Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, has always been the perfect platform for marketing campaigns and online shopping. Business-minded users can easily post their products and it will show up in their follower’s news feeds. So, it isn’t surprising if the company tries to take advantage of this and invest more in this aspect of the app.
Instagram before Instagram Stories
After Instagram’s launch in 2010, it rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in just two months, 10 million in a year, and ultimately 800 million as of September 2017. September 6, 2012, Facebook has officially bought Instagram.
Instagram launched website profiles, which allowed anyone to see users’ feeds from their internet browsers, in November 2012. However, the website interface was quite lacking. In February 2013, the website was updated and now offers a news feed. Finally, in June 2015, the website was redesigned to offer bigger photos.
Over the years, Instagram has undergone two major exclusive updates. The first one is that the app size was cut in half and its performance and responsiveness were significantly improved. The second update added an offline mode. Contents that were previously loaded in the news feed were available without an internet connection. Users have the option to comment, like, save media, and unfollow other users; these actions would then take effect once the user goes back online.
Ever since Instagram was launched it had used the Foursquare API technology to provide location tagging. In March 2014, the company tried to switch the technology to using Facebook Places.
Instagram Stories: a Marketing Tool and Online Shop
In August 2016, Instagram launched its new feature, Instagram Stories. This feature allows users to take photos, add effects and layers, and add them to their Instagram story. Photos added to Instagram Stories will expire after 24 hours. In November 2016, the company added live-video functionality to the feature, which allows users to broadcast live. However, unlike with photos, videos will disappear immediately after ending. Soon right after that, Instagram revised its live-video functionality to allow its users to include their live broadcast to their story, which will be available for 24 hours, although they may also choose to discard the broadcast immediately.
Instagram then has expanded its shopping features to Instagram Stories; users could only shop by looking at the news feeds previously.
From Louis Vuitton and Samsonite to Adidas, people could now shop from these favorite brands using Instagram Stories.
“With 300 million people using Instagram Stories every day, people are increasingly finding new products from brands they love,” Instagram said in a press release. “In a recent survey, Instagrammers said that they often watch stories to stay in the loop with brands that they’re interested in, to get an insider view of products that they like, and to find out about new products that are relevant to them.”
Adding Shopping Tags Directly into Stories
Recently, Instagram has announced that selected brands will now be able to use new shopping tags within Instagram.
When you hit a little shopping bag sticker in a Story, it will lead you to more details on the item of your interest. It’s a simple additional feature, but given the success of Stories, it’s an effective one for brands that drive sales on the platform.