Instagram never stops to surprise us. While the world is trying to stay resilient through these tough economic times, it is exciting to see how Instagram is rapidly developing new features and functionalities to tackle main business issues and help users support their favorite brands.
And now, more than ever, keeping up with what’s new on Instagram can be quite a challenge. There are new Instagram features almost every week.
To help you stay up-to-date with the latest Instagram updates and adjust your business to them, we put together a list of the latest updates you may not know about and don’t know how to use them.
Keep in mind that Instagram is constantly adding and removing features (now faster than ever). And I’m sure you want to keep your business account trending.
So in case you don’t have some of the features we listed, don’t worry – they are coming on your way! Or better, subscribe for our newsletter and we will bring all new Instagram updates right to your inbox:
- Top Instagram Updates in June 2022
- Take a break feature
- Updates for Sensitive Content Control On Instagram
- Top Instagram Updates in May 2022
- Quote request on Instagram
- New Instagram update rolled out
- Top Instagram Updates in April 2022
- Top Instagram Updates in March 2022
- Top Instagram Updates in February 2022
- Top Instagram Updates in January 2022
- New Instagram updates December 2021
- New Instagram updates November 2021
- New Instagram updates October 2021
- New Instagram updates September 2021
- New Instagram Updates August 2021
- New Instagram Updates July 2021
- New Instagram Updates June 2021
- New Instagram Features May 2021
- New Instagram Features April 2021
- New Instagram Features March 2021
- New Instagram Features February 2021
- New Instagram Features January 2021
- Top Instagram Updates in 2020
- New Instagram Features December 2020
- New Instagram Features November 2020
- New Instagram Features October 2020
- New Instagram Features September 2020
- New Instagram updates in August 2020
- New Instagram updates in July 2020
- New Instagram updates in May 2020
- New Instagram updates in March 2020
- New Instagram updates in February 2020
- New Instagram updates in January 2020
Top Instagram Updates in June 2022
Instagram launches new ways for people to confirm their age
There are three options:
- You can upload your ID
- Social vouching – Instagram will suggest you 6 people that are mutual followers, that are 18 or over themselves, and who are meeting a series of other criteria, and you can pick 3 people. Then, Instagram is going to ask them to verify your age on your behalf.
- Face-based age prediction, for which Instagram is partnering with Yoti – You will be asked to send a short video selfie, and then Instagram will send that image over to their partner Yoti. They will use that selfie to predict your age. There is no facial recognition, so there is no way to tell what your identity is. This photo will be used just to predict your age. Yoti will send this photo back to Instagram and then delete it. That way, Instagram is protecting people’s privacy.
Updates to Instagram captions for Reels
Auto-generated captions on Reels
When you upload an Instagram Reel, auto-generated captions will automatically be turned on. With this feature, Instagram is making the process of captioning content more seamless for creators while making Instagram more accessible for members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, in addition to people who consume videos with sound off.
- How does it work?
When uploading an IG video auto captions will be turned on automatically. To turn off the audio captions, tap “Advanced Settings” in the upload flow and toggle “Captions” off by clicking the switch. This will automatically disable captions for all of your videos going forward. When viewing a video, you can tap on the overflow menu and select “Manage Captions” to access a switch to turn on and off captions.
AR Closed Captions
Instagram is launching new, stylized closed caption AR effects for Reels that let you easily elevate your video in fun and creative ways. Now you can turn dialogue into humorous, fun, and engaging closed captions that look like a text message chat (Bubble Captions), spew from your mouth (Mumble Captions), or that look straight out of a comic book (Comic Captions). All three new closed caption effects are accessible from the effects gallery.
- How does it work?
Open the Instagram camera and either before recording or after uploading from the gallery, tap the effects icon. Search for Bubble Captions, Mumble Captions, or Comic Captions. Tap the effect you want to use and record with the effect or apply the effect to your uploaded gallery content.
