We used social-first data to chart this year’s most mentioned Instagram updates.
The results are true of the period between January 1st and August 1st 2018.
IGTV leads with 73% of the total conversation around this year’s new features.
Of all the new features Instagram has launched this year, none have caused as much anguish as Questions Stickers for Instagram Stories, which tops our list of 2018’s most hated platform updates.
But negative press aside, the controversial tool is also the second-most talked about feature to land this year, according to our AI-led analysis of 257,000 tweets around this year’s most anticipated app updates and platform tweaks.
Question Stickers recorded 24,237 mentions on Twitter, with 10% of those tweets registered as negative and a mere 5% deemed positive – the remaining percentage shows indifference. Of course, the bulk of that negativity stems from users being irked about the tool’s lack of anonymity – an admission that went viral days later.
But it was IGTV, the platform’s new-age vertical video hub and YouTube rival, that dominated the conversation on social media. IGTV generated 188,669 mentions between January 1st and August 1st, including 20,203 mentions on June 20 (the day of its launch) to beat Music in Stories, GIFs and Mention Stickers.
IGTV, which is fast attracting loyal YouTube and Snapchat creators, also received 35 times more conversation than Shoppable Tags, which accrued just 5,430 mentions, despite build-up dating back a year. The figures put product post functionality – a key development in Instagram’s social commerce plans – behind Stories’ popular Type Mode and emoji slider polls, which received 8,897 and 6,464 mentions each.
Weighing in on the IGTV buzz, Roxanne Parker, our social media director, said: “There’s little doubt IGTV will prove as significant as Stories and the Explore tab for Instagram, as more of our favourite content creators migrate here from Snapchat and YouTube. The hype around IGTV’s release really took off in conversations on Twitter, which is why AI-led research into post volume and sentiment is so valuable for all marketers, especially for an indication of the trends or releases that are most likely to gain traction.”
To find out which update caused the greatest emotional response, we also dug deeper into the emotion (sentiment) surrounding each update. We found that although Instagram was forced to temporarily pull the plug on its partnership with Giphy, GIFs were this year’s second-most-loved update. 11% of the 8,643 tweets surrounding their launch were positive; although inevitably, it was IGTV that took the crown again with 19% of tweets showing considerable enthusiasm.
In total, we monitored the conversation around 15 of 2018’s biggest Instagram updates using Crimson Hexagon, as shown below in order of most to least popular. Positive and negative sentiment are given as percentages – the remaining percentages relate to indifference or neutral sentiment.
“Facebook has been the subject of a number of scandals this year, from Cambridge Analytica to the fiasco surrounding Russian interference, but Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012, has skyrocketed in popularity and user-base,” says Dominic McGregor, our COO and co-founder.
“Instagram’s focus on commerce, combined with the overwhelming popularity of Stories and now vertical video in IGTV, has been crucial. Yes, they’ve been accused of cloning features like Stories, which was originally a Snapchat product, but when it comes to innovation and knowing what today’s users want, Instagram wins every time.”
Instagram recently marked the two-year anniversary of Stories in August. Now reports state it could be worth more than $100 billion. eMarketer also predicts that the platform is set to generate $5.48 billion in U.S. ad revenue in 2018, up 70% from last year after reaching a billion monthly active users in June.
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