Eyes Updates are Instagram-specific episodes focused on the ever-changing application that we all know and love. This one is packed with new updates and announcements, so let’s get to it.
So, first of all, I told you guys a couple weeks ago that Instagram fell victim to a pretty small-scale hacking scandal that they successfully swept under the rug. BUT, they’re ramping up security to hopefully avoid any further issues. In addition to the 2-Factor Authentication feature that I’ve spoken about on here (which you should definitely enable), they’ll be allowing the use of third-party authentication apps soon as well. But that’s not all… Instagram acknowledges that not everybody behind a profile is who they say they are nor do they always have good intentions. So, to help us feel more comfortable, they want to make things more transparent. To do so, they’re adding an option to the (…) Menu button on Profiles called “About This Account.” This brings you to a screen which shows info such as the date the account joined Instagram, the country where they’re located, any name changes they’ve made in the last 12 months, and more. This is a big step in the right direction for security and will give you a better idea of who exactly it is you’re interacting with.
A Parents Guide
As Instagram continues to grow and expand in new ways, it’s inevitable that the younger demographics will continue to flock to the platform. If you’re a brand or business trying to target them, that’s good news, but if you’re a parent with limited Instagram knowledge, this can be a bit terrifying. Two things that are really difficult to do are 1) stay up to speed with the latest Instagram features (trust me, I would know) and 2) raise a child (especially in those early teenage years…that one I’m not so familiar with). So, to help worried parents monitor their kid’s activity on Instagram, they’re released something called “A Parent’s Guide.” The guide claims to focus on managing 3 main elements: privacy, interactions, and time. It’s basically a how-to manual for parents to gain an understanding of the various features that IG offers to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for their kids. In addition, it gets into how to talk with your kids about why it’s important to be responsible on Instagram, etc. This is a great PR move for Instagram, and if I had to guess, I would say this is their push at hacking into that super young audience who’s parents may be holding them back from joining the platform. Smart move, IG. Butter up the parents so they surrender their kids? Very clever…
Chances are you’ve seen a recent increase in the amount of shoppable posts on Instagram. Those are the posts with the little shopping bag logo tags on them. Because IG is such a visually-driven platform, it just makes sense for anybody selling product. That said, the easier you can make it for consumers to buy via Instagram, the more sales you’re going to make through the app, and the more leverage Instagram will have to get brands to sell on the platform. In addition to the shoppable posts that I mentioned, Instagram is even testing a feature to lets users shop via Stories. All of this is to say that we don’t know exactly how IG will proceed from here, but it’s clear that they are looking to push further into the e-commerce space. A standalone app may not be the best idea after seeing how the IGTV standalone app has played out, but shopping is a totally different animal, and it could be nice for users to be able to separate when they want to be casual users and when they want to be consumers.
Emoji Shortcut Bar
Scroll through the comments on any post and it won’t be long before you see an emoji. They’re everywhere, and Instagram realizes that. SO, to make them even easier to insert, IG has introduced an emoji shortcut bar that will suggest emojis that you use the most. This has actually been in a testing phase since May, so if you’re like me, this isn’t breaking news to you…sorry for wasting your time.
This one has been testing for a few days now, you may have seen it, it’s video tagging. Previously, we’ve only been able to tag pictures, now we’re able to tag videos as well. This is long overdue, but a not-so-important feature, but regardless, we’ll take it IG, thanks.
Drug Abuse Pop-Up Messages
This one, on the other hand, is pretty interesting… It’s no secret that Facebook has been attacked for a lack of ethics and morals over the last 6-12 months, and it’s clear that they’re trying to protect Instagram from being dragged through the mud as well. Time management tools, anti-bullying features, and a parental guide to safe IG-ing…and now, the latest installment, drug abuse pop-up messages. As a reaction the nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic, Instagram will start showing this message to people searching certain hashtags. The message says, “If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid or substance misuse, find ways to get free and confidential treatment referrals, as well as information about substance abuse, prevention, and recovery.” There are then 3 button options to choose from. The first 2 (“See Posts Anyway” and “Cancel”) ignore the message completely and allow you to go about your business. The third option, though, is “Get Support,” which takes you to some resources developed by Instagram with the help of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and the Partnership for Drug Free Kids). For those who don’t know, Instagram, like all platforms, is being used by people selling illegal substances, and although this does not solve the problem, it does offer some help to those who may need it.
That’s all for this week, guys. Look for more Eyes Updates coming soon, hopefully much shorter ones… and tune in Thursday next week for The Socialscape resuming it’s normal schedule. As always, thanks for watching. Be sure to follow, subscribe, like, comment, and DM me if you wanna be friends. Love.