The Social Short: Week 12

Checkout on Instagram

Hold on tight to your wallets, because Instagram is stepping up their in-app shopping experience!
Shopping on Instagram is not a new concept; previously this was played out with the ‘Shopping Tag’ option. The ‘Shopping Tag’ option allowed users to click on an item they liked in a picture, then be re-directed to a pop-up web view of the retailer’s site. However, the shopping cart conversation rate was not that high, as users were often left feeling frustrated and confused.

From now on, Instagram hopes to make the shopping experience on Instagram easier and more desirable by allowing users to ‘Checkout on Instagram’. With checkout, users will no longer by re-directed to another site, but have the ability to make a purchase right there and then. Like any other check-out process, you will be asked to enter your delivery information and payment method, and after reviewing your details you can place the order. This information will also be stored on Instagram to make future purchases go swifter.

At the time being, this feature is only available to iOS user in the United States. They are starting off with 20 brands to test, including Nike, Adidas, Dior, H&M and Prada to name a few.


New format on Instagram stories

Instagram is testing out a new format for its Stories camera (see image below). The new stories camera will have a selector wheel to choose the option/s you want to use. Some Twitter users have pointed out that this format highly resembles Obscura: another popular photo-capturing app.

None of the present features has been removed. They are instead categorised into three folders: ‘Live’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Create’. The ‘Normal’ folder holds capture modes, including ‘Superzoom’ and ‘Rewind’, as well as Instagram’s AR effects tools. The ‘Create’ folder stores you text and sticker tools.

The new format may take some time to get used to; however, change is always inevitable, but can be surprisingly refreshing at the same! It’s great to see Instagram constantly switching up their look to keep their users engrossed.



Pause your notifications on Instagram

How is the ‘spend less time on social media’ part of your New Year’s resolution coming along? Not so good? Well, good news for you, because Instagram is rolling out a new feature to put you back on track.

According to social media expert, Matt Navarra, Instagram is bringing out a new feature that will allow users to turn off their notifications for a chosen period of time (15 minutes to 8 hours). This option will appear in the ‘Notifications’ setting, where users can then toggle on the ‘pause all’ button.

We live in a time, where we are constantly on our phones, bombarded with notifications to remind us of all the unread emails, unwatched videos, and unseen pictures. This fuels our pressure to be constantly online and stay up-to-date. Sometimes, a break from it can be surprisingly rewarding and necessary!



Twitter’s debuts new in-app camera function, and it’s just “one swipe away”

The new Twitter camera can now be accessed on the home screen with a simple swipe to the left. From there, users can capture either an image, a two-minute video, or broadcast live. Once the image or video have been captured, users can then add context with a text and relevant hashtags. Once tweeted, those details will be overlaid in a new chyron format, providing more immediate context for the visual content (see image below).

Keith Coleman, Twitter’s VO of product explained their intention during a keynote at SXSW:
“We’re trying to make it really simple to go from capturing what’s happening to getting it to the audience that really matters for whatever you’re capturing, to getting it to the people who want to talk about it.”



Game on: Snapchat to launch a new, in-app gaming platform

When Chinese tech giant Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Snapchat Inc., reports followed that Tencent would be looking to work with the company on developing mobile games.

This might be coming true as Snapchat is rumoured to launch a new in-app gaming platform that will feature a range of games from outside developers that are designed to work specifically in the app. Given the app’s younger user base, it makes sense for Snapchat to embrace and focus on gaming content, which could invite major revenue opportunities through in-game purchases or advertising.

Fellow colleague and passionate gamer at Influence Digital, Jack Gilmore shared his opinion:
“Moving into the mobile gaming market would be a smart move from Snapchat. With the platform having a younger demographic and a more playful approach (when compared to other channels), the engagement and retention of the audience would greatly increase with this move. It also opens up a new potential channel for advertisers, with companies promoting branded games, leading to an uplift of brand awareness and consideration.”