This week, Instagram look to make improvements for businesses using the platform, Facebook adds a Live Rewind option and there are rumblings of an ad-free, subscription-based option for Facebook.
Instagram adds new options for businesses
Previously, if you sent a message to a user who did not follow you on Instagram it would go into a ‘pending’ folder and the user would not get an alert about the message. This was fine for individual users however it was not an ideal situation for businesses who could have thousands of followers who they would naturally not follow back. Instagram have recognised this issue and ensured that new messages for businesses will now be seen in the main direct inbox. There is also the option to star and filter messages you may want to return to later.
We think this is a positive update for Instagram as it gives users a way to connect with businesses they follow beyond just commenting on posts. It is also worth noting that the use of direct messages continues to rise so it makes sense for Instagram to capitalise on this fact and make them easier to use.
The second main update for businesses users is the introduction of ‘Action Buttons’ which will allow them to display ‘Reserve’, ‘Book Now’ or ‘Start order’ call to action buttons on their profile page making it easier for their audience to engage with them.
Facebook adds a Live Rewind Option
Facebook has reported that the ability to Live rewind is one of the most requested features on the platform and, as such, it made sense for them to follow in the footsteps of Youtube livestreams and make it available to users.
Facebook want to continue to promote the use of Facebook Live on their platform and by offering updates such as this they are helping to keep it fresh and relevant. Indeed, 3.5 billion Facebook Live broadcasts have been shared in the last two years and Facebook Live content generates 6x more interactions than regular video, so it is easy to see why it is important to the platform.
Subscription Facebook could be ad free?
Facebook are caught in a catch 22 as it is a fine balance between generating revenue from advertising and creating a platform which users love. The solution? A possible, ad-free subscription to the platform. The benefits for users would be that their data would never be handed to 3rd party organisations for ad targeting which, considering the recent data breaches, could be an appealing thought for some. However, whether people would truly be motivated enough to pay to use the platform remains to be seen although the fact it is being discussed at all is interesting and we will be following the developments closely.