In the first update since April’s Facebook acquisition, Instagram is introducing significant improvements to search and share functions. The update is currently available only for iOS, with no comment on when Android changes are expected.
Right off the bat you’ll notice the new Explore Tab which, housed under a new logo, makes searching for photos and users a whole lot easier. Select whether you’re looking for a user or a hashtag, and Instagram will help you out by offering autocomplete options for search terms.
This change is certainly a perk for brands using Instagram, as the search function was previously hidden under several layers within the Settings menu. Finding brands, hashtags and contests on Instagram is now faster and easier than ever.
New Facebook sharing controls
Facebook didn’t wait long to integrate sharing options into its latest acquisition. With this round of updates, users can choose to push Instagram likes directly to Facebook’s News Ticker and Timeline. Find these options under You > Sharing Settings > Facebook Options.
If enabled, any brand interactions will be seen not only on Instagram, but also shared with users’ entire Facebook networks. That’s good news for brands using Instagram if you ask us.
And for the sake of the everyday user, the updates also include general visual and speed improvements. You’ll notice that everything is faster, from loading pictures to opening the camera. Plus a new shortcut allows users to quickly open the camera roll rather than Instagram’s camera. Simply hold down the camera logo and all your photos will pop up for Instagram editing and sharing.
What do you think of the latest round of Instagram updates? Will they push your brand to embrace Instagram as a marketing platform?