3 New audio features in Instagram Reels
- Adjust volume and add voiceover – You can find them by clicking the song note icon on the preview screen after you’ve uploaded your reel.
- Import audio – You can import audio from any reel that you have in your library and overlay it onto your video.
- Text-to-Speech – Sometimes you don’t want to hear the sound of your own voice, so you can just type text in and a fun voice will read it right over your video.
Instagram is testing Creators Marketplace
Instagram just announced that they are testing its new creator marketplace.
This feature will allow creators to connect with brands for branded content partnerships, directly within the app.
The goal of the marketplace is to help creators indicate their interests and select brands they’re interested in partnering with.
On the other side, it will also help brands easily discover, connect, and collaborate with creators.
Plus, the marketplace will enable brands to securely pay the most strategic creators for their branded content partnerships.
This is a great opportunity for both creators and brands to connect and create amazing content!
Here is how it will work:
Creators can define your interests
Creators will have an option to define what are their interests and select up to 10 items that mostly qualify the profile of the creator.
By doing this, the platform will easily match what type of creators a particular brand is looking for.
Brands will have the option to send projects to selected creators all within the Instagram app and in a simple message. The creator can view all the details including the payment rate and they can choose to accept or reject the project.
Get proposals in partnerships folder
After a brand expresses interest in working with a particular creator, they can reach out with the project and the creator will receive the it within a separate Partnerships tab in their Primary inbox in the Instagram app.
And of course, Instagram will process the payments for a project, meaning that creators will be able to receive their payment within the Instagram app.
Parental control on Instagram – 4 new updates
- Parental control is rolling out in 7 more countries worldwide: the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France, and Germany.
- Parents can initiate the supervision of their teen’s Instagram account, and both parent and teen must agree to switch on the feature.
- Parents can set periods during the week, i.e., times and days when their teen can’t use Instagram.
- Parents will be provided information when their teen reports something on Instagram. The data will include who and what they have specifically reported.
Take a break feature
It lets you know how much you have spent on Instagram and encourages you to do something else rather than spending time on Instagram.
Encourages creators to raise awareness about mental health and well-being
If you spend too much time on one topic, Instagram will let you know that you consumed too much time on that one topic and suggest you explore another topic.
Tis is very helpful for discovering more interesting things on Instagram and getting more from the platform.
New Features for Creators on Instagram
As creators are becoming significant users of Instagram, the platform has done tons of new features designed explicitly for Creators.
Extending Reels videos
From 60 to 90 seconds now, users can create videos on REels that are 90 seconds long
Import your own audio in Reels
This heavily requested feature allows users to record anything and use that as audio to their Reels videos.
Interactive stickers in Reels
Quiz, emoji sliders, and poll stickers are coming to Reels, making them more interactive as the Stories are.
An ability to pin photos to the top of the grid in the profile.
It is allowed to pin up to 3 photos or videos.
To start pinning, just follow these steps:
- go to the post you want to pin,
- Tap the 3 dots in the top-right corner
- Choose ‘Pin to your profile’
Updates for Sensitive Content Control On Instagram
Last year Instagram launched the Sensitive Control Center, where users can define the level of sensitive content that will appear in discover from accounts they dont follow.
With the new update, and in addition to Explore, Instagram is giving more options to control sensitive accounts in Search, Accounts You Might Follow, Reels, Hashtag Pages, and In-Feed Recommendations.
Now the Sensitive Content Control center has three options: “More,” “Standard,” and “Less.”
- “Standard” is the default state and will prevent people from seeing some sensitive content and accounts.
- “More” enables people to see more sensitive content and accounts,
- “Less” will see less of this content than the default state.
For people under 18, the “More” option is unavailable.
To access these options, just tap Settings > Tap Account > Choose Sensitive Content Control > And choose one of the 3 options.
Support Amber Alerts on Instagram
Instagram is launching Amber Alerts in 25 countries around the world. If you are in an area where a child is missing, you will see an Amber Alert.
