As explained by Instagram:
"You’ll see the new music icon when you use the questions sticker. When your friends respond, they can choose a song directly from the music library to share with you. Open the viewer’s list to see all their responses, and tap the play button to listen to the songs. When you share your favorites to your story, you’ll be able to capture a photo or video as the music plays in the background."
As noted, parent company Facebook has been looking for additional ways to utilize music since it signed a range of agreements with publishers to license such use within its apps. This new option provides an engaging, interesting way to do so, enabling users to showcase their music interests, and have their friends respond to their recommendations.
In addition, users will also now be able to add a new range of video effects within the camera that will respond to the beats and sounds of a song.
The effects will pulse in time to the beat, for example, essentially enabling users to create their own music video clips. It's an interesting option, and you can imagine that it will prove popular over the holiday break.
At the same time, Instagram has also announced a new way to interact within Live videos, with question stickers now available during the broadcast.
The option will make live videos look more professional - rather than having a basic comment stream, broadcasters will be able to choose a question sticker to apply (middle image above), which will then be displayed at the bottom of the video. They can then address this question, with the sticker remaining on screen, providing an easy prompt for those tuning in at different times.
"People going Live can also share photos and videos from their camera roll to their Live video, so you can see behind-the-scenes content from the creators you love."
This could be a great option for brands looking to utilize Instagram Live - the more professional look of the question sticker, and the option to easily share images from your camera roll in response, could make it a much more engaging experience, particularly in regards to Q and A sessions and product tutorials. And as noted, the fact that the question remains on screen will also help those tuning in at different times, as they'll easily be able to understand the context of the discussion.
And one other quick Instagram addition - it's added a new prompt to make it easier to add people to a video chat in Direct.
Now you can add people to an ongoing video chat in Direct. Just swipe up while you're chatting to add more friends and keep the conversation going. pic.twitter.com/is1Zyqjrr3— Instagram (@instagram) December 17, 2018
It's amazing to consider the ways in which Instagram has evolved in 2018 alone, quickly catapulting it into the leading position in social network growth. In many ways, Instagram's rise in popularity has mirrored Facebook's decline, with various reports showing that users are turning away from The Social Network in favor of other, fresher options. That hasn't exactly reduced Facebook's active user count as yet, but the broader sentiment is that while people are still using The Social Network, they're not spending as much time there, while Instagram is seeing increasingly more engagement.
Of course, Facebook wins out either way, owning both platforms, but it will need to work out more ways to monetize Instagram, without being intrusive, in order to capitalize on its growth.
Both music responses in Stories and question stickers in Live are being rolled out in the latest version of Instagram for iOS and Android, starting today.