Mumbai: Instagram today organized its inaugural ‘Instagram Experience’ (IGX) to showcase how it brings you closer to the people and things you love. With most people in the Instagram community using it to pursue their passions, the app highlighted a ‘Born on Instagram’ initiative to discover creators all across India, the ‘Impact, Influencer and Interactivity’ approach to leverage Instagram for business and an ‘Unlabel’ content series, that outlines how it’s the kindest community online.
With over a billion people globally, Instagram is loved for its vibrant community, cultural relevance and visual expression. IGX furthers the engagement with the community, by hosting over 250 creators and marketers, including actors TaapseePannu andPriyaVarrier, and creators MallikaDua, Pooja Dhingra and Savi& Vid from Bruised Passports.Also present at the event was Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, who said, “Instagram is gaining strong momentum both globally and in India. Much like Indian culture, passions pursued by Instagrammers here are the most diverse and represent urban and regional trends. This, combined with the way people freely express themselves on the platform, creates an amazing opportunity for creators and businesses here.”
Regional celebrities like Guru Randhawa, NusratJehan and Kajal Aggarwal and creators like Pawan Kumar from Artkala in Patna, SujitBhaktan from Tech Travel Eat in Kerala and Kiran Dutta from Your Bong Guy in Kolkata already use Instagram creatively. At IGX, a new initiative – Born on Instagram – was announced as a recognition of the accelerated creativity in content witnessed all across India. This program will celebrate, discover and showcase creators in big and regional cities, and give them collaboration and mentorship opportunities. This will roll out in 15 cities, beginning this year.
The community also includes businesses of all sizes who leverage Instagram to drive awareness, increase customers and share their story amongst a highly engaged audience. At IGX, the focus was on an approach based on ‘Impact, Influencer and Interactivity’ to enable businesses to best leverage Instagram. This impact is an outcome of the authentic connections between brands and consumers, further showcased by an IPSOS India study where 94% of people said they searched for more information after seeing a product or service on Instagram. 95% of people also said Instagram helps them decide whether to buy a product or service.
Instagram is also a natural home for influencers, and brands leverage associations with them well to increase awareness and build trust. With the launch of Branded Content Ads earlier this year, advertisers now have the ability to promote creators’ organic branded content posts as feed and stories ads. This is spurred by interactivity as people increasingly use interactive elements like Poll stickers and Questions, and hence 60% of businesses on Instagram use an interactive element in Stories every month. Interactive ads, starting with Instagram Poll Stickers, work well to that end to enable instant two-way communication and get people involved.
But people will only express themselves if they feel safe and supported and Instagram has recently rolled out the ‘Restrict’ feature, to that end, to protect your account from unwanted interactions. Now, the app unveiled a new content series, ‘Unlabel’, in partnership with Yuvaa, a youth media platform, which features young Indians challenging stereotypes to be their authentic selves.
Instagram has recently made a number of additions to help people express themselves better on the platform. These include the Music Sticker for Stories, a new dark mode, a new Create Mode on camera, the Create Don’t Hate stickers as part of the anti-bullying efforts and the IGTV Series tool for creators.