Instagram is on a feature-adding frenzy, and it shows no signs of stopping. Last month it introduced its own portrait mode dubbed Focus, and this month the social network's adding everything from music stickers to video calling.
We'll give you a look at five upcoming Instagram features in this article. Two of these features are already launched, and three are in the pipeline. Some of these have huge impacts on brands so your brand needs to start planning now to stay ahead of the game.
1. Instagram music stickers
Earlier this month, Instagram's source code leaked an upcoming music sticker in Stories. The feature hasn't been officially announced yet, but you'll likely be able to use the sticker to (legally and with copyright permission) add theme songs and background music to your Instagram Story.
One user was able to load a leaked prototype of the music sticker to their Android device. It's obviously not finished yet, but it gives us a good idea of how it will act in the future. See the screen shot above. See our full writeup for more info.
2. Time spent usage insights
Ever wonder how much time you spend on Instagram every day? Now Instagram will tell you.
This week, Instagram's CEO confirmed that the social network is adding usage statistics to the app. This came after TechCrunch leaked the hidden feature after finding it hidden within the app's source code.
Instagram released a statement saying that it hopes to use the feature to help users better understand how much time they spend online. We're not sure when the feature will be added officially, but due to the confirmation, we expect to see it in a future update.
3. Buy tickets and make reservations in-app
Earlier this month, Instagram added in-app reservations and ticket purchasing to its mobile app. Restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses can now integrate their scheduling and ticket sales platforms to Instagram. After integrating their apps, users can purchase tickets and make reservations without leaving the app.
These applications currently integrate with Instagram:
Acuity, Atom Tickets, Booksy, ChowNow, Eatstreet, Eventbrite, Fandango, GrubHub, MyTime, OpenTable, Reserve, Restorando, Resy, SevenRooms, StyleSeat, Tock and Yelp Reservations.
This feature will be huge for brick-and-mortar businesses and restaurants. Before, if you wanted to book a haircut, you had to navigate to the barber's Instagram page, find the booking link in the barber's bio, and book on the barber's website. Now, you can book by clicking the "Reserve" button in the barber's bio.
4. Emoji sliders on polls
Here's a fun one: this week, Instagram added an emoji slider sticker to Stories. You can use this feature to add opinion sliders to any Stories post. This is helpful for times when you want to ask opinions without having simple yes or no responses, and instead gauge someone's level of interest.
For example, we can ask "How much do you love Social Report?". Our customers would use the emoji slider to rank how much they love our brand (obviously 100% ;), and we'd be sent a report after they vote.
You can pick from a limited selection of emojis and slider colors when creating an opinon slider in Instagram. Choose one that best fits your poll's theme.
5. Video calling
At F8, Facebook announced that its testing a video call feature in Instagram. To start a video chat, tap the camera icon at the top of a direct messaging thread with the person (or people) you want to call. You can have one-on-one or group calls.
This feature hasn't been released to the public at the time of publishing this article. We'll write a post here when it launches and give you a full overview of the service with a comparison to other popular video chat apps.
Stay ahead of the game
When Instagram and Facebook add new features to their apps, we tend to see the rest of the social networks follow along with similar features. Don't let your brand be left in the dust and start planning implementation now.
Need a great Instagram management tool? Try Social Report.