The changes are coming thick and fast for Instagram. Hot on the heels of their recently added Photos of You feature, which was a very welcome update for brands, they have now added video.
So what are the updates?
Photos Of You
Brands on Instagram were previously missing out on an abundance of engagement and Reach opportunities that are now being fulfilled by Photos Of You. This new feature finally enables users to tag brands, people or products in their Instagram photos, so users can tag the establishment they’ve taken the photo in or tag the product they are photographing.
Instagram video has sprung onto the scene as a competitor to Twitter’s Vine. Like Vine, it allows short videos to be filmed and uploaded but Instagram’s version allows fifteen seconds of film rather than Vine’s six and it does not include the famous Vine looping action.
How does it work?
Photos Of You
Photos of You works in the same way that Facebook allow you to tag your friends in your photographs. For example, when a user takes a photo of their Starbucks coffee they’re enjoying with their best friend, they can tag both their best friend and Starbucks in that photo. The photo will then appear in their best friends’ and the brands’ ‘Photos of You’ section.
When a user taps the camera icon, they will now be given the option of video. They will have to hold their finger on the screen to record continuously and there’s the option of tapping the screen to auto-focus on a specific spot. It also of course, includes the option to use Instagram’s handy filters to make the videos look extra special.
What does this mean for brands?
Ultimately both updates are a positive change for brands.
Video will allow brands to create great new content using Instagram’s filters and with fifteen seconds allowed, it gives brands more of a chance to get a complete message across. For those brands that would prefer to keep their platform management to a minimum, it means they can at least upload both photo and video to the same platform now.
Photos Of You allows them to tap into the rich user generated content which is probably already on the platform but not yet attributed to their brand, venue or products.
It’s a way to curate content and ensure that your brand name or products are being seen and given credit, thereby increasing your opportunities for engagement and your reach.
However, the update will mean that extra moderation time is required, as it can (and most likely will) result in your brand being tagged in inappropriate photos.
Extra moderation! What’s a brand to do?!
First, change your settings so the only photos that appear in your Photos of You tab have been manually approved. This will allow you to keep control of the content related to your brand.
- Go to your profile page,
- Select the new Photos Of You button
- Click settings in the top right and check ‘Add Manually’
Alternatively you can keep the setting as ‘automatic’ (the default) and use ‘untag’ to remove your brand name from inappropriate content.
- Go to your profile page,
- Select the new Photos of you button
- Click on the photo you wish to view
- Select the ‘more’ option at the bottom of the photo (the ‘…’)
- Select Photo Options
- You can then choose to ‘Hide From My Profile’ OR..
- To delete the tag completely, choose ‘More Options’
- Select ‘Remove Me From Photo’
- You also have the option to ‘Report Inappropriate’
The photos you approve will now appear in Photo of You, so it has become a useful tool to curate great user generated content. This is particularly useful for brands who already receive a lot of UGC (e.g. Benefit cosmetics) and for those who want to start encouraging it.
It doesn’t appear that this tagging function is available yet for video content so we’ll watch that space to see if this updated.
Want to get creative?
Photo contests and CTA’s are already part of the Instagram landscape but until this point they’ve relied on hashtags. Photos Of You now offers the option of Fans also tagging your brand in the post. Not only does this mean that brands benefit from an influx of great UGC but it also ensures other users can find your genuine account and may choose to follow you too.
Ways to encourage UGC can now be part of your marketing plan. It also enables brands who run several accounts, to tag each other in their posts.
Your marketing plans should now include ways to encourage Instagram tagging Photos of You. Check out some examples of how other brands are already using this feature: