Social Media News Round Up - Sked

Instagram News Roundup: Unskippable Stories Ads, Social Debates, and Comically Similar Photos

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From the possibility of having unskippable Stories ads and Iran potentially restricting Instagram, to people unknowingly being influenced by IG photography, and teens debating social issues on the platform—here are some of the more notable Instagram news for the past week:

The Rise And Challenge Of Stories

Since Instagram adopted Snapchat’s temporary content format in late 2016 (and Facebook following suit shortly after), the shift towards consuming and producing Stories has increased rapidly. According to Facebook CPO Chris Cox, sharing to Stories is foreseen to surpass feed sharing in 2019.

You might think that with 400 million Instagram Stories daily active users (DAU) that Facebook would be thrilled (along with 150 million DAU for Facebook Stories). However, the format’s skippable nature has led to a daunting challenge for the social media giant—monetization.

Users may have seamlessly transitioned from posting on their feeds to their Stories, but the same cannot be said for advertisers. Whereas people needed to scroll past feed ads, it takes a fraction of a second for them to do the same for Stories ads.

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The Dawn Of Unskippable Stories Ads?

Recently, Snapchat began experimenting with unskippable vertical video ads, rolling out the feature to over 100 advertisers. Currently, the ads are six-second promos inserted into the app’s longer, multi-minute premium Shows.

TechCrunch assumes that it won’t be long until a similar ad format is introduced to user-generated Stories. And with Facebook’s record-breaking $120 billion share price drop, you can be sure that the social giant is already looking into the prospect of implementing something similar. This, despite spokespersons for Instagram and Facebook saying they don’t have any plans to introduce unskippable Stories ads.

What This Means For Businesses

With 5x more users across its apps than Snapchat, eventually finding a way to make the Stories ad format work will be of massive benefit for Facebook.

As noted by TechCrunch, it could either lead to more impactful (yet more expensive) ads, which also takes away the pressure from marketers to make the first split-second so catchy, or a premium subscription for ad-free apps.

Automatically Posting Images and Videos to IG Stories Using Sked Social (formerly Schedugram)

Looking for a way to get the most out of IG Stories without spending a fortune on advertising? Try scheduling your image and video posts to Stories with Sked Social.

You can create a day, week or month’s worth of content in a fraction of the time it normally takes, and then have Sked Social publish it for you automatically at the times that best suit your target audience.

No more annoying notifications—just set your schedule and we’ll take care of the rest!

In Other News…

Iran’s Instagram Taboo

The detention of an 18-year-old Iranian girl for posting Instagram videos of her dancing has caused public debate. Maedeh Hojbari was arrested after one of her dance videos on Instagram got close to 1 million views.

As noted by Al Jazeera, under the Islamic Republic, the use of headscarf (which Hojbari wasn’t wearing in her videos) in public is mandatory for women, while dancing is prohibited.

Protests against those rules have subsequently surfaced both in public and on social media, while the Iranian judiciary is contemplating restrictions on Instagram. The story displays the complex social dilemma when technology and traditions collide.

Speaking Of Social Debates…

A continually growing Instagram trend called “flop accounts” has developed into a space where teenagers voice their opinions and discuss social issues.

What started as accounts that post content considered “flops” or fails that made fun of celebrities and YouTubers has transformed into a platform where teens critique things they deem factually or morally wrong.

As reported by The Atlantic, hot topics on flop accounts include immigration, Donald Trump, gun control, and other breaking news, among others.

What Is IGTV Trying To Be?

It’s far too early to tell what IGTV can become, although it doesn’t appear like it will affect YouTube in the landscape tilting way Stories did to the newsfeed. But it’s doing something right – and that’s getting views.

As noted by Forbes, a nine-minute film on ecotourism in the Coral Triangle has received over 1 million views, while a video with Kylie Jenner applying makeup has eclipsed the 250,000 views mark.

Influencers have yet to figure out how the new platform can work for them, but at least one – @monybseattle, a non-paid influencer who supports small businesses in Seattle – has been using it as an effective alternative to writing actual blog posts.

It remains to be seen whether users or added features will determine what IGTV will be. But right now, it’s another nod to the popularity of vertical videos and amateur-looking content.

Wander. Roam. Replicate.

Insta Repeat Schedugram BlogImage source: @insta_repeat

An Instagram account called Insta Repeat clearly highlights how the platform has created a photography meta that has people having a similar idea of what translates to a good photo. Essentially, the account creates a collage of people’s similar photos that makes you question just how much creativity is out there.

Whether it’s a photo of people on the edge of a boat, or on bridges, it’s interesting to see how Instagram has both pushed people to be creative, and unoriginal at the same time.

If you’re going to try creating these type of collages, make sure you use images that are as attractive and professional-looking as possible. We strongly suggest using a high-quality photo editor like the one we provide our customers with at Sked Social.

To try it out, log in to your account and click on Upload Post (see below).

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Then, select your account and click on Upload (see below). You can add images from your computer, Google Drive/Photos or Dropbox in bulk, which saves you uploading them one at a time.

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Next, click on the Edit image icon.

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This will open your photo in the image editor. You can add filters, stickers, text, frames, and apply brushes and focus effects, all from the sidebar menu.

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Once you’re happy with your image, save it and you’ll be taken back to the previous window where you can add it to your queue, schedule it to post on a specific time and date or send it to your drafts until you decide how you’d like to use it.

You can read more about the Insta Repeat trend here.

Instagram for Business 101

Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch!

IG Ad Power

It’s no secret that the shift of Facebook’s newsfeed to be seen as a toxic space has pushed more and more people to other platforms. And Instagram has become a major beneficiary of this development, having over 1 billion MAU that has resulted in 177% growth in ad revenue over the past year.

And with more and more people moving towards Instagram Stories, how the platform caters to advertisers’ needs will be a crucial development that users, advertisers, and investors will keenly have their eyes on.

Takeaway

As Instagram continues to grow its user base, it will interesting to see how that translates to the evolution of existing features, and how new ones like IGTV will shape how people consume content. Marketers will also be closely monitoring these developments as Facebook’s mature ad market makes it more and more difficult (and expensive) to reach audiences.

What was the most surprising Instagram news for you this week? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.

Photo of Jolina LandichoJolina Landicho

Jolina Landicho

Jolina Landicho is a marketing strategist and business consultant working with various companies and start-ups based in the US, UK, and Australia. She is devoted to helping businesses bridge relationship gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on online marketing.

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