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Instagram Tests ‘Selected People’ for Stories, Providing More Control Over Your Stories Audience

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Instagram has launched a new test that will enable people to select specific profiles that will be able to view their Stories, as part of an additional element in the Stories creation flow of every post.

Instagram Close Friends test

As you can see in these screenshots, ‘Selected People’, which is being tested in Brazil, will enable users to tick the specific users that they want to allow to view each of their Stories updates.

It’s essentially an alternate version of Instagram’s current ‘Close Friends’ option, which enables users to make a list of their key contacts for Stories sharing, with this new variation providing more specific capacity with each update, offering more control, but also more work in defining your specific audience each time.

Instagram Close Friends

As Instagram explained to 9 to 5 Mac:

Before, with the ‘Close Friends’ feature, people could only share Stories with the same list of friends without being able to edit it. With this test, you’ll be able to add, remove, or keep people on your list with different Stories.”

More capacity to control who sees your posts could be helpful, while Instagram also notes that your Selected People listing will remain in place until you edit it again. Which means it’s almost exactly like the current ‘Close Friends’ option, but with the extra capacity to easily change it every time you post.

That seems like an under-the-radar helpful addition, which may seem like only a minor update, but could provide a significant improvement in posting capacity, helping to facilitate more intimate, private Stories sharing, without broadcasting to everyone with each post.

It could also open up a new form of specific Stories sharing to only a couple of friends at a time. Of course, you can also use Instagram Direct for this type of interaction, but the option to share full-screen, regular Stories, that only appear to certain users, could hold specific value, which could be a fun engagement option.

And for brands, it could also offer new capacity, like announcing competition winners, and offering exclusive deals to very specific audiences. Again, you can use close friends already to reach certain groups, but choosing just one person, or smaller groups of people, each time that you post, could facilitate new ways to maximize brand engagement, and fuel more connection with fans.

It seems, overall, like a good addition – right now, Instagram is only testing it in Brazil, though it looks like it should get a full launch soon.

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LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers

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LinkedIn has outlined its latest batch of updates for Company Pages, most of which had already been previewed in some capacity, but are now being rolled out on a broader basis.

First off, LinkedIn’s making its new post templates available to all company pages.

LinkedIn post templates

As you can see in these examples, LinkedIn’s post templates, as they sound, provide a range of visual enhancements for your LinkedIn updates, which could help to make them stand out in feeds.

LinkedIn originally launched post templates for individual users last month, but now, it’s making them available for Company Page updates as well.

As per LinkedIn:

Create engaging, actionable LinkedIn content easier than ever with customizable templates, available directly in the LinkedIn app, with no third-party tools required.”

I mean, I don’t know that these types of posts really fit with LinkedIn’s professional approach. But then again, as many have noted, LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook anyway, with more personal posts and updates that are less focused on professional aspects.

And that seems to be working – LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft keeps reporting ‘record levels of engagement’ in the app every quarter, so maybe this is actually a good, valuable addition.

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We’ll see how people feel about it when every other LinkedIn ‘thinkfluencer’ is posting using these templates. You can access post templates in the mobile app by tapping the ‘use template’ option in the post composer menu.

As an addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making its new link stickers available for Company Pages too, which could help to drive more direct response to your updates.

LinkedIn link sticker

On another front, LinkedIn will also now enable all Company Pages to pin comments beneath their brand posts.

LinkedIn Pinned Comments

The rollout for this feature also started last month, with some users seeing the option to pin comments in the app.

That could be a good way to spark more focused engagement, and highlight top fans, while you could also use this to simply boost interactions by pinning the comment with the most engagement at the top of the reply chain.  

As a reminder, LinkedIn Company Pages can also pin an update for similar purpose.

Finally, LinkedIn has also added a new Our featured commitments’ section for Company Pages, where brands will be able to showcase their most important values.

“Increasingly in today’s market, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on their values. They’re interested in knowing where companies stand on issues that are important to them, such as DEI, work-life balance, sustainability, etc. To provide greater insight and connections, LinkedIn is enabling employers to highlight these commitments on their LinkedIn company page to define their talent brand and values.” 

Brands will be able to include up to five commitments in their featured commitments section, while you’ll also be able to host content that demonstrates the same, all of which will be displayed in a sub-panel in the ‘About’ section of your Page.

These are some potentially handy updates, with the link stickers and pinned comments standing out as likely the most valuable additions for LinkedIn page managers.

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Post templates I’m not as sold on, especially for brands – but then again, there may be ways to use these templates to improve the presentation of your posts, and maybe, that’ll increase overall engagement.

You can read about all of LinkedIn’s latest company page updates here.

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