Instagram has just released three new features to its Stories that show that the brand is unique enough to stand on its own. The features include allowing links, mentions and its unique video loop, Boomerang.
With the support for links, currently only available to verified Instagram accounts, a hyperlink can be added to an individual story, and viewers can tap on the link to view the website within the Instagram app. Links are created when the Story is uploaded, and a user will have to tap See More to get more context, allowing the user experience to seem less cluttered but to give content creators what they’re seeking. This is useful to support product purchases, linking a consumer directly to a website where an advertised product within a Story may be featured. Media publications can link to articles directly from their Story, too. There are plenty of marketing applications as well for the new feature, with brands and content creators clearly winning from this new addition.
Mentions is open to the public, not just verified users, and allows users to tag a user on the picture or video with the @ when adding a new Story. Usernames will autocomplete if they’re a contact; up to 10 people can be tagged per story. People who are mentioned will be notified via Instagram, and like mentions within comments, are tappable so that you can access the user’s profile page.
The third and final feature of this rollout is Boomerang, a feature Instagram rolled out last year to create videos with up to five photos that play on a continuous loop. Those creating Instagram Stories can now do so within the app by swiping right to access the Boomerang mode under the record button, versus having to access the Boomerang app separately. This is only available, however, within Stories, and not within the Instagram app. Maybe that’s coming next.
All features are available today and can be utilized by everyone, except links — unless you’re a verified user. Then you get that, too.