When Facebook agreed to pay US $1 Billion for Instagram, many people thought that Zuckerberg was out of his mind to pay that much for an app.
Had Instagram remained a standalone company, Forbes estimates that it would be worth US$50 Billion. Literally 50 times more than what Facebook was willing to hand over when they purchased the company.
Instagram’s popularity has risen over the past few years. In fact, the company now has over 500 million users a month.
Instagram’s Latest Features
Despite this, the app has faced onslaught from the rising popularity of apps, like Snapchat, which has garnered favour amongst younger users. In an effort to combat this, and to remain relevant amongst the ever fickle social network users, the company has introduced a range of updates over the past few months.
In August 2016, Instagram announced Stories, a feature mimicking Snapchat’s core feature and function. Namely, images and short video that would disappear after 24 hours.
In October, the company expanded on Stories by introducing Stories on Explore. Instagram says that more than 100 million people visit Explore every day to discover photos and videos from people they don’t follow.
In November, Instagram added even more features to its app:
Boomerang was a standalone app which let you take short videos on a loop. This then created a boomerang-like effect. That functionality is now available inside the Instagram app. Simply swipe right from your feed to open the stories camera. A new format picker, under the record button, lets you select “Boomerang” mode. Tap record and the camera will stitch together a burst of photos into a mini video that plays forward and backward. Then, share it to your story.
Mentioning people in stories works the same as it does in captions and comments. When you add text to your story, type “@” followed by a username and select the person you’d like to mention. Their username will appear underlined in your story. And, when someone taps the mention, they’ll see a pop-up that takes them to that profile.
Instagram says that you’ll receive a notification in Direct when you’re mentioned in someone else’s story. Just tap the preview to go straight to the story for as long as it’s live. If someone you don’t follow mentions you, you’ll see the notification in your message requests.
‘See More’ Links
Watching someone’s story and want to dig deeper? You may spot “See More” links at the bottom of some stories. This is a test that lets verified accounts add links so it’s easy to learn more. From discovering the latest music by Chance the Rapper
The company has also announced yet another new upcoming feature, Live Videos.
“Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing,” Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO, is quoted as saying. “If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them.”
Systrom didn’t mention exactly how Live Videos would work or when it would become available, but screenshots posted by the T Journal give an indication of what the feature will look like once it launches.