Last week, Facebook hosted its annual F8 conference, an event where they roll out changes to their apps and invite the community to try out new features.
Coming soon to Instagram: a brand new Instagram explore page, group video chat, as well as share your favourite songs directly to your stories from Spotify, and soon will be able to create your own face filters for Instagram Stories!
The Explore Page gets a new look
For starters, the Explore page is getting a fresh new look. Following the announcement users will be able to follow specific hashtags, Instagram is now making it even easier to discover posts by adding categories to the Explore page.
As Verge reports: “The Explore page will now feature buttons on the top of the page in a carousel, giving users the option to swipe through subjects like animals, photography, and architecture to see more posts about that particular topic.”
This is a great opportunity to be spotlighted in the Explore page and be in front of new people, both for bloggers and brands – it also allows you to find more inspirational content much quicker. In other words, users will have much more control over the content they see.
Video calling lands on Instagram
Zuckerberg announced that Instagram is launching a “video chat”, which will give users the ability to talk privately with one or more people over a video call. After videos in Stories, this is another way to keep users engaged and gives influencers a chance to really connect with their audience.
A new camera icon will appear at the top of any Instagram Direct thread you have with other users. When you tap on the icon, it will call the other user or users.
New ways of creating and sharing
People and brands will be able to make and share their own filters for Instagram Stories. Facebook is bringing AR camera effects to Instagram, meaning that creators, influencers, and brands will be able to create their own custom Instagram filters using Facebook’s AR Studio.
If you are following an influencer or brand on Instagram, you’ll be able to use custom filters giving you a huge incentive to get into AR – focusing mainly on viral content. A very good example is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Facebook filter from last December, which allowed you to try on her highlighter.
You’ll also be able to share favourite songs, videos and more thanks to the new “Sharing to Stories” feature, available for both Instagram and Facebook.
Now, when you’re listening to a song, playlist, or album you love in Spotify and want to share it to your Instagram Stories, all you have to do is tap the new “share” button in the Spotify app. As some people have noticed, resharing other people’s stories is also now easier than ever.