April has been a big month for social media changes. Today I’d like to focus on Instagram and some new features you may have seen, might not know how to use or might not even know are there.
Instagram Direct is similar to Snapchat in that messages disappear after 24 hours and can be posted to your story or sent directly to a contact on Instagram. With the new update permanent messages are in the same stream as the messages that disappear. Disappearing messages are highlighted in blue. There is also a one-time replay feature. To access the direct camera swipe left or use the paper airplane icon at the top right of your screen.
Instagram Direct is up to 375 million monthly users, up from 300 million in November. Another interesting statistic; Instagram stories is at 200 million daily active users while Snapchat is at 161 million.
I’m all for Instagram Direct. With the main reason being that it would reduce the number of platforms I’m using on a daily basis. However, the lack of bitmoji integration, voice filters, and face filters has me sticking to Snapchat…at least for now.
Multiple Photo/Video Posts
Maybe you want to post a short step-by-step tutorial or maybe you want to show a series of product images. Instagram now gives you the ability to post multiple photos or videos to a single post. To do this, tap the + sign to navigate to where you can add an image, just as you normally would. If you have the new post feature, on the next screen you’ll see an icon of stacked squares that represents a photo carousel post. Once you tap on the stacked squares icon, scroll through your image library and tap up to 10 images and/or videos. When you select an image, the number in the top-right corner of the image will tell you the image’s number in the slideshow order. Once you’re done selecting images and videos, tap next. On the next screen, you can edit your images and apply filters. When you first navigate to this screen, any filters you choose will automatically be applied to all of the images in the post. If you tap on an individual image, you can edit it and apply filters individually. When your editing is complete, tap Done. To change the order of the images in your slideshow, tap and hold an image you want to reorder. Once you see a trashcan icon at the top of the screen, drag the image to the left or right to reorder your slideshow. On the next screen, enter your caption as you normally would. If you tap on the image thumbnail while writing the caption, you can scroll through the slideshow and tag users in individual images. Since this a new feature, make sure your followers know there is more to see beyond the first image by asking them to “Swipe left” in your caption. You’re done! Your post is ready to publish. Just tap Share. While it is tempting to add all 10 photos or videos make sure you only include what is necessary to get your idea across. Users will get tired of 10 photo posts pretty quickly.
Instagram has given you the chance to boost your account’s security by enabling two-factor authentication. To turn it on go to your Options (gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of your profile page), scroll down to Two-Factor Authentication and toggle on “Require Security Code.” You’ll be provided with a list of backup codes that you can access in the event that you can’t get a login code via text.
Blurred Photos In Your Feed
Instagram has announced that it will now cover “sensitive content” with a blurred screen. This content includes images that are graphic or violent. You’ll still be able to click to see what’s behind that screen, should you choose to.
This may be the feature I’m most excited about. Instagram has created a way for you to save images to private collections (similar to private boards in Pinterest). Instagram has become the place to go to find beauty tips, fashion, and shopping ideas. Again Instagram is attempting to keep you in the application and not send you out to another site such as Pinterest.
Tap bookmark icon in lower right corner of any image on Instagram to save the image. Go to your profile and click the bookmark icon to see what you saved. You can then toggle between all posts saved and your collections. Click the + at the top right of your screen to create a new collection. The picture you tap first to add to the collection will become the collection’s cover photo (for lack of a better name).