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New Instagram features

Instagram is rolling out new features regularly and if you want to pump up your Instagram marketing game, this article will help you to keep up.

As we’ve experienced in 2018, Instagram is betting huge on the Instagram Stories and the IGTV formats. The statistics and case studies prove their popularity and we expect to see bigger adoption and more features for particularly these two functionalities.

Related to this, start preparing with video capabilities and creative expertise that will adopt the spontaneous, and vertical format that is enduring on mobile.

And here is what’s new with the Instagram platform:

May 2019:

This year’s Facebook Developer conference f8 have brought tons of new updates of the Instagram and the overall Facebook apps family.

Here are few of the major updates for Instagram and if you want to read all the updates click here:

Ability to Shop from Creators

shop creators Instagram profile

This is a huge advancement of how the Instagram platform was used by creators to earn money from brands.

Influencer advertising and sponsored posts have definitely become a cash cow for the platform.

But, till now most of the creators were referring the products they were selling to their inbox or to the brands websites.

This process is obviously not efficient, tracking of the sales attribution can be challenging and the few additional clicks impacts to a lower conversion rates.

Therefore, the new shopping options for the creator profiles will help influencers sell more.

This option works the same as the checkpoint option that was introduced few months ago. The creators will be able to tag their photos with the actually product information that they are promotion and have a direct checkout link so their followers can immidiatly buy it.

The feature is currently in a roll out phase and it will start appearing for some creators in the coming weeks.

Here are some of the creators in the initial test phase:

Aimee SongAlissa AshleyAlondra OrtizAlyssa CoscarelliAnnabelle FleurAshley StrongBlair EadieBrittany XavierCamila CoelhoCandace Parker and more.

New donation sticker

instagram donation sticker

With this sticker Instagram is enabling you to start a fundraising campaign that will help you collect funds via Instagram stories.

Here is how to add a donation sticker:

  1. Tap the sticker icon when creating a story
  2. Select the nonprofit and customize the name of your fundraiser
  3. When people see the sticker, they can tap Donate and enter the amount they want to donate
  4. By swiping up, you can see the donations by usernames and amounts,

Please note that according to Instagram, 100% the funds you rise, will go to the nonprofit and will be available in the US with plans to expand the functionality globally.

New Camera mode

creator camera mode for Instagram

This is a big change in how we post on Instagram.

With the new camera, you will no longer need to upload a photo or video but you can use the creator tools such as text, stickers or the drawing options to express yourself.

April 2019:

Add paragraph space in Instagram captions

Instagram paragraph caption

Your caption editing nightmare is finally over.

Instagram has enabled the ‘Return’ option in your iPhone keyboard that will allow you to add as many spaces you want while directly typing your photo caption in the Instagram app.

To do this, just type the caption and tap on the numbers keystroke (shown in the image above). Once the numbers keyboard appears you will see the Return keystroke. Tap on it once or twice to get paragraph space and continue typing the rest of your caption.

March 2019:

New Marketing Tools for Influencers

According to Vogue, on a journalist breakfast in New York, the Instagram team has introduced new tools for influencer marketing in their platform.

instagram influencer marketing stats

These new changes in making the platform more influencer friendly are in line with the growth of this industry. Influencer marketing is projected to reach $1.7 billion in revenue this year and sponsored posts.

Here are some of the announced tools:

  • Option to promote the influencer sponsored post – until now the posts shared by the influencers reached only their followers. With this new option, the brands can furthermore promote the post of the influencer and reach more people beyond the influencer’s network.
  • More analytics for sponsored posts – brands will get tools to view analytics of the sponsored content that an influencer shared. By doing this, brands are protected from misleading screenshots or other manipulation if the results that the influencer activity brought for the brand.
  • Expanding the “paid partnership” tag – this means that Instagram want to include influencers that do not have a huge following but are very good creators and can help brands reach a relevant, niche audience.

New Instagram Profile Design

new instagram profiles

Few months ago, Instagram announced that they were testing new layouts and designs of the Instagram profiles. 

