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Instagram Launches ‘Add Yours’ Sticker to Facilitate More Engagement in Stories

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Oh look, Instagram is once again following the lead of TikTok with a new feature, what an astounding surprise this is.

Today, Instagram has launched a new ‘Add Yours’ sticker for Stories, which enables users to prompt others to respond to their Stories content, in order to create more engaging reply threads to Stories posts.

As you can see here, now, users can add the new ‘Add Yours’ sticker to their Stories frame, with the example using an ‘outfit of the day’ prompt, calling for followers to respond with their own #OOTD image.

When users respond, they’re added to the profile bubble listing on the sticker, which, when tapped, enables users to go through all the other responses to the thread, building a response chain within Stories that can help prompt more engagement.

Which sounds a lot like TikTok’s Duet feature, which often sees many users adding to a Duet chain, creating long, interactive streams of content based on the original theme.

@mlioncross Do not let this flop! I had dirt on my face after my #duet with @talib.lyy . ‘Care to continue? #bestvibes #fyp #funny #candyshop ♬ son original – Adele_tsdr

The engaging, community-based creativity of TikTok is a key element in its appeal, so it’s no surprise to see Instagram, once again, taking inspiration from its now key rival. But at the same time, it’s a bit much – Facebook’s repetition sometimes feels like it’s going too far to try and latch onto these usage trends.

I mean, it makes sense – TikTok is seeing huge engagement, and Instagram wants to hook into that wherever it can, in order to keep users from migrating away from its app, and if it can utilize similar functions, it probably should at least test and see what results it gets. But it’s a fairly obvious replication here.

Maybe it works, so who really cares? But still, Instagram, and Facebook (or Meta) more broadly, is not very good at coming up with new, original ideas in this respect.

Which will be a key impediment to its new push to win back younger audiences, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noting that it will make serving young adults a priority in its products, rather than optimizing for older users. Facebook knows that it needs to maintain engagement with younger user groups to maximize take-up of its advanced, metaverse-aligned offerings, and the data shows that it’s losing on this front, with Facebook usage among people under the age of 24 declining over the past decade.

A key issue in this sense is that Facebook simply lacks cultural nous, and understanding what younger audiences respond to – which is why Snapchat is regularly able to spark and lead new trends, and now TikTok has become the main vehicle for the same. Instagram did once have that cultural presence, that direct line with creative online communities, but over time – since Facebook took over – it’s also lost touch. And while the graph above doesn’t relate to Instagram usage, you can bet that the same trends are likely happening on IG as well, hence the renewed focus from Zuck on younger groups.

Which is relevant here because of the replication. Yes, Facebook has seen success in stealing features from Snapchat and TikTok, to varying degree, with Instagram Stories being the key winner, while Reels has also been a hit for Instagram, even if usage still trails well behind TikTok. But it’s not helping Facebook win the broader cultural shift, Facebook is no longer seen as the innovator, it’s lost its cool factor in this respect, because of the constant replication.

Or maybe not because of this, but it’s an element in the wider shift – Facebook’s become very good at bringing these features to less web-savvy users who aren’t active in these other, newer apps.

But for those that are always across the next key trends – like, say, younger audiences – Facebook’s replication just seems stale and second rate. It’s the older people catching up on things behind everyone else, then telling you about this cool new feature that you’d already been using well before they came across it.

That’s the inherent failure in Facebook’s replication approach, that it constantly leaves it a step behind, rather than being a leader – and if it’s not a leader, it loses that cool cred, and younger audience engagement as a result.

So it might work, in a broader sense, in terms of deriving in-app engagement on the back of these usage trends originating from other apps. But really, it’s like the corporatization of these shifts, and unless Facebook can change things up, and start leading the way on some of these key trends, I don’t see how it’s going to win back the youth.

Instagram had been testing the ‘Add Yours’ sticker with some users over the past month, but it’s now being rolled out to all users globally, on iOS and Android.

Article: socialmediatoday.com

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Twitter Shares New Insights Into Holiday Shopping Trends [Infographic]

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The data shows that people are planning earlier, while fashion-related topics are high on the agenda.

Source: socialmediatoday.com

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TikTok Announces Fundraising Initiatives for Giving Tuesday, $7m in Direct Donations for Mission-Driven Organizations

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TikTok will run a series of live-streams throughout December to highlight various charitable groups and causes.

Source: socialmediatoday.com

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Instagram Launches Live Test of Longer Videos in Stories

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After it was spotted in testing last month, Instagram has now officially launched a live test of 60-second videos in Stories, which will mean that longer video clips will no longer be split into 15-second segments, and played across various Stories frames.

As noted, last month, app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shared this message, stored in the back-end code of the app, which is now being displayed to some users in the live environment.

We asked Instagram about the update, and it provided this statement:

The ability to create longer Stories posts comes highly requested by our community. We’re excited to be testing 60-second Stories so that people can create and view Stories with fewer interruptions.” 

Instagram says that the option is currently being tested with a small group of users, with a view to providing more creative freedom, and further integrating the app’s various video options to streamline its creative tools and functions.

Which, really, is the key focus. Back in January, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri flagged a coming consolidation of the app’s video products, with a view to better facilitating creation, and scaling back the platform’s various tools. That started with the merging of its video feed posts into a single format early last month, along with the retirement of the IGTV brand.  

As Mosseri explained to Decoder:

“We’re looking about how we can – not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram – simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

The re-thinking of its approach has been largely influenced by TikTok, which has become the most popular social app among young users, overtaking Instagram as the cool place to be.

Part of TikTok’s core appeal is simplicity – on TikTok, you open to a full-screen feed of video clips and live-streams, with all of it combined into one, optimized, focused listing, tailored to each individual user.

Instagram is far more segmented, with Reels in a separate feed, and Stories in its own section. That could be restricting optimal take-up, which is why Instagram’s now looking to bring all of these elements together, which will also, eventually, enable it to showcase the best of each aspect in a single, more-engaging stream.

The expansion to 60-second video clips in Stories is another step in this gradual merging, which, at some stage, will likely see the app open to a full-screen feed of Stories, feed posts and Reels, all in one, enabling IG, like TikTok, to use the full breadth of uploaded content to maximize user engagement.

It’s still a way off that next stage, but longer videos will mean that users can now post full Reels to Stories, for example, essentially merging the two functions automatically. Then it’s just determining how it shifts from the traditional feed to a more Stories/Reels aligned one instead.

That’s a bigger step, and a more fundamental change for the app. But as part of Meta’s broader focus on winning back younger users, you can bet that it’s coming, and likely sooner, rather than later.

Which is why this new test is a significant step. It’s limited for now, but you can expect to see longer Stories videos coming to your Instagram app sometime soon.

Article: socialmediatoday.com

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