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Instagram Replaces Nametag Codes with QR Codes to Help Quickly Connect Users


Yes, I know, no one seems to care too much about QR codes as a quick connection option on social platforms, and I realize that, despite every social app releasing its own QR code tool, they still don’t seem to be gaining momentum.

But that’s not true for all regions, and this week, Instagram has launched new QR codes for its profiles, which will provide another quick scan option to help users connect with people and businesses through the app.

Instagram QR codes

But Instagram already has QR codes, right?

Not exactly.

Back in 2018, Instagram launched what it called ‘Nametag Codes’ which were essentially QR codes for profiles, though a slightly different variation.

Instagram Nametag Codes

Nametag Codes, as you can see, were designed to be highly visual and engaging, in order to encourage usage. 

But, evidently, they didn’t catch on, and now, Instagram is replacing Nametag Codes with QR codes instead. 

Why? The limitation of Nametag Codes was that they could only be scanned in via the Instagram camera, but QR codes can also be scanned by regular iOS and Android camera tools, immediately linking to a person’s IG profile.

So QR codes are more universal – and while, as noted, it may not seem like that will make much difference, or lead to more people using them, QR codes are actually a very big deal in certain regions.

As reported by The Economist, QR codes are regularly used in both China and Japan – in fact, QR code-enabled transactions totaled more than $1.65 trillion in these two countries back in 2016 (yes, ‘trillion’ with a ‘t’). That’s why social platforms still see such opportunity in the option – and while Instagram isn’t available in China due to restrictions on outside platforms, Japan is one of the platform’s fastest-growing markets, and presents significant opportunity for the app. 

And amid the COVID-19 pandemic, QR codes may once again get a chance to shine in more regions. The need to limit physical contact, and maintain distancing, means that QR codes offer another way to share relevant business information easily, while respecting those boundaries. And with COVID restrictions set to linger for some time yet, that could become a habitual shift, with more businesses looking to provide quickly accessible information via a simple code that potential customers can scan in.

QR codes could also offer an alternative way for customers to share their contact information with stores, in order to get updates and info sent to them. That would eliminate the need for conversations at the in-store counter, providing hokey email addresses that you created when you were a teenager which don’t sound so funny now that you’re saying them aloud in front of a group of waiting shoppers.

There are various ways that QR codes could assist, minimizing contact and simplifying processes. It still might not seem like they’ll catch on in Western markets, but there are opportunities there, and it makes sense for Instagram to continue developing its QR options.   



Five Ways To Make Your Startup Stand Out From The Competition


Five Ways To Make Your Startup Stand Out From The Competition

Making your business stand out from others in a crowded marketplace is key to its success. High-quality products and services, a smart pricing strategy, and effective marketing are just the basics. The most successful entrepreneurs have a few extra tricks that separate their business from the rest of the pack.

Tell a strong story

Businesses need to do two things to succeed; be relevant and distinctive. As Steven Hess, founding partner at WhiteCap, explains, doing one without the other will lead to failure. “Being relevant on its own leads to a focus on price and an inevitable sublimation into the sea of sameness, and customers will not look for you,” he says. “Being distinctive without solving a problem leads to gimmickry and longer-term weakness. You have to do both, and one way of uniting the two is with a strong story.”

This could focus on the founder’s story, what led them to set out on their business journey, how they identified the problem they are solving, and how they are solving it uniquely. Stories can also be drawn from customers; how are they using your products or services? What problem does it solve for them?

“You also need to look at how your competitors are presenting themselves and then present yourself in the opposite way,” says Hess. “This will feel uncomfortable, and most businesses fail at this point. Why do ads for cars, financial services, estate agents, etc., look the same? It’s because most of us don’t want to stand out. We’re afraid to fail and be seen to fail. But if we are not being seen, being distinctive and solving a real problem, we’ve already failed.”

