This month, there are three key Instagram updates that all businesses and marketers should be aware of: the expanded roll out of Instagram Reels, a crackdown on bot accounts, and the testing of Stories being displayed all on one Page.
- Instagram Reels is Here
Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools i.e. it allows users to create short, fifteen-second long videos set to background music. With some users growing wary of TikTok due to potential security issues, this could be a great way for Instagram to snag some extra usage.
To create Reels content, simply head to your native, in-app Instagram camera (aka through Stories). Search for a song through their database, which you can safely use free for commercial use in your on-platform content. You can then add AR effects and filters, set up a timer and content down, and record! You can sync up previous clips and everything, and speed up or slow down the video as you see fit.
- All Stories on One In-App Page “In testing”
Stories have become a massive feature on Instagram, and for some, it’s the prime focus of the app. Most users and brands share more content on Stories than in their feed. This is pretty astonishing considering that Stories content can disappear after 24 hours unless saved as a highlight.
If this tested format does eventually roll out to all users and not just on an “in-testing” basis.. It only reinforces the importance for brands to continually create and share Stories that their audience will love.
New Crackdown on Bots
Instagram and Facebook have both been looking to reduce and ideally shutdown fake accounts for awhile. Instagram has taken new steps to do this, preventing the further creation of bot accounts with a brand new review and ID process.
The “pattern of potential inauthentic behavior” might include noticing that someone’s followers are almost entirely in a different country than what their location is marked as, signs of automation, or the mass creation of accounts. “Coordinated inauthentic behavior” will also be flagged, which has been particularly common in political and hate group landscapes recently.
Eventually, they will shut down bot accounts, so you will have wasted your money, and Instagram has strict policies against it. And, in the midst of it all, it will have driven down your engagement rates and hurt your reach.
In the meantime, enjoy creating some new Reels content for your followers, and stick with white-hat marketing practices. We’ll keep you updated on any more new exciting changes or features coming your way.. So make sure you check back in next month!