The Alert includes:
- A photo of the missing child
- Details about the missing child
- Contact details to report any information about the child
Instagram supports Amber Alerts as a partnership with the National center for missing and exploited children.
Top Instagram Updates in May 2022
Quote request on Instagram
At the recent Conversations event, Meta announced that they are testing the ‘Quote request’ feature to allow businesses to add a ‘Get Quote’ button on their Instagram profile.
Additionally, the ‘Get Quote’ sticker will be available in Instagram stories, which will allow Instagram users to quickly request a quote about a particular product or service that the brand is promoting on their Instagram account.
The functionality will allow users to add custom questions that they can ask the customer prior to the conversion in their Instagram Direct messages.
With this feature, Instagram is expanding its lead generation and customer acquisition tools.
New Instagram update rolled out
The new update of the Instagram posts format that we reported a few weeks ago is now fully rolled out, and the users are sending their initial impressions.
Just a reminder, Instagram did a major update of how all the posts, videos, or images appear in the main feed. All posts display in a vertical full-screen format with this new update. The change impacts the square format of the photos as now they show a blended background that corresponds with the image color.
Plus, Instagram updated the way the image carousels slide. Now users need to actuall swipe instead to tap and go to the next image – making it difficult for the users to adopt this new change.
Related to this, some of the users are already complaining that this change messed up the previous design of their feeds and are not big fans of this new update.
What about you?
Refreshed Instagram branding and logo
If you have updated the Instagram mobile app recently, you might have noticed the lighter version of the Instagram app logo.
It is not a glitch or a mistake. It is a new, refreshed update of the Instagram branding that includes
- lighter color palate
- new Instagram Sans font
- bold creator-focused imaginary
Watch the video below to see all the changes. Or visit brand.instagram.com to see all the changes in the Instagram branding.
Content accessibility features on Instagram
According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 billion people have ‘ disabling’ hearing loss, and 285 million+ people are with vision impairments.
And for the past years, Instagram has been making tons of app improvements on iOS and Android to make sure it meets the accessibility needs.
To encourage creators to make sure their content is also accessible, here is the Isntagram/s official Accessibility One-Pager with tips on how to use
- Auto-generated Captions on Instagram Video
- Captions Sticker on Stories & Reels
- Translations in Feed, Profile & Stories
- Alternative Text for Posts
NFTs on Instagram
Instagram just launched a new functionality for NFT creators and collectors to share their NFTs on Instagram.
This is a huge step in the development of the creator economy. Why? Well, it is directly stimulating the creators to make money out of their work.
Now there are different Instagram monetization options, but a very interesting niche is the NFT community and the collectors or creators of these unique digital tokens.
To become part of the NFT community, Instagram announced a simple way for people to share NFTs they bought – in Stories, messages, or Feed.
Instagram is a centralized platform but is aimed to learn from the community and better understand the new web 3.0 decentralized web.
New immerse experience in the Home Feed
Instagram/s CEO announced that they are testing a new immerse experience in the main Home feed in the Instagram app.
This means that video will become a bigger part of the feed, and takes up bigger space. Both photos and videos will take more of your screen – will have a taller format
The goal of these feed changes is to learn how people prefer to interact on mobile and if this 9:16 format is proven to be better for a mobile-first experience. Well, if we compare it with TikTok we can see that they are already full-screen by default, and maybe this change comes as an influence of the competition.
Here are some of the initial comments about these changes:
it’s really important for us creators to understand how many people this effects. when I edit a video and photo, i need to know where to draw your eye to, where to put certain text graphics. for not everyone to have the same experience is really frustrating@jeremyjacobowitz
I don’t love it. It feels a bit crowded and too hard to comment / meaningfully engage.@blairimani
Top Instagram Updates in April 2022
Expanding Product Tagging in Instagram Feed to Everyone
On April 18th, 2022 Instagram announced that the product tagging feature is now available for anyone in the U.S.
