This popular Instagram feature is only about a year old. Its immediate rise to popularity is indicative of an upward trend in video content. Instagram stories will continue to be refined and video content and quality will continually improve. The story feature is already being utilized by several niche markets and, as a result, companies are going to want to partner with influencers who are comfortable reaching out to their market in this way. The site’s algorithms are even being redone to include videos receiving more updates and thereby becoming the more promoted posts. In order to receive higher engagement rates, companies will have to get comfortable in front of the camera if they want to stay competitive on social media platforms.
According to an article on digiday.com, sandwiching is “strategically placing promoted posts between imagery forecasted to have high rates of engagement, based on existing data.” Influencers accomplish this by taking a post and publishing it in between two posts that they know from experience will have high engagement, such as a post for a contest and a post for a giveaway. This new trend comes on the heels of the new algorithm that Instagram has implemented, which left a lot of brand owners wondering why so many of their posts were suddenly receiving such low engagement. While this current attempt to beat the system has proven successful, Instagram surely has lots of other nooks and crannies where future surprises are hiding.
Since late in 2016, it has been possible to shop directly from within the Instagram app itself through a feature known as “shoppable photos”. This capability was limited, however, as the shoppable feature was only used by certain brands.The feature went through extensive testing by Shopify throughout 2017 and in 2018 this feature is really expected to take off, with only a few minor limitations this time. Merchants can only sell physical products like food, clothes, books, toys, art, stationery, and electronics. There is a limit of five tagged items total in new and old posts combined.