Instagram has announced new features that are intended to enhance the experiences for the 500 million daily active users of its Stories feature — one of these features is available right now while the other may take some time and adjustment to get used to. The social media platform is also building a new way for users to browse and buy the clothes their favorite influencers are wearing.
The first new feature for Stories is the Donation Sticker, a way for story makers to call to their follower base for action. All anyone has to do is select a nonprofit organization they want to raise money for — Instagram says 100% of the proceeds go to the organization — and plop the sticker on their story. They can track who’s donating how much by visiting the story pane and swiping up on the screen. The sticker is available in the United States from today.
The company is also rolling out a new camera UI worldwide over the next few weeks. All modifications including text, Boomerang, and other adornments can be reached with a new palette wheel that encompasses the shutter button. Also coming is a new Create Mode for photo-free, video-free content to be shared — be it through text, stickers, other plug-ins, or all of the above.
Finally, Instagram is expanding a feature off of Stories and into the feed: influencers and media brands in the company’s creators program can now tag products on the posts they make — those products come from brands who are participating in the Instagram Checkout beta. Users can simply tap the tag, inspect and modify the product and then purchase it if they so desire.
Businesses have already been able to self-promote their products but, unlike influencers, they don’t necessarily have the sort of engagement with users that could drive buying opportunities.
Over the next few weeks, 55 brands and influencers including Gigi Hadid, GQ, Kylie Jenner, and Vogue will be playing around with the new product tags. The products will come from brands participating in the Checkout program like Adidas, Michael Kors, and Uniqlo.