New Instagram Feature Updates: How to Effectively Use Collabs, Add Yours Stickers, and More
November 9, 2021
Last updated on
December 14, 2021
Well, Adam Mosseri’s social content calendar is full lately. If you haven't been deeply invested in the metaverse, no fear. We’re going to break down some of the new feature updates that Instagram is testing and rolling out, and why you should take note.
What are Collabs?
Instagram launched a new “Collabs” feature that allows you to “co-author” in-feed posts and Reels, where one account will create a post and invite another account to be a collaborator.
Why should I care?
This feature helps reach more followers, get more engagement, or reach a new audience you haven’t been able to. It helps make brand x influencer relationships much more explicit. All likes, comments, and views are shared between you and another profile.
Your partnerships with creators are front and center with these Collabs, as your brand name will appear at the top of the post.
When should I use it?
Here are a few use cases to consider:
Influencers that own a brand, e.g. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.
Brands to brands collabs, e.g. adidas x Peloton x IVY PARK, or Rapha x Outdoor Voices.
Brand + influencer partnerships, e.g. St. Tropez x Ashley Graham
Brands promoting partnerships with smaller creators or micro-influencers to show support of these collaborations, e.g. HOKA x Kate Glavan
Influencers + their photographers, to give credit where credit is due.
Important things to consider:
When creating a Collab the post will live on both collaborators’ profile grids. This can get tricky when planning and curating feeds, and it’s important to consider both accounts’ aesthetics/layout before posting together.
If you’re creating a Collab post between a brand and an influencer that includes content that was paid for, it still needs to be properly disclosed following FTC guidelines and using the native Paid Partnership disclosure on Instagram.
We also have yet to answer what happens when one of the collaborators archives or deletes the posts. TBD.
‘Add yours’ is a new sticker available in Stories that creates a public thread. With custom prompts and public responses, you can post your own topic and see who responds, or join a thread by clicking on someone else's sticker in their Story. This also follows their recent update that Link stickers (rather than Swipe Ups) are available globally to all users, despite their follower count.
Why should I care?
It’s another way to collaborate on the platform, but it’s also a way to find people to discover. As a brand, it’s a new opportunity for consolidated user-generated content (UGC), which is notoriously difficult to capture and to build a relationship with your social audiences rather than directly sell a product via Shops and more.
When should I use it?
To gather consolidated UGC, whether for a specific time period, e.g. Nike Air Max Day, or a year-round branded hashtag (e.g. #DoingThings for Outdoor Voices)
Add to an existing trend, e.g. ‘Show us your #OOTD wearing our brand’ or ‘#TextureTuesday’ for beauty brands
As a way to collect nominations for giveaways, contests, or sweepstakes
Realistically, there’s a less likely chance of discovery with this feature compared to Collabs. In most cases, users are less likely to click into others' stories on this feed. Because the others posting in the ‘Add Yours’ feed are not people you necessarily follow, the user may be less likely to care about the posted content or click in to view it.
How many people participate is public information, so you need to be comfortable with that if your branded UGC campaign doesn't work.
More new Instagram content partnership features
What they are: Instagram announced in a press release plans to “help creators make a living over the long run.” Overall, Instagram is now giving you the tools to better your relationships with your ambassadors. The features include:
‘Partnership messages’ include a new folder for partnerships DMs, kind of like a priority flag in Gmail
Brands can filter through creator’s details (follower count, location, gender, age-range)
Creators can make a ‘preferred brand partners’ list to put them at the top of the list
Additional branded content investments mean you can now create a branded content Reels ad.
Instagram's new creator marketplace?
Instagram is clearly hearing the call for more creator-friendly features to help put them front and center.
In comparison, TikTok is known for putting creators and influencers at the forefront of their platform, with things like the Creator Fund, TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, and through focus groups, interviews, and surveys asking creators what they’d like to see change.
There is proven success when you’re deliberately caring for your creators. It’s why we made 10 Rules about it. If we can learn a lesson from Instagram, it’s that fostering solid relationships with influencers and brand ambassadors is always a good idea.