This feature was previously accessible only to creators and brands and now everyone can use it for tagging products in their feed.
With this update users in the U.S will be able to tag a brand and then specify a product on their published feed posts. People that tap on the product tag will see detailed information about the product. They can also purchase the product directly from the app or through the brand’s product detail page.
How to add Product tags:
- Start by creating a post on the Feed
- Tap ‘Tag people’
- Search for the brand and tag it first. Two options should show up at the bottom – ‘People’ & ‘Products’.
- Tap ‘Products’
- Tap your photo to start tagging products. Use descriptions to find the product and then specify any styles or colors. When you are done tap to add a tag.
- Share the post on your feed
For now, product tagging is only available for posts to the feed but Instagram is working on enabling this feature for stories in the near future.
Instagram updates editing tools for reels
In case you didn’t notice, Instagram recently updated the editing tools on one of their most popular features – Instagram reels. This update should help you trim and re-arrange your video clips within the Reels composer easier than before.
Now you can reorder, delete and trim each of your clips in just a few taps.
How it works:
- Go to your Instagram app and open Reels camera
- Record a video or upload an existing one from your gallery
- Proceed to ‘preview video clips‘ and tap edit clips on the bottom left corner
- You can tap the reorder button to enter reorder mode and use drag and drop to delete or reorder your clips.
- If you want you can add more clips by tapping on the ‘add clips button‘
- After you are finished with editing post your Reel!
New Hashtag Experience
Recently, Instagram launched new hashtag options for Instagram users to support, fundraise and spread the word about an important social cause.
Here is what’s new:
Working with relevant organizations, Instagram defines which of these hashtags are relevant and represent an actual cause.
Furthermore, each of the hashtags gets a destination, like a dedicated hashtag page where the users will be able to create a fundraiser or share to spread across their network.
This means that now you will be able to search for hashtags like #blacklivesmatter, #womensrights, or #climateaction and get to their own dedicated pages.
Currently, this is relevant for causes in the US only, starting with 35 hand-picked hashtags.
New messaging features
As announced this year, Instagram will focus more and more on messaging as a crucial feature of making the network more engaging for its users.
The latest Instagram updates include a few new hidden gems to improve messaging. Here they are:
Active now – On the top of your inbox, you will see a showcase of the active friends at the moment, so you can choose who to chat with now.
@Silent – using this option, you can send the DM, but it will not send a push notification to the person you are writing to. This is useful if you write late at night and don’t want to disturb them.
Quick Sent – if you are scrolling the feed and find content you want to DM to your friends, now you can long tap on the Arrow icon, and it will popup icons from your friends that when you tap on their avatar it will quickly send the link to the post into their DM.
New music sharing – with the integration with Apple, Amazon Music, and soon with Spotify, will allow users from these apps to share a 30-second clip of a song to their friends in an Instagram DM.
Top Instagram Updates in March 2022
Instagram introduces a new Enhanced tag feature for giving credit to creators.
Instagram announced a new feature named Enhanced tags that enables you to tag all the contributors and collaborators in your post.
This means that now you can give credit to all people “behind the scenes”. You can tag the makeup artists, photographers, designers in your post and make it easier for them to be recognized as creators and find new opportunities.
“For many Black and underrepresented creators, crediting is an entryway to building a sustainable career as a creator, while combating cultural appropriation and ensuring the world knows who is driving culture.”Instagram announcment.
How to start using the enhanced tags feature?
Open the Instagram app and tap the (+) in the top right corner
- Create a new Post and tap Next
- Make any edits and tap Next
- After adding a caption, tap Tag People
- Select Add Tag to search and select your contributors
- Tap Show Profile Category to display the creator category
- Tap Done
Once you’ve added (if any) additional tags and details, tap Share.
That’s it. The tags with the creators’ category on Instagram will appear on the post. When tapped on a tag, a bottom drawer will appear with direct links to follow the tagged users.
