With the rising popularity of Instagram Stories, and the propensity for people to add stickers and effects to their Stories frames, Instagram's cause-based stickers must be having some impact.
This week, Instagram has launched a new cause sticker for Stories which aims to highlight the importance of social distancing, and staying home to limit the spread of COVID-19.
As you can see here, the new '#IStayHomeFor' sticker gives users the opportunity to boost awareness by highlighting people that they know who may be at higher risk of contracting a more serious dose of the virus.
As per Instagram:
"Add the Stay Home sticker to your story, tap it and you’ll see the #IStayHomeFor option. From there, you can tag the people you love."
This is an important messaging approach for younger audiences. Thus far, the available research suggests that COVID-19 is not a major health risk for younger people, but it can be fatal for those in older brackets. So while the majority of Instagram's user base is under the age of 34, and may not consider COVID-19 to be a significant threat to them personally, by highlighting the extended impacts to other family and friends, it could help to underline the importance of social distancing for all, regardless of your risk level.
It's the latest in Instagram's cause-related stickers, which its been using to help amplify relevant issues and rally support via the app.
Back in October, when it launched its 'Restrict' mode, Instagram added a 'Create Don't Hate' sticker to discourage cyberbullying, while it also launched a sticker to thank healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak last month.
More recent than that, Instagram has also added a 'Stay Home' sticker for Stories, which comes with an added benefit of extra exposure, as all public Stories that use the Sticker can appear in a collected Story stream, highlighting how people are coping with the lockdowns.
Instagram's even customized some of its existing stickers to better align with causes - last week, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri responded to a user request to change the 'Ask me a question' sticker to 'How can I help?' instead, in light of the current situation.
Clearly, Instagram's cause stickers must be having some impact, otherwise they wouldn't keep adding them. And while it may not seem like a significant gesture, simply having a celebrity or well-known person post using these stickers could have a big impact on user behavior.
Worst case is that no one uses them - and if they can contribute in some way, then it's a positive move, without requiring significant back-end work for the platform.
Instagram's #IStayHomeFor sticker is now available in all regions.