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Instagram’s Testing New Ways to Navigate Through Your Stories Feed

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Instagram is testing out some new ways to navigate through your Stories feed in the app, in order to help people find more Stories content that they’re interested in.

Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong posted this example of one of the new tests in action, which would enable users to side the main Stories frame down to reveal the Stories tray at the top of the screen, then switch through to each.

Wong also noted that Instagram has tested another variation of the same in the past – which prompted Instagram chief Adam Mosseri to weigh in, confirming that they are in fact testing new options to help people navigate through their Stories stream.

Mosseri Stories poll

The option in itself would add a different flow to Stories, and could make them easier to sift through. But more interesting is the potential shift to the next phase of the news feed, and social media navigation more broadly.

Over the past few years, Facebook has repeatedly noted that Stories are on track to overtake the News Feed as the primary surface for social media engagement.

Facebook Stories vs Feed

This chart is from 2018, and back then it already seemed that Stories would soon dominate social engagement.

Yet, despite the increasing usage of Stories, the news feed remains the dominant presentation mode in Facebook’s apps, with the main feed taking up the vast majority of screen real estate on both Instagram and Facebook.

If Stories are seeing more usage, should that change – should Stories eventually get more focus than your regular feed? And if so, how would that work? 

Maybe, Instagram will eventually open to a full-screen Stories view, which you can swipe through to see the latest. No doubt Instagram’s already considered this – but that would also have significant implications as to how people use the app, and would veer further from its original photography focus.

But maybe, this new experiment is the first step along that path. If Instagram were to find a presentation option that keeps people more engaged with Stories, that, eventually, could lead to it discovering that users are spending more time within this stream than they are in the main feed. At some point, given the usage trends, you’d think that Stories would outweigh the main feed, and Instagram might need to switch to Stories, logically, as the primary function. 

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The trends suggest that this will happen anyway, and this experiment could be a step along that path.

As such, while it might seem like a minor update now, and a minor debate as to how you view Stories at present, it could become more significant in the near future.

Socialmediatoday.com

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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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