Top Instagram Updates in February 2022
Finally, Meta launched the long-awaited 3D avatars that have already rolled out to users in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
3d Avatars are a new visual representation of the users’ more dynamic identities than the static social media profiles.
The idea behind the avatars is to create them in the Instagram, Facebook, or Messenger apps. Still, it can take them across the Metaverse together with all your digital belongings, such as clothes, collectibles, bags, etc.
To get started, follow the detailed guide to create your 3d avatar.
Top Instagram Updates in January 2022
Scheduling Live in Instagram profile
The option to go Live on Instagram is available for some time. And with this new add-on, users are able to separate the Live from their posts or Stories and schedule it on their profile.
To make this feature more visible, Profiles will get a badge with the information of the schedule live. Plus their followers will be able to opt in to get a notification the moment the Live is available.
This is big for creators and influencers, and it’s a new way for them to make more money on Instagram and with bigger predictability.
Subscriptions allow creators to monetize and become closer to their followers through exclusive experiencesAdam Mosseri, Head of Instagram
Subscriptions are the best way to be sure that the revenue for the creators will be solely dependent on their content and not on the reach or other parameters.
This new feature is currently rolled out to selected users and hopefully will expand to more creators soon.
Subscriptions basically will allow three different types of content that people can subscribe to:
- Subscriber Lives – creatorss go live only to their subscribers
- Subscriber Stories – will be marked with a purple ring so subscribers will know that they are published solllely for them
- Subscriber Badges – subscribers will get a purple badge so the creators will differentiate them in DMs and comments.
In short, followers will pay a monthly subscription to exclusive content that their favorite creators publish – like unique Live videos or Instagram stories available only to the subscribers.
As the creators own the subscriber list, they should be able to export it to other platforms. Adam pointed out that they are working on allowing creators to bring their subscribers on other platforms or apps, so they are not dependent on Instagram.
Chronological order of the feed
Adma Mosseri, the Instagram CEO, started the year with a big announcement and shared information that they are testing a chronological order of the feed. He introduced three new options – Home, Favorites, and Following so every Instagram user can choose how they prefer to see the order of the posts in their home screen (two of which would give the option to see posts in chronological order):
- Home: will work as it is now and will give the same user experience as we all know it – posts ordering is based on the algoritham’s process. Basicly this alhoritham ranks the content based on how interested it thinks the user will spend most of their time;
- Favourites: will show the posts from the accounts that the users indicated that they are their favourite accounts
- Following: it will be a chronological list of the accounts the user follow. – which basily is the old way of ordering the posts in most of the social media apps .
We will keep updating this article with new Instagram features. So feel free to come back again or subscribe below to our newsletter to get first-hand information about the latest Instagram and other social media trends.
New Instagram updates December 2021
New tool to customize Link Sticker in Instagram Stories
Recently, Instagram introduced Link Stickers the ability to add links to Instagram stories and an option that is now available to all users – not just users with more than 10,000 followers with was the case before.
This option is very simple and it displays a sticker that when tapped opens an external link. Now, this feature is extended with new options that allow users to customize the link label text. The new option appears as a ‘Customize sticker text’ link, that if you click it you are able to enter your custom call-to-action text, such as Tip: To drive more clicks, try titling your sticker with a strong call to action, like, “sign up for 15% off!” or “shop the sale!”. Here is how to do this:
Instagram is experimenting Favourites and chronological order of posts
This year Instagram had significant challenges with the public pressure to be more transparent and provide more options for people to control their presence on the platform. And this month, they are actually taking more actions by announcing that the platform is experimenting with Favorites, a new way to allow users to control whose posts they want to see higher up.
On top of this option, Instagram also announced the possible option to show posts in chronological order.
This is now a general change in the Instagram algorithm but just giving more options to the users to control how they want to see the posts in their feeds.
New safety features: Take a break, Parental Controls
Instagram is finally launching more serious features that protect teens on the platform.
