As 2020 comes to a close, we have a wonderful opportunity to take a step back and reflect, and never have we been so eager to see the back of a year!
Instagram: In spite of experiencing a year in which life changed seemingly overnight, we’ve seen our community come together like no other time. People found ways to virtually connect with loved ones despite distance and lockdown restrictions; expressed themselves in new and heart-warming ways; supported their wider communities by rallying around causes they believe in; and championed small-medium businesses, protecting them in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
Instagram was and continues to be part of the moment, capturing those messages of hope and resilience, illustrating the work of everyday heroes, supporting our community when needed, adapting our offering in line with the needs of our community. Like our community this was a year of introspection, growth and change.
Here’s a snapshot of the major features – you enjoyed, and we loved - launched in the MENA region:
Boomerang Creative Modes: the launch of 3 new creative modes for Boomerang - SloMo, Echo and Duo.
Managing Who You Follow: to accommodate the ever-changing and evolving interests of our community, we launched an update, which allows users to manage the accounts they follow on Instagram, so they best represent current connections and interests. The feature provides quick access and easy shortcuts to see the accounts they follow, organized by category, and lets them to edit from there.
Stay Home Sticker: we kicked off our 'Stay Home' sticker for Instagram Stories in order to encourage people to stay inside and practice social distancing amid the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.
Thank You Hour Sticker: we introduced Thank You Hour, a new sticker and shared story that the community used to show gratitude for whatever is helping them through this time.
“Support Small Business” Sticker: as part of our proactive outreach to support small-medium businesses during the pandemic, we introduced the “Support Small Business” sticker on Instagram so people could easily show their love for businesses in Stories. They can mention businesses directly in the sticker to give their followers a preview of the account. When people used the sticker, their story was added to a shared Instagram story, so their followers could see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting. The sticker helped businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.
Reels in Egypt: in Egypt, we launched Reels, a new experience that allowed users to create short-form edited videos and get discovered on a global stage - positioning Instagram as the go to platform for entertainment and self-expression.
Shopping Expansion: previously only available to managed businesses, shopping on Instagram rolled out to all eligible businesses – from the biggest brands to a shop owner setting up an online store to creators and publishers like musicians, athletes, and more.
Cross App: we connected Facebook Messenger to Instagram DMs to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram – so our community can have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app they use.
Guides: we expanded Guides to the region to make it easier to find, curate and share the products, places and posts users love from their favourite accounts on Instagram.
Reels and Shop Tabs: we introduced the Reels and Shop Tabs to Instagram – making it easier for the community to discover short, fun videos from creators all over the world; and giving them a better way to connect with brands and creators and discover products they love.
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