The new layout is massively being rollout for the past few days and it looks like that we will start seeing more and more of this new design.

The new change of the design emphasizes the user not their number of followers. And the number of posts is no longer displayed in the profile.

The new change of the design emphasizes the user not their number of followers. And the number of posts is no longer displayed in the profile.

January 2019:

Share Instagram Stories

Finally, you will be able to share the link of the story to other platforms or amongst your friends. This option is already rolled out and you can find it by following these steps:

  1. Publish a story
  2. Tap on the 3 dots in the right bottom
  3. Tap ‘Share link to Entire Story’
share link instagram story

Promote Instagram Stories With One Click

Till this date, if you wanted to create Instagram story ads, you would probably need to have a desktop, go to your Facebook ad account and from there create the Instagram Story Ads.

But now, Instagram has made the ad’s creation very easy.

You can use your mobile app, only!

If you already have a Facebook Ads account connected with your Facebook Page and thus an Instagram account connect with this Facebook Page, you are good to go.

Here are the steps how to boost Instagram story:

  1. Publish a story
  2. Tap on the 3 dots in the right bottom
  3. Tap ‘Promote’
share link instagram story

New Countdown Sticker for Instagram Stories

Instagram continues to bring interactions to the story format, and one of the latest features is the release of a Countdown sticker that brands can use to create teasers, share countdown for an event or special discount day that users can share in their stories or set up a reminder.

The Countdown sticker functionality includes an option to add a title, a specific date and customize its color.

To access this option, just tap the sticker icon at the top settings bar and click on the Countdown sticker.

instagram stories countdown

How followers can interact with the countdown sticker?

Once you share the story with the countdown sticker, your followers can tap on the arrow in the corner of the sticker and set up a reminder or share it with their stories. And the coolest feature is that when the countdown ends everybody that saved the remainder will receive a notification as a direct message.

instagram countdown reminder

If you see this feature from a marketing perspective, it seems like an interesting opt-in option that can help you understand who is strongly interested in the campaign you are launching and having the reminder option gives you an additional trigger about the intent of the followers in their strong interaction with your brand.

New Questions Sticker for Instagram Stories

Instagram questions sticker

This is not the newest feature but it is good to consider it when planning your Instagram campaigns.

Similar to the Countdown sticker, Instagram is releasing complex functionalities in the Stories in order to enhance the interactions with followers on a totally new and different way. The new Questions sticker can do this and much more.

So what is the Questions sticker?

It is an option to ask a question in a story and people that view it can respond and write their answers.

How to view the answers?

Just open your story and swipe up. In the viewers’ section, you can see the username who answered and his/her response.

view instagram answers

Once you view the answers you can share them in your story by taping Reply that will open a new screen to take a photo or video and post it in the story with the user’s answer. Please note that this functionality will not show the username of the person but just their response text.

How to use the Questions sticker?

The main use cases for this stickers vary and you can think about campaigns that boost interaction amongs your followers. Here are some examples:

  • Create a survey – for example, you can ask about a product new packaging that you will show in the story and get valuable feedback;
  • Enhance interaction in Instagram LIVE – if you run a live video tutorial or some sort of a webinar, the Questions sticker can help you collect questions from the users that you can answer in the live video.
  • Insetivise for interaction – use the questions to organize a giveaway or a contest, so you will boost the interaction and reward the most active followers.

Bonus: Let your followers answer with a song:

instagram story with song

Recently Instagram enhanced this sticker with a new option to ask a question that requires an answer with a song. The answers with the songs can be viewed in the same viewers’ section of your story where you can tap and play the song. If you share the favorites in a new story the song will play in the background.

Additionally, new video effects are available in the camera options, where you can film a video and by using the ‘Music’ options you can add filters that respond to the beats in the song.

Please note: we will continue to update this article, as soon as new Instagram features are announced.

Avatar for Nikola Bojkov
Nikola Bojkov

CEO of EmbedSocial | Facebook ads craftsmen | Previous founder of a Facebook Partner Company | Lena's Dad.