Here is what’s new:
Take a break – an option that will remind the users who have been scrolling for some time to take a break, reset, and reflect on something else.
Your activity – is a dedicated place to manage all activity on Instagram. The most important is the option to bulk delete all old content and control what is visible publicly on the users’ profiles.
Parental controls: Launch the first tools for parents and guardians on Instagram. Some of the initial options will include settings for the parents to add time limits for using Instagram, the option to send notifications to parents when a teen reports somebody to continue the conversation about that situation, and similar.
As said, these are more serious tools that Instagram is now providing that hopefully will help teens use the platform more safely.
New Instagram updates November 2021
Delete a specific photo in a Carousel
This option is very useful if you uploaded multiple photos in a carousel and you just want to delete one or two – not the entire post.
To do this, Instagram provides a new option that is available for iOs users, and the steps are pretty simple:
- Go to the carousel post you want to edit
- Click on the top-right dots icon and choose Edit
- Scroll through the photos to find which one you want to delete
- Tap the top-left delete icon
You have 30 days chance to restore the deleted photo by going to Settings > Account > Recently deleted.
Instagram Badges for Live Videos
This month Instagram rolled out Badges for Live to all eligible creators in the US.
Badges are an option for creators to earn more money from their followers. They work very simply.
During a live video, viewers can click an icon and buy badges to support the creators’ work. The badges are displayed as heart(s) next to the username of the person who purchased the badges.
The viewers can purchase multiple badges in $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99 increment.
Creators can also view more details about the badges count in the Personal Dashboard after the Live ends.
How to turn on Badges?
If you are eligible for using badges, navigate to your Professional Dashboard in the Instagram app, and you will see a button, ‘Set up Badges.’ If you are not eligible, you can tap ‘Apply for monetization’ and wait for status updates in the same dashboard.
After getting access to this option, you can turn it on the right before starting the Live, by tapping on the left-hand option Badges – see below:
Access to badges for eligible creators in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Australia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico is currently invite-only. Head to Settings > Creator > Badges to check your invite status.
How many badges can supporters purchase?
They can buy as many badges as they like, for up to US$250 per live video. Learn More
When can I expect my first paycheck from badges in Live?
Once you’ve earned at least $100, you’ll get paid. Then depending on your bank, payments can take between 1-7 business days to arrive. Learn More
Is there a transaction fee when you buy a Badge?
Google and Apple deduct 30% of all in-app purchases in fees. Currently, Instagram receives no portion of the fees. Learn More
Add Yours Sticker to create public thread in Instagram stories
This month Instagram rolled out very exciting features, and one of them is the Add Yours Sticker.
Add Yours Sticker allows creators to post a story and add this sticker that will invite other friends to post on their Story by including them in the continuation of the initial Story. This way, other users can post images into their friends’ stories.
Stickers are becoming a design recognition for how content is published and distributed through the platform, and now users can create a sticker that will give an option to their followers to post photos inside their own story.
To do this, and publish this sticker, just follow the steps for adding any other sticker in the story editor:
- Tap to add a new story
- Tap the sticker icon
- Choose Add Yours Sticker
- Type a theme or choose from the available questions/topics
- And post the Story
Once your followers see the Story, they can interact with this sticker, and with a tap on the Add yours sticker icon, a popup will open asking them to choose a photo and publish it in that Story.
Very cool, right?!
The usages are endless, from asking other people to contribute with their creativity to a discussion to using it for marketing purposes and creating photo contests, giveaways etc.
New Instagram updates October 2021
Finally! Share link on Instagram stories for everybody
The biggest announcement this month or this year is the launch of the Instagram Stories Link sticker and its availability to all users.
This is a true game-changer for small businesses as they will have the ability to directly link to their product pages and sell more this coming holiday season.
It is also an important and beneficial option for creators that make money from their website traffic which will definitely directly impact the number of their web visitors.
Instagram launched the “Collab” option in feed posts and reels
The newest option, “Collab,” rolled by Instagram, enables users to collaborate on feed posts and reels. Now, content creators can send collaboration invites to other Instagram users and create feed posts and reels mutually. The posts will appear in both of the creators’ Instagram greeds and will share the exact view count, like count and comment thread.
The “Collab” option was announced by the VP of Instagram, Vishal Shah, back in July 2021, but the release date for the users around the globe wasn’t confirmed until Oct 19, 2021, when Shash posted on his Twitter account about the official release.
Instagram will enable users to upload photos and videos via desktop
Another announcement Instagram made in the month of October is the option for sharing videos and photos via desktop.
So, for everyone that wasn’t familiar with posting photos on Instagram through the Inspector mode on the website, this new option will come in handy when sharing images via smartphones is not a possibility.
For now, the new feature allows sharing only photos and short videos, meaning that users can’t share stories or reels through their personal computers yet.
More tools for creators to increase their content partnerships
In the fast-approaching Christmas shopping euphoria, the tech giant is testing new features to help creators grow their content partnership.
The first option is called “Partnerships,” and it is a feature within the messaging part of the app that is meant to help creators organize and oversee sponsored content opportunities.
“Partnerships” should ease the communication between the brands and creators that are open for collaboration.
The second option Instagram is working on is for creators that take part in its affiliate program. The feature should help creators make their own shops of products, which will provide more exposure for the brands.
New data analytic tool for better insight
The excellent news for all marketers and content creators that make a living off of Instagram is the new analytics update that should give more in-depth data about their followers. With the new update, users should receive more data about who is engaging with their content, whether people who engage are their followers and the total reach of the posts.
Anyone who has the slightest interest in social media and data knows how vital analytics are for creating relevant and engaging content that goes viral and tightens the relationship between creators and followers.
New Instagram updates September 2021
Instagram rolls out Map search
Map search is the latest Instagram feature that allows users to find the location of different businesses within the Instagram app. With one click on the map icon, users can now see directions about nearby places like restaurants, bars, cafeterias, entertainment venues, and more. Additionally, once users click on a specific business they can find out more information like location, price of products and services, as well as public posts marked with the business’ location.
To find the new feature:
- Click on the explore button
- In the upper right corner click on the map icon
To explore new places within the new map app you can click on one of the listed categories like restaurants, cafes, hotels, etc. or you can search by typing in a name or a specific hashtag in the search bar.
Understanding verification on Instagram
What is an Instagram verification badge?
According to the company, the verification badge is just a simple way of showing the authenticity of a profile.
It doesn’t mean that the company favors verified Instagram accounts more than the others, it is just a simple way of making sure that people behind those accounts are really the ones who they say they are.
How to get the blue checkmark on your profile?
Also, the account must be public, have a picture, description bio at least one post, and represent a real person, business, or entity.
One more crucial thing in order to get the blue checkmark is that you need to be a well-known, highly searched-for person, brand, or entity.
Instagram drops “swipe-up” links for stickers
Instagram replaced the swipe option with stickers.
Now, all users who had the opportunity to use this option and bring the audience from their profiles to websites will be able to do the same with stickers.
In addition to this change, creators can now use different sticker styles, sizes, and can place the sticker link anywhere they want on their story.
Furthermore, users can send reactions to stories with links stickers like they do on any other story, something that wasn’t possible with the swipe-up link.
Instagram’s developing a new option – ‘Montage’
A new Instagram option that is still in the development phase should allow users to turn their stories into Instagram reels.
The “montage” option is still tested internally, however, the main purpose is to help users create reels by combining elements from Instagram stories’ frames.
New Instagram Updates August 2021
More Protection of Teen Accounts on Instagram
With the new Instagram update, users under 18 will have more superior protection for their identity and possible misuse of their Instagram accounts. The platform is providing the following safety features for
- Everyone under 16 will get a private account when they join Instagram for the first time, by default
- Adults will not e able to contact teens who don’t want to hear from them
- Limitations in the ways advertisers can reach young people on Instagram and Facebook
In a summary, Instagram as a social media is trying to protect teens from getting messages from adults with ‘suspicious activity and ban them from making unwanted contact with young people.
