There are two photo apps that the coveted millennial’s are using these days. One is Snapchat. A picture messaging application that destroys the image after viewing. Then there is Instagram. The Photo sharing application that now has better messaging features. Instagram about a year ago added direct messages to their popular app and some people used it but it really didn’t seem to pick up. Well, Instagram just fixed it up and made it better, then released it to the world.

Messaging features

Instagram ForwardBeforehand you could chat with a person you were following, but I found it to be pretty cumbersome and just really doesn’t fit into the work flow that I have setup. Doesn’t mean that it didn’t work just wasn’t of use to me. Who was I going to message?  Yet, now with the changes it fits a little better into the work flow. Though the messaging feature is still hidden a bit with just the icon is still in the top right hand corner. A bit above the eye line for Instagram with most of the actions being at the bottom. But there are some nice additions to the app.

You can now forward images that are in your Instagram feed. Say some one has posted a great image and you want to share it to the person you are talking to. You can now press the forward button choose who you want to forward it to, write a message if you so choose and press the big blue send button at the bottom and BOOM! It is done. No more screenshots and going through and editing the picture down to what you are wanting. Quick simple and clean.

Just chat

If you are not into doing the snapchat image swapping thing that is just fine also. You can just send messages back and forth and have great conversations with your followers. You no longer have to start the conversation with an image. Just Choose who you want to talk to and go from there.

Add pictures, selfies or take a picture

As the conversation grows, you can add images from your camera roll, or now send a selfie, or even take a normal pictures, and send them to your friend. The uses with this can come in handy if you are trying to help someone out with a problem and you are needing to send screen shots or the like.

How to get to messages

As I mentioned earlier getting to the Direct Message area on Instagram isn’t as easy as it could be if you’re not use to looking for it. You have to look for the inbox in the top right hand corner.  When you press that icon you will be taken to all of you messages. Or you can send a message as the last step on creating an Instagram picture. You have the choice of sending it to your Followers or Direct

Uses

So what can a business do with these direct messages? The opportunity at this moment is direct connections with your customers. You can personally thank a fan that starts to follow you. The Direct message option can also be a customer service channel. But how is this going to scale? You might just be asking. I really don’t see this scaling very well but that is one of the advantages of being a small and nimble business. You can do stuff that the big lumbering businesses are not capable of doing. Therefore, celebrate the opportunity to do what your competitor can not do. Take advantage of an opportunity and serve your customer to the fullest.

Regular images are now accepted.

You just took that picture that is amazing and awe inspiring yet, what happens when you try to place it into Instagram? The ends are cropped off and the whole effect is diminished or even worse lost. So many times you have to find the closest you can get to try to convey the inspiration you were wanting to communicate to your followers. Well rejoice because now you can place full sized pictures into Instagram. All you need is press the full sized button in the lower left hand picture you are wanting to use. If you notice on the right hand side that is a button for the layout option.

Full Size ButtonIn the Full sized button the whole image is shown in the frame and will show up without the old cropping bars you use to have to edit into your images. This is being met with some raised hackles because there are those that believe that it is going to lead to some lazy marketing. And to a point I would agree but I also think that people are over marketing in Instagram.

These are the latest changes that Instagram has done in the last few weeks. There are more on the way. Are you looking to use the updated Direct message that Instagram is using or are you excited about being able to use regular sized images?

I am here!

Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
I am here!

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Instagram is Making Changes
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