2017. The year when top-notch content was created, brand after brand embraced the power of influencer marketing and Instagram itself evolved tremendously.
Yes, 2017 was the year of heavy growth for Instagram, focusing on expanding the platform’s business features. The year ahead will not be different, Instagram is no longer only a platform for one to post photos, it is a platform where business thrives.
With the changes appearing one by one faster than ever, understanding what’s coming next has never been as important as now. So what to expect in the new year? Tailify looked into the predictions for Instagram in 2018.
Say hello to Shopping Tags
How about a feature that will enable one to browse, engage and shop products directly in the Instagram application? Instagram’s Shopping Tags, a partnership with Shopify, has been tested since November 2016 and is already enabled for some qualified companies in the US. It’s now only a matter of time before Instagram does a full roll-out of this feature. In other words, it’s time to get familiar with the Shopping tags.
How does it work? As soon as the brand has connected a product catalog to their business account they will be able to tag price and product information on items within their images. By clicking on the image the tags will be revealed/showed. As Instagram explained:
“Once a business has a product catalog connected to their account, tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post.”
According to X-Cart, Instagram stands for 51% of social media shopping habits, while Facebook (23%), Pinterest (22%) and Snapchat (1%) have a far smaller influence on shopping decisions. This entails a big value for brands, opening up new marketing possibilities on Instagram due to the Shopping Tags. Tailify believes that while enabling the possibility for influencers to tag products directly through Instagram, it will not only challenge Instagram’s competitor Pinterest but also LIKEtoKNOW.it and similar affiliate companies.
When this feature will be enabled for all users is still a mystery, but expect to see a lot more of the Shopping tags in your Instagram feed this year.
Instagram Stories are king
In November 2017 Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram Stories now have 300 million daily active users, nearly double the size of Snapchat’s daily users. And with the popularity of Instagram Stories increasing, with more than 50% of the daily active users accessing the Story function, according to Zuckerberg, it seems like a no-brainer that we are going to continue to see new Story features launching in 2018.
2017 has been the year when the people behind Instagram have worked hard on simplifying the linking and tagging function in both their ordinary feed and stories. The full-screen story creates opportunities for influencers to hold their followers’ entire focus, even if only for a short moment. Two-person live streaming option, external swipe-up links, video masks, poll voting and searchable location tags are only the beginning of the Story evolution. Tailify is expecting new tools developing, making brand mentions and recognitions more effective. Therefore, it is safe to say that there will be an increase in campaign opportunities when it comes to Instagram Stories.
New ways of finding posts
During the past months we have seen that both Facebook and Pinterest have unlocked the visual search function. Facebook’s Al has made it possible to search for photos by what’s in them while Pinterest has unlocked the ability to search and purchase similar products (without even leaving the app) by tapping the items in the picture.
Tailify is expecting Instagram to follow the stream and roll out an advanced image recognition as well. That would develop and deepen the search function on Instagram, creating possibilities for images and videos based discovery. For influencers, this would be highly beneficial, making it possible for users to find their accounts through other ways than via hashtags.
On the other hand, we are not ready to give up on hashtags just yet. Especially not now, when Instagram has enrolled the function to follow hashtags. This will help to increase the possibility of getting that beautiful content of yours discovered. Go get your #hashtaggame strong.
Part 2 of Instagram Predictions 2018 is coming soon.