While swiping through your Instagram Stories feed, you might have noticed a new bubble at the top of your screen during the last week or so. It’s labeled “Support Small Business,” and it’s a new program designed to help independently owned companies to get their names in front of users on the app.
You may have been wondering where the Stories came from, especially if you don’t remember following any new accounts, but it’s actually an aggregate of users that incorporate the “Support Small Business” sticker into their stories. It gathers them all together into this one place, and then you’re able to look through them. I didn’t realize this at first (I thought it was a specific account that Instagram was advertising to users) and found it a strange coincidence that so many of the businesses featured on my feed were jewelers. Proof that my quarantine brain may not be firing on all cylinders.
Like all of Instagram’s Sticker features, this one is simple. Small businesses can use it in their own stories, but the intention, at least as it sounds according to Instagram’s blog, is for others to show the small businesses they support by using the sticker to tag them. This gives their followers a preview of that business’s account, ideally helping that business reach a new audience.
I can see retailers doing this with the independent designers they carry in-store, designers nodding to their retail partners, and so on. I’ve seen people I follow tag their favorite jewelers—in addition to local restaurants they want to help keep in operation through this period. There’s no telling how supportive this new feature really is, but in today’s current crisis, every little but means something.
Instagram is also offering a COVID-19 resource directory for businesses, which can be accessed here.
(Top image via Instagram)Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine