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Instagram Launches Story Search for Hashtags and Locations

In the ever increasing battle between social media platform juggernauts- Instagram has announced a search feature that will allow users to find stories compiled from around the world based on location or topic. Which is literally the exact same thing Snapchat did two months previously (seriously, how have they not gotten hit with a lawsuit yet?)

Now, when you open up your stories tab you'll be able to search for hashtags (such as #SundayFunday) and see a compilation of user's stories who also include that hashtag. So now when you're feeling down and want to see nothing but stories about #puppies, there is an outlet for you!

So what does this mean for the future of Instagram Stories? Well, a lot actually. Now the platform can be utilized to check the weather in real time at any location, or learn what is going on at any point anywhere in the world. 

While Instagram has publicly stated that for the time being, these featured stories would not utilize Ads, it would beg the question: what is their long term marketing goal with stories. Perhaps this is phase 1 in a large picture of connecting us to the world around us through the photo sharing app. Utilizing ads on IG stories will eventually be implemented; it is just a matter of when. 

Opentable Integrates with Facebook Messenger

Facebook continues to innovate the way we interact with the physical world around us in the digital sphere. Recently, Facebook’s messenger application rolled out a bot for OpenTable, and the hospitality world may never be the same. For those of you who are unfamiliar, OpenTable is a website that allows you to book reservations for your favorite restaurants all while receiving email reminders and loyalty “points” for making sure you don’t skip your allotted dinner time.

How does this change the way OpenTable will work?

Through the integration of OpenTable on FaceBook making dinner plans is now a collaborative and dare we say fun? The Messenger bot allows for groups of friends to search for available restaurants in their area and book their table all without ever leaving the messenger application. In this way it will change the way restaurants market themselves online, especially through the platform of Facebook. The consolidation is absolutely a benefit for the consumer, but OpenTable’s pairing with Facebook is interesting to consider when you think about a potential monopoly forming in the marketing realm. If Facebook integrates every outside platform into their own, are they cannibalizing diversified marketing techniques?

Perhaps it is too soon to tell, but in any case the new roll-out will signal a change in how we make plans with each other to grab after work drinks, or set up that first date.

Catherine Porter, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at OpenTable was recently quoted saying: “Dining out is such a social activity and millions of people are already using Messenger and social media to connect with friends to discuss their dining plans. The OpenTable bot for Messenger is a natural extension of this making planning and booking together even easier.”

As a digital marketing agency that services our fair share of hospitality clients, we can’t wait to employ this feature to pick our next team happy hour. When it comes to wondering whether or not this will dynamically change the world of hospitality marketing, Facebook has been shifting the landscape of online marketing since Day 1; and we’ll be eagerly waiting standby to see what they have coming next.