December 2019 Update 🎄
The total number of posts in the hashtag #christmas is over 147 million.
Instagram is trying something new with IGTV 📺
In a bid to increase engagement on Instagram’s long-form video outlet, IGTV, users can now turn on notifications if they want to subscribe to a specific user or series – just like how you might turn on notifications for your favourite YouTuber. As IGTV is a separate entity to Instagram, this allows users to stay on the platform, and allows Instagram to retain audiences. Grammers’ are more likely to revisit a series on IGTV if they are reminded that it exists, and this really helps view-counts, as the platform works in a different way to that of YouTube. There is less of an ability for Instagram to suggest IGTV videos on a homepage in the way that YouTube does based on your past viewing history, so this move should increase engagement – if you’re an IGTV creator, make sure to tell your audience to turn those notifications on!
Restrict mode 🚫
Another Instagram update for December 2019, is ‘Restrict’. This allows users to “block interactions from other users – this is different from blocking someone because the profile which has been blocked will know they are blocked”. The feature is designed to pretty much hide comments you don’t want on your posts. If another user comments on your account and you restrict it, no one will be able to see that comment, except for them. Instagram has likely included this feature to reduce ‘hate’ or negativity on the platform. It’s a little less awkward than fully blocking someone, but also means (hopefully) that it won’t encourage users to continue to comment negatively, as they will assume their comment is still there, and not deleted.
Layout mode has arrived on Stories 📓
This month, Layout mode officially arrived as an option on Instagram Stories. This essentially means that you can now create different collage-like images on your Instagram Stories, with multiple images in one post. You can choose from different styles of Layout, just like how you would if you were to make a post with multiple frames – currently there are six options to choose from.
Instagram cracks down on branded posts + creates a new formal way to work with brands 💵
Instagram recently announced that they will be increasing the restrictions made on posts that advertise tobacco, vaping and weapons. They plan to remove posts that do this, and also will put in special restrictions when it comes to posts that include alcohol or diet supplements.
Beside this, the company also announced it would be launching Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager – available to selected creators, where they will be able to share their insights and engagement, as well as connect with brands that match their niche. Creators included in this program can “source new deals, manage partnerships, and automatically share insights with them,” – direct from the Brand Collabs Manager.