Focus your messaging on customer needs

A company’s messaging has to be focused on its potential customer’s biggest wants and needs. It should clarify what people will get if they buy from you, what transformation they will see, and how they will feel afterward. “Most importantly, it should communicate what people will miss out on if they don’t buy from your startup,” says business growth consultant Charlie Day. “When you shift your messaging from simply trying to grow a business and make money to focusing on your customer’s biggest wants and needs, the sales and growth will come, and it will set you apart from others.”

Target an underrepresented audience

This can be a powerful way for startups to stand out. “By focusing on a group that larger companies often overlook, they can differentiate themselves and appeal to a unique and untapped market,” says Vladislav Podolyako, founder and CEO of Folderly. “And by providing solutions to the specific needs and challenges of this audience, startups can establish a strong reputation and build a loyal customer base.”

For example, a fitness startup targeting older adults can stand out by offering specialized classes, products, or resources. By providing solutions to the physical limitations of older adults, the startup can differentiate itself from other companies, address the unique fitness challenges faced by older adults, and build a loyal customer base.

However, as Podolyako points out, this strategy must be carefully thought out. He says: “The startup may be associated with an older audience only, so you should work with PR agencies to get the positioning right and potentially think about creating a sub-brand.”

Differentiate your social media strategy

A unique voice and communication style will make you stand out on social media. However, it’s not just what you say but what you do that makes the difference. “If everyone is offering ‘how to’ tips on LinkedIn, create some short form behind-the-scenes videos. If everyone is doing special offers on Facebook, publish some tip-based stories,” says Catherine Warrilow, managing director of Daysout.com. “Make yourself accessible for customer support on the social media channels used by your audience, for example, via What’s App or Messenger.”

Respond promptly to customer calls

Making it easy for customers to contact you and get a response is vital for customer engagement and retention. Yet, businesses are surprisingly poor at answering their phones, listing phone numbers on their websites, and responding to voicemails. It’s a massive turn-off for customers, as a survey by global communications company Moneypenny revealed, with unanswered phone calls topping the list of consumer gripes, cited by 43% of respondents, followed by annoying hold music (35%).

Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Moneypenny, says: “Customers use the phone when they have an urgent or sensitive issue to discuss, so companies cannot afford to provide a poor call experience; business will be taken elsewhere. By mastering the art of call handling, businesses can keep their customers happy and loyal and boost the bottom line in the process.”


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Twitter Experiments with Reply Filters, Timeline Controls, and the Capacity to Search Your Tweet Likes


Twitter Experiments with Reply Filters, Timeline Controls, and the Capacity to Search Your Tweet Likes

Amid the various large-scale changes at Twitter, the platform is also working on some smaller tweaks and updates, which may or may not ever get released, but could provide valuable functionality for many users.

First off, Twitter’s testing the ability to search through your Likes, so you can find out who, specifically, has liked your tweets.

That could help you glean more context when reaching out to someone, or just another way to understand who’s responding to your tweets.

And it could be particularly valuable as a research tool for marketers in understanding their audience and who they’re reaching with their tweets.

Twitter’s also testing a new way to filter your replies, which could be handy if you get a lot of responses to a tweet.

Tweet reply sorting

I mean, I’m not sure how many people are getting so many replies to their tweets that they need a filtering option, but for those that are, this could be a simple way to ensure you’re staying up on the most relevant responses and responders, to better manage your engagement.

Finally, Twitter’s also experimenting with new timeline settings, which would provide more control over your timeline and pinned lists.

Twitter timeline controls

Note also, in the middle screen, that Twitter’s developing an option that would enable you to hide your tweet view counts, which would provide another way to manage your activity in the app.

As noted, all of these are in test mode, with Twitter engineer Andrea Conway posting them for public opinion, before exploring further development. But they could be handy, and while they’re not game-changers as such (which may mean they get less priority), smaller tweaks and updates like this could be significant for certain users, and could make it easier to manage your tweet activity.

We’ll keep you updated on any progress.


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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again


Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

A fed-up accountant has spoken of his “disappointment” after his Facebook page was taken down AGAIN. Last July, we told how Suleiman Krayem feared …


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