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Instagram Reels Launched as It Looks to Compete Against TIkTok

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Instagram is launching Reels, which appears to be the company’s own take to compete against TikTok. Reels will be available on both Android and iOS, but for a start, it will only be limited for users in Brazil, where it is called Cenas. So just like Tik Tok, Instagram’s Reels lets a user create 15-second video clips which they can lip-sync with music and then share the same in their Instagram stories. Speaking of which, users will be able to access Reels from within the Instagram app just like other features such as Boomerang, Superzoom, and Live.

According to the report by TechCrunch, instead of starting from scratch like Facebook did with its standalone app Lasso, Instagram wants to bring Reels directly to its billion users around the world by providing the new feature right from within the app. And this is why unlike TikTok, Reels will let the users create these short 15-second lip-synced video clips and share them in their Instagram stories, which the users can then decide if they just want to share it with their close friends or they simply want to keep it public so that it can reach a wider audience.

So, as we mentioned above, how this works is that users will be able to find Reels right alongside the Boomerang and Superzoom features. After that, one can either record in silence, borrow the audio of another video, or simply lip sync to a popular trending song. In addition to this, Instagram is also adding some editing tools, like timed captions so that words appear in certain scenes, and a ghost overlay option for lining up transitions so they look fluid. So, once a short clip is created, a user can then share it as their story or simply send it to a friend. And, if shared publicly, it also will be eligible to appear in the Top Reels section of the Explore tab.

As we mentioned above, Instagram Reels is currently available on both Android and iOS for users in Brazil. And as of now there is no confirmation on when this new feature will be available for the other countries.

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Instagram’s Working on New Stickers That Would Enable Users to Promote Business Profiles in Stories

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Instagram looks to be testing a new Stories sticker option which would enable users to share a business profile with their followers, including a header and a three-image preview that links through to a brand’s on-platform presence.

Instagram Business sticker

As you can see in this example, shared by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, the new ‘Share Professional’ sticker would enable users to add in an Instagram @profile, which would then pull in thumbnails of the most recent three posts from that account. That preview could then be used as a promotional tool in Instagram Stories – you could promote the business of a friend, a service that’s helped you out, or maybe a local SMB that’s struggling during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

That’s likely the focus of the tool. Instagram has been looking for more ways to help promote small businesses that are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, Instagram added new gift card, food order, and fundraiser tools, both for Stories and profiles, in order to provide more ways for brands and their communities to support local SMBs.

Instagram COVID-19 tools

The ‘Share Professional’ sticker seems to align with this, while beyond COVID-19 it could also provide another, simple way for users to share tips on businesses that they like via their Stories.

It could be a valuable tool to consider. There’s not a heap to go on at this stage, but given the rising popularity of Stories, it could provide another, simple avenue to help raise awareness of your business on Instagram, and get more attention for your account.

You could ask your satisfied customers to share a link, you could use it within promotions – if it is eventually launched, there’s a range of ways in which it could be utilized to good effect.

Instagram hasn’t provided any info on the tool, but based on how far along it appears to be in the above screenshots, and going on Wong’s past record for such discoveries, it looks set to be announced sometime soon. 

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How to market your photographs on Instagram

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How to market your photographs on Instagram thumbnail

One of the most popular social media platforms is Instagram through which various users express their views and talents through videos and photos. It is also a platform that is widely used by professional and amateur photographers to show off their talent in photography. For a photographer, Instagram is the best platform to showcase his or her photographs and gain popularity. The more Instagram followers you get, the more popular you will become.

Instagram is also a great platform to promote your business and attract clients and customers across the world. So, if you have not started on this social media platform yet, then you start it doing so right now. Here is how you can market your work on Instagram.

Create your Instagram Account

This is quite a simple and easy thing to do – create an Instagram account. It is an app can be easily downloaded on your phone. Registering to the platform is as easy as registering to other social media platforms. You can create two accountson Instagram – personal and business. If you are looking at Instagram for business purposes, then you should open a business account that has more features than the personal account.

However, you can also combine both professional and personal accounts together or keep them separate. Instagram allows its users to create multiple accounts and have access to all of them at the same time. To promote your business and keep your personal life restricted to your friends and family, then it is best to keep them separate.

You should also make sure that your bio speaks about you and your work. Also, ensure that it is short and not lengthy. You can take some ideas from other Instagram accounts of photographers if you are not sure how to do so.

What should you Post on Instagram?

The first thing to do before you post your photos on Instagram is to choose the best photo from your collection. Your photos posted on Instagram should be able to speak about your work. You can either edit your pictures or simply put them the way they are. If you are planning to edit the pictures, then you can do so on Instagram itself. But for more professional edits it is best to use your own software.

You can use themes to post your photos on a weekly or daily basis. Using the storyline for uploading photos on Instagram is also very popular among photographers.

How to Increase your Fan Following

If you are looking for some good numbers of Instagram likes, then ensure that you use as many popular hashtags as you can. Using hashtags attracts users who can get access to the photos or posts under those hashtags. If your photos are good and grab the attention of the Instagrammers, then you are surely going to get some huge number of likes.

Instagram needs to be live and active to keep the interest of the followers or other Instagrammers. Hence, make sure that you are posting your photos on a regular basis and also interacting with the followers. The more interaction you have with them, the more they are going to visit your account.

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Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: Government forcing companies to protect you online

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Although many of the details have still to be confirmed, it’s likely the new rules will apply to Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and Instagram

We often talk about the risks you might find online and whether social media companies need to do more to make sure you don’t come across inappropriate content.

Well, now media regulator Ofcom is getting new powers, to make sure companies protect both adults and children from harmful content online.

The media regulator makes sure everyone in media, including the BBC, is keeping to the rules.

Harmful content refers to things like violence, terrorism, cyber-bullying and child abuse.

The new rules will likely apply to Facebook – who also own Instagram and WhatsApp – Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, and will include things like comments, forums and video-sharing.

Platforms will need to ensure that illegal content is removed quickly, and may also have to “minimise the risks” of it appearing at all.

These plans have been talked about for a while now.

The idea of new rules to tackle ‘online harms’ was originally set out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in May 2018.

The government has now decided to give Ofcom these new powers following research called the ‘Online Harms consultation’, carried out in the UK in 2019.

Plans allowing Ofcom to take control of social media were first spoken of in August last year.

The government will officially announce these new powers for Ofcom on Wednesday 12 February.

But we won’t know right away exactly what new rules will be introduced, or what will happen to tech or social media companies who break the new rules.

Children’s charity the NSPCC has welcomed the news. It says trusting companies to keep children safe online has failed.

“Too many times social media companies have said: ‘We don’t like the idea of children being abused on our sites, we’ll do something, leave it to us,'” said chief executive Peter Wanless.

“Thirteen self-regulatory attempts to keep children safe online have failed.

To enjoy the CBBC Newsround website at its best you will need to have JavaScript turned on.

Back in Feb 2018 YouTube said they were “very sorry” after Newsround found several videos not suitable for children on the YouTube Kids app

The UK government’s Digital Secretary, Baroness Nicky Morgan said: “There are many platforms who ideally would not have wanted regulation, but I think that’s changing.”

“I think they understand now that actually regulation is coming.”

In many countries, social media platforms are allowed to regulate themselves, as long as they stick to local laws on illegal material.

But some, including Germany and Australia, have introduced strict rules to force social media platforms do more to protect users online.

In Australia, social media companies have to pay big fines and bosses can even be sent to prison if they break the rules.

For more information and tips about staying safe online, go to BBC Own It, and find out how to make the internet a better place for all of us.

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