Weekly content marketing news for freelancersThe ever-changing world of content marketing and content creation can exhaust you if you don’t pace yourself. Keeping up on daily news and updates can be a full-time job. Fortunately, Content Radar is here to help you with the news that is most important for you to know this week.

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In only two years, Instagram Stories has significantly evolved social media

It now has been two years since Instagram Stories burst onto the scene, causing marketers, users, and basically everyone to say, “Stories? You mean like Snapchat?” Despite the initial confusion regarding how Instagram could blatantly rip off everyone’s favorite Snapchat feature, it didn’t take people long to get over that — well, everyone except for Snapchat.

Now that Instagram is celebrating its second birthday, perhaps there is no better time to look back on what Instagram Stories has accomplished during its short life and what potential the channel has in upcoming months and years.

April 2017 — Overtaking Snapchat

Instagram Stories Celebrates Second Birthday

Though some look at Instagram Stories’ early days as a Snapchat knockoff, it didn’t take Instagram long to show that it wasn’t planning on living in Snapchat’s shadow. To be precise, it only took Instagram Stories about 9 months to reach 200 million users, allowing it to overtake the Snapchat as the most used story-based social channel more quickly than anybody anticipated.

October 2017 — Poll stickers

Perhaps it was the release of poll stickers that showed that Instagram execs weren’t content on simply catching up to Snapchat. They wanted to blow it out of the water with new tools, features, and options. By introducing poll stickers, Instagram Stories introduced a level of interactivity with stories that no other social channel had yet accomplished.

February 2018 — Type mode

Instagram Stories Celebrates Second Birthday

Instagram, of course, is first and foremost a video- and photo-sharing app, but the introduction of type mode showed that Instagram Stories didn’t need to limit itself. With type mode, users could begin to add text-only stories or use text-only slides to supplement other photos and videos.

June 2018 — Music in Stories

Instagram announced music in stories in June 2018. This addition allowed users to integrate popular music into their stories. This was an especially impactful update given the fact that the trend on other social channels has been to remove videos that play copyrighted audio.

July 2018 — Questions

Instagram Stories Celebrates Second Birthday

Within the last few weeks, Instagram Stories now allows users to accept questions from followers and then answer them through text or video in the story. The tool has been particularly beneficial to brands and influencers who want to build relationships with followers.

Next Up — Shopping

Instagram Stories has already rolled out the ability for a few select brands to use shoppable stickers to allow users to shop directly from the app when viewing products they want to buy. Currently, any user can click on a shoppable sticker, but the functionality has not yet been rolled out beyond a select few brands to promote products in the tool. Once this tool is fully rolled out, expect Instagram Stories to be an even more desirable place for product marketers to be.

Next Up — Wait and see

Instagram Stories Celebrates Second Birthday

Given the speed at which Instagram has introduced new features and tools in Instagram Stories, there is no indication that it will be slowing down in the near future. In fact, in an article posted on the Instagram Info Center this week, the company said it will continue to innovate.

“We will continue to work hard on new tools that enable even more creativity and self-expression, no matter the moment you want to share,” the article stated. “So stay tuned!”

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Reddit’s redesign is bringing as much as seven percent greater engagement. Many advertisers remain tentative to utilize the channel due to its controversial nature.

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Facebook is introducing a new tool to allow users to track how much time they spend on the app. The feature will also be available for Instagram users.

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Vertical YouTube videos now play online without the black bars on the sides.
The update is part of a larger effort by YouTube to adapt to accommodate the aspect ratio of all videos uploaded to the site.

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Apple has expanded search ads in its app store to six more countries. Apple reports its search ads are seeing a 50 percent conversion rate.


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