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How to Use Instagram to Generate Organic Leads

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WhatsApp pilots new feature to fight misinformation: Search the web

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WhatsApp,  one of the most popular instant messaging platforms on the planet, has rolled out a new feature in select markets that makes it easier for users to verify whether the assertions made in messages they have received on the app are true.

The Facebook -owned service has enabled users in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. to click on a magnifying glass-shaped icon next to frequently forwarded messages — those that have been forwarded at least five times — to search the web for their contents and verify them.

WhatsApp said the new feature, called “search the web,” works by allowing users to upload the text message via their browser. This means that WhatsApp itself never sees the content of any message, it said in a blog post. (The feature currently does not support looking up images and videos.)

The feature, available across WhatsApp’s Android, iOS and Web apps, is in pilot stage, the messaging platform said. It remains unclear how soon WhatsApp intends to roll out this feature, which it began testing several months ago, to users across the globe.

But regardless, the new feature comes at a time when WhatsApp and other messaging platforms are being used more often than ever before as people stay in touch with their friends, families and colleagues at the height of a global pandemic.

WhatsApp, which has been forced to confront the spread of misinformation on its platform in recent years, has introduced several features and imposed restrictions to better control the flow in the past year.

In April, WhatsApp put in place additional restriction on how frequently a message could be shared on its platform. WhatsApp said that any message that has been forwarded five or more times will now face a new limit that will prevent a user from forwarding it to more than one chat (contact) at a time. Weeks later, volume of “highly forwarded” messages had already dropped by 70% globally, it claimed.

Read full story at Tech Crunch 

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How to Use Instagram on Your Desktop

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15 Instagram Stories Apps to Help You Create Thumb-Stopping Content

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Instagram Stories have more than half a billion users watching them everyday. Half. A. Billion. That’s more than everyone who…

July 23, 2020
Instagram Stories have more than half a billion users watching them everyday. Half. A. Billion. That’s more than everyone who has ever suffered through one of my improv shows combined, if you can believe it!

If you’re a social media manager, these are some seriously compelling numbers. (Also: will you come to my next show?) Instagram Stories are a golden opportunity to reach your audience. And with the growing suite of apps that help make stories even more captivating, the potential for creativity is endless.

If you’re new to Instagram Stories or are just struggling to get your stories to convert, read on for our favorite cool tools to create unique, eye-catching content.

(And if you’re looking for some inspiration for engaging Instagram posts, too, head over to our Instagram Apps blog post.)

15 Instagram Story apps marketers should know

1. Spark AR Studio

Instagram stories spark AR studio

What to use it for: Though filters have been around since 2017, we are in the midst of filtermania—and with the release of the Facebook-owned Spark AR Studio, you don’t need to be a coder to create your own interactive augmented reality experience.

Whether you’re creating a virtual makeover filter for your cosmetics brand, or a healthy snack company launching a cheeky “What Nut Am I” AR quiz, this is an opportunity to put your stamp on users’ Stories.

Key features:

  • Free sample projects and assets
  • Icon templates for your Instagram or Facebook effects
  • Robust tutorials
  • Use face, hand tracking or touch gestures, and add audio, light or 3D objects

Price: Free

Download: Creator on Windows or Mac; Spark AR Player for iOS or Android

2. Hootsuite

Creating an Instagram story in Hootsuite

What to use it for: Scheduling your Stories

Plan and create your Story content in advance, and then use Hootsuite to post it at the optimum time for maximum eyeballs. Here’s the how-to guide if you’re really keen to master the art of Story scheduling in advance.

Key features:

  • Create content in advance to post at your own pace
  • Edit your images directly in the dashboard
  • Upload Stories from desktop or mobile

Price: 30 day free trial

Download: Desktop, iOS and Android

3. VSCO

Instagram stories apps vsco

What to use it for: This is the gold standard for photo editing (whether or not you identify as a VSCO girl), with professional-looking editing presets and highly detailed tools for adjusting color, texture, light, and perspective. High-definition RAW photos from your professional camera can be easily imported and tweaked on the go, so your snaps can look good even if your phone-tography skills aren’t perfect.

Key features:

  • 10 free presets (200-plus available for paid subscribers)
  • Editing tools and textures
  • Video editing, including color control
  • Build montages with videos, photos and shapes

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS and Android

4. Unfold

Instagram stories app Unfold

What to use it for: Unfold bills itself as “a toolkit for storytellers,” featuring a variety of photo and text layout templates that make every Story look like a mini digital magazine.

Key features:

  • Over 200 template options (some paid)
  • Advanced text tools offer a variety of font and styles
  • Built-in photo-editing tools
  • For paid subscribers, early access to new templates

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS or Android

5. Patternator

Instagram stories app Patternator

What to use it for: Create playful animated backdrops for your stories using a library of gifs and quirky images, or add in your own photo stickers to really customize the experience. Tweak the speed and movement of the cascading graphics to complete your delightfully dizzying personalized video wallpaper.

Key features:

  • 23 pre-set pattern options, plus tools to tweak movement and layout
  • Export as a gif, video, live wallpaper, or HD image

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS and Android

6. Lifelapse

Instagram stories app Lifelapse

What to use it for: Attention-grabbing stop motion videos. The in-app academy walks you through best practices and techniques for a perfectly polished final product.

Key features:

  • Ghosted image overlaps for easy shooting
  • In-app video editing tools
  • Add music (premium only)
  • Interval timer and one-shot timer

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS and Android

7. Storyluxe

Instagram stories app storyluxe

What to use it for: Stylish photo collages for daaaays. Templates mimic the look of film strips, or taped together photos; neon elements add some serious punch.

Key features:

  • Custom branding watermark (premium only)
  • Themed templates: choose from categories like “paper,” “collage,” or “tape.”
  • Add text and patterned backgrounds
  • Export directly to Instagram Stories

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS only

8. Enlight Pixaloop

Instagram stories app enlight pixaloop

What to use it for: Can’t decide between a video and a photo? This editing app offers the best of both worlds, animating static pictures to create dynamic ones. Add elements and overlays, then adjust the speed for customized movement. Move the clouds in the sky, make hair blow in the wind like there’s a magic Beyoncé wind machine, whatever you want! Magic!

Download your free pack of 20 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Download the templates now!

Key features:

  • Add moving elements to still photos with user-friendly functionality
  • Control movement, direction, speed, and style
  • Sky replacement technology and AI water animation

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS and Android

9. Typorama

Instagram stories app typorama

What to use it for: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But what about a picture with words on it? A thousand-plus! Yowza! Typorama layers beautiful typographic elements atop your photos for a stand-out blend of photo and text.

Key features:

  • 100+ different fonts and typefaces
  • 3D distortion and shadows for text
  • Gradients, overlays and adjustment tools
  • On-trend color palettes

Price: Free, with paid premium features

Download: iOS and Android

Read entire article at Hootsuite.com

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