a bit similar to Snapchat, right?). Some people do see the advantages of Instagram notes, though, particularly for businesses. Some marketers suggest they have potential to be hugely useful for businesses and brands as they can be used to promote products, offer customer service, or just connect with your fans – as long as you follow each other. So, it’s clear that the jury’s out!
Towards the end of December last year, Instagram began testing a Group Profile Feature as a new way to connect with friends and family. It will allow groups of people to create their own Instagram Group Profile or join an existing one, where they can all share stories, posts, and pictures in a dedicated shared profile. Whenever content is posted in a Group Profile, it will only be seen by other group members instead of your followers and it will also only appear in the Group Profile instead of your own Instagram profile. And ,while this feature does put a fun spin on community-building, it could raise issues for marketers and creators alike as it opens up more responsibility for creators (and brands, if they choose) to administer safeguards and rules for the overall group. As it stands, Group Profiles are being tested in a number of countries like Canada, Taiwan, and Chile, but we imagine it won’t be long until it’s rolled out worldwide!
Finally, Instagram has rolled out a new searchable map feature as a way to help users discover the latest popular locations. Previously, the map experience on Instagram only included posts. With this new update, users can search the map, access filtering options and move the map around to look at what’s nearby, which could mean big things for small businesses! Users can now explore popular tagged locations around them and filter location results by specific categories like restaurants, cafes and shops and Meta has reportedly said that the new searchable map’s aim is to allow users to have a more immersive experience when finding popular locations and businesses around them via tagged posts, stories and guides. What’s more, if you find a location that you’re particularly interested in, you can save it and revisit it in the future. You can even share places via direct messages to friends or groups, which could be a great new way of finding new places to try in your local area.
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