Instagram has just added a few new useful tools to its popular Stories feature.
Launched earlier this year, Stories works by letting Instagram users post a series of photos & videos that are stitched together in a slideshow format.
These Stories, which last month hit 100m daily active users, then disappear after 24 hours.
And now Instagram has announced it is adding the ability to add links to your stories, as well as mentions and Boomerang clips.
Most interesting for brands is the introduction of links, allowing businesses to better promote themselves using Stories.
When viewing a story, Instagram now lets users visit a link by clicking to “See More”, or swiping up to view the link inside the app.
This move was designed to satisfy both brands and users, by introducing link-sharing capabilities without harming the user experience and opening up separate browsers.
At the moment, this feature is currently only available to verified accounts on Instagram, but could be rolled out to all users in the future.
The new tool, which is not something Snapchat offers, will likely be welcomed by brands looking to promote their products, especially with regards to celebrity endorsements, as well as media titles.
Instagram has also added the ability to mention other users in a story, by @ing them when posting a video or picture.
Boomerang, a short gif-style video creation tool, has also been integrated with the photo-sharing platform’s new story feature.
This week the CEO of Instagram revealed that the company was planning on adding live streaming to the platform at some point.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Kevin Systrom said: “Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing.
“If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them.”
Read more about the changes here.