Last month Instagram added a “Support Small Business” sticker to Stories, allowing users to highlight their favourite small businesses – most of them, around the world, is currently closed due to COVID-19 lockdown measures and trading restrictions.
With the newsticker, anyone can mention a small business they are passionate about, specifically through giving their followers a preview of the account. When people use the sticker their story will be added to a shared Instagram story; so, their followers can see it, along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.
This is a great way to help businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.
Businesses and influencers can also use the sticker to support other entrepreneurs in their community but tagging and supporting each other.
Here are the five simple steps you need in order to start using the new “Support Small Business” sticker for Instagram Stories.
Open stories and choose a previously uploaded photo or video, or hit the ‘create’ option, which will give you a colour adjustable blank background to start your post from scratch
Tap the stickers icon and look for the Support Small Business sticker. It is the one featuring a small shopping bag with a heart on it, as an icon, and the words “Support Small Business.” Here is a snapshot of what it looks like:
Start typing the Instagram username of the business you want to support. Note: you can’t tag your own Instagram account while using the Support Small Business sticker.
As soon as you add the name of the business you want to shout out, the Support Small Business sticker will populate your Stories post with three recent images from the establishment’s Feed, as well as their Insta handle. You can tap the text area again to change the format to a handle-only mention if you prefer.
The business you tag will also receive a notification and can choose to repost the content to their own stories or send you a DM to say thanks.
Instagram has been busy lately. Besides the Support Small Business sticker, over the last couple of months, the Facebook-owned platform has released two other stickers for the lockdown period. Firstly, the “Stay Home” sticker seeks to encourage social isolating, and a “Thank You” sticker aims to show gratitude and respect for key workers.
The platform also launched its Instagram Live Donations and, since May, started allowing content created during its Live function to be automatically shared on IGTV after you end it (previously you had to download your Instagram Live or record your screen and, only then, start to upload it to the permanent IGTV before it vanished from your stories. And a bonus: Live video replays won’t include any likes or comments from your original live video, keeping it clean for those ones watching in the future.
And these are not all new developments.
Recently, the Facebook-owned platform announced its Messenger Rooms, a feature allowing users to create and join group calls of up to 50 people on the Instagram app.
Following the increased demand for video calls during the lockdown period, in several countries around the world, a free easy-to-create chat room with no time limits should hopefully help people cope with social distancing rules.
Once you create a Messenger Room, a direct link is made available and can be shared with those you want to connect with – and they don’t even need to have a Facebook or Instagram account, as everyone with a direct URL can join the conversation.
To create your very own Messenger Room on Instagram there are two main steps:
Open your Instagram Direct Messages tab and tap the video call icon in the top right corner.
- Tip: at first, I couldn’t find the video icon to set up a room and thought I had an old version of the Instagram app. Upon updating it still didn’t work. I then imagined that being a very new feature, it potentially wasn’t available in my city yet and I would have to wait a few days to obtain access. Despite this though, I didn’t give up so easily, and, after switching from an Instagram Creator account to an Instagram Business account, the icon magically appeared! By the time you are reading this, hopefully, Instagram will have fixed this apparent bug.
Select Create a Room and invite your Instagram contacts or copy a direct link to your Room and share the link through other channels you prefer – Whatsapp, for example.
To join a video call that you’ve been invited to, select Join Room; then, when prompted as to whether you want to open the room in the Messenger app, simply select Confirm.
Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.