Instagram recently announced an update that will bring two new features to the social media platform. To start – the ability to add hashtags and profile links to a user’s bio. The other new feature that Instagram is looking at includes the possibility of “stealing” Snapchat’s QR code feature. Assets of QR code functionality were recently found in the Android app. Known as “Nametag scan” in the files. This potential feature could let users scan QR codes in order to open profiles of individuals or even businesses.
But let’s get back to the hashtag feature to start. Is this feature a big deal? In my opinion, no. It’s extremely minor. Whenever you mention another account or hashtag in your profile, it will display the actual link that others can use to access that profile. So, for example, we have @SaintelDaily listed in our profile. Before the change, it was just regular text and not a proper link. But now, the profile @SaintelDaily will be available as a link. Making it easier for you to get to said profile.
If you also love a specific hashtag, like #technology, you can also put that in your bio. It will then link out to recently uploaded photos that have the same hashtag and their descriptions or comments. Instagram recently added the ability to follow hashtags in your main feed. This is in addition to being able to follow people. They made this update back in December, and I think this was a great move on their part.
If you want to include a real link to a URL outside of your Instagram account – say www.sainteldaily.com, you can only do that in the “website” field. These new feature profile components are meant to keep you on Instagram itself. Rather than sending you outside. How do you do it? To add a hashtag or profile link in your bio, just tap on Edit Profile and go to the bio section. When you type a # or @, you will see a list of recommended hashtags and accounts in the typeahead. Once you select the hashtags and accounts you want, they will automatically be linked to your bio.
As far as the QR code feature goes – this isn’t new. In fact, Snapchat added the feature back in January 2017. What the Snapchat version does is lets users create a unique Snapcode for a website. This will then open inside Snapchat when they scan it with the app’s camera. This feature creates a powerful way for businesses and other sites to promote themselves – instead of just using a URL. On one hand this is a good move for Instagram, but on the other hand, it makes me wonder why Instagram hasn’t thought of doing this before now?
Instagram is known for ripping of Snapchat features, but again, why has it taken them so long to borrow this feature? My guess is that Instagram is getting so big that they need to start branching out in order to keep users and get new ones. While Instagram hasn’t confirmed that they will definitely be pursuing this feature, it is a likely next step for them.