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Instagram Will Enable All Users to Tag Products in Feed Posts

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Instagram Will Enable All Users to Tag Products in Feed Posts

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As part of its continued focus on expanding its eCommerce listings, Instagram will now allow all users to tag products in their IG posts, starting with users in the US.

Originally only available to approved creators, Instagram is now giving everyone the capacity to provide a direct link to products and brands in their uploads.

As explained by Instagram:

Scored a new pair of earrings from a small business you love? Tag the product in your Feed post so your friends and followers can learn more about the earnings and shop them!! People come to Instagram to share and discover trends and inspiration. Product tagging will make it possible for anyone to support their favorite small businesses, share how they styled their looks along with the products they used, and more.” 

That could provide a big boost for brands in the app, for free, while also building upon Instagram’s eCommerce focus, and evolving consumer behaviors within the app.

For users, that will likely see a big expansion on product tags, and as more people become more accustomed to tagging the products that they love, that will lean further into the product discovery mindset that Instagram really wants to encourage in order to facilitate more transactions. Note that users with business or creator accounts can also tag products in Stories and Reels.

Business owners will receive a notification when someone tags one of their products, while they’ll also be able to view all tagged content on their profile.

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Instagram product tags

At the same time, product tags could also be used in a negative way, and on that front, brands will also be able to control who can tag their products, while they’ll be able to remove tags of their items and brand if they choose.

Instagram product tags

It’s an interesting expansion, which, as noted, plays into the broader push to nudge user behaviors towards the eCommerce use case.

Instagram says that over 1.6 million users tag at least one brand, on average, each week already, which would suggest that the added capacity to more specifically tag each product will be an appealing and highly utilized element – which could actually keep the main Instagram feed relevant for a little longer, if it works out.

Because Reels and Stories are already more popular, and for some time, it has seemed like, eventually, Instagram would move to make these elements the key focus, opening to a full-screen Stories or Reels feed, as opposed to the traditional post display.

Maybe, if Instagram can transform the focus of the main feed, that will improve its utility, and keep the app from making a big switch away from its roots.

Because if it works, the main feed could actually become the most valuable element of IG, even if the other tools and more engaging. Maximize shopping, keep people scrolling through Stories, and keep them hooked with Reels. It could be a killer combo, and these new tags play into that push.

Product tagging in feed posts is being rolled out to all Instagram users in the US from today.



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UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner

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Molly Russell was exposed to online material 'that may have influenced her in a negative way'

Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG

A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.

Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.

The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.

Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.

Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.

“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.

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“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.

“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.

The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.

A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.

“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.

Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.

Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.

Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.

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“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.

“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.

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