Instagram Stories was one of the most controversial updates the app launched this year. Since then, the app has continuously worked on updating and optimizing the feature. A new update for the Stories now includes the option to record Boomerang videos, mention other users and in some cases even link external links.

Just yesterday we published an article concerning the differences and benefits of Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories. Even before the update was published, it was obvious that Instagram Stories were the better option for brands and businesses. Instagram’s new update for the feature further enhance the possibilities and benefits the feature offers for business profiles. Most brands, businesses and companies are aware of the fact that a well maintained Instagram presence is inevitable and can support your brand image and increase traffic for your other channels, especially regarding e-commerce. Still, the fact that Instagram only allowed the integration of clickable links in the bio and nowhere else, was always a point of critique for most users. The new update is working against this critique.

Out of the three new features, the integration of clickable links in your Instagram Stories is the most important and exciting one. For now, only a few verified users are able to make use of this new function but supposedly the feature is going to be available to all users eventually. The clickable links are displayed at the bottom of the images or videos you share to your Instagram Stories. When users click the link an in-app browser will open, allowing the display of further information without having to leave the app first. This will enable users to share further insights through their Instagram Stories which is especially helpfully for brands or businesses that want to generate traffic for their websites and online-shops. This new feature will be a great way of promoting products and allowing the direct forwarding of interested customers.

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Another new feature that enables users to share further insights with their followers is the new possibility to mention other users in your stories. This way you can tag those who are part of your story or other users you simply want to highlight and generate new followers for them. Mentioning users in your Stories works the same way as in captions and comments: simply through tagging them with “@username”. This can be done when you add text to your story. Once you successfully tagged a user in your story, their username will be underlined when others watch your story. When tapping the underlined username, a little pop-up will display that will take users to the mentioned profile. If you mention users in your story, they will receive a notification per direct message.

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The last new feature for Instagram Stories is the inclusion of the Boomerang format right in the Stories function. Next to the usual recording button, a label for Boomerang is now included. When choosing the Boomerang function, you can record your desired scene and it will automatically be converted into the format, all while staying in the Stories feature. You can then share the recorded video directly to your stories. The inclusion of Boomerang in the Stories format is basically just a way of enhancing the variety and creativity of Instagram Stories, as many users were very fond of Boomerang videos.

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Image sources: blog.instagram.com, instagram.com/bustle, instagram.com/instagram

Cover photo: unsplash.com/joshrose