Instagram introduces “Limits”- a new feature to hide abusive messages
Instagram rolled out a new feature that aims to protect its users from abusive comments and DMs. And it’s a real game-changer.
The new feature called Limits allows users to limit or hide comments and messages coming from users who are not on their followers’ list or who have become a follower in the recent past.
The purpose of the new Instagram feature is to protect public figures from offensive comments and messages.
The option follows after the increased amount of offensive comments aimed at UK football players in anticipation of the Euro 2020 final.
The company clarifies that Instagram creators and public figures often receive comments with offensive content from profiles that are not their followers’ list or from users who have only just followed them.
However, the option is available globally for all Instagram users using the app anyhow (desktop, smartphones, iPhones – everything).
To activate the option:
1. Got to settings
2. Click privacy
3. Click Limits and choose what group you would like to limit and for how long.
4. Click turn on
Instagram also displays a strong message warning to its users not to post comments that may contain potentially offensive content.
Another option aimed at protecting users is the option of hidden words in direct messages.
With this option, the company allows users to filter offensive words, phrases, and emojis that are later redirected to another “hidden” folder.
To find this option:
1. Go to settings
2. Click privacy
3. Click hidden words
4. Choose what you want to filter.
In addition, users are also given a chance to add words they think about as offensive, besides the list of words Instagram considers offensive.
A new “audio” tab for discovering reels that feature your song
A new audio tab has appeared in an Instagram app.
Clicking on the audio option gives users the ability to search for reels by song.
As soon as users try to swipe and search for a song, Instagram, like other music apps, will serve them a list of songs bearing the name they are looking for.
Once users click on one of the songs, Instagram gives a 30-second sequence and reels containing that track.
Furthermore, users can save the songs if they want to use them later or click on the “use audio” option to create a reel right away.
Instagram tests ads in its Shop tab
The last year and the COVID-19 were awful. So, it’s time for some great news for eCommerce and small businesses!
Instagram is testing a new feature that will allow companies to display ads in the shopping tab.
The ads can be displayed as a single image or as a carousel, and of course, they will be shoppable.
By clicking on the ads, users will be redirected to the product page, where they can be informed in more detail about the product they clicked on.
Recently, Instagram announced ads in reals that look the same as any real with the difference that there is a sponsored tab on these short clips.
A fantastic addition to the checkout feature, right?!
New Instagram Updates July 2021
Text translation in stories
Instagram has just announced an exciting new way to make their app even more accessible.
The new Instagram update refers to the translation of the text in the Instagram stories.
Now, every time you watch a story with an overlayed text in a language that is different from the one that is set in your app, Instagram will send you a “See translation” notification. Once users tap on the option, they will be presented with a translation pannel.
The new Instagram feature supports 90 languages for now, but only with the possibility of translating written text.
This new update can be useful for brands operating in global markets. Now, Instagram users all around the globe can translate and understand the written text in the Instagram stories of their favorite brands.
Instagram has a similar option for news feeds, user profiles, and comments.
Instagram expands the tracking data in analytics
More exciting news for users with Instagram business profiles.
Instagram announced that they are expanding the data tracking period within Instagram insights from 30 to 60 days.
This means that users will be able to analyze the last two months of data without the need for third-party apps that provide the option for expanding the tracking period.
As the Instagram VP of product put:
– “There’s a new calendar tool in Insights.
It lets you choose a custom date range for your account metrics – and we’re doubling the timeframe to 60 days for now (it’ll be 90 later this summer).
We’ll keep making updates based on feedback and share more when we can.”
A new way to discover Black-owned businesses on Instagram
At the end of June, the social network announced a new feature that allows black-owned businesses to be more easily discovered.
Namely, businesses located in the US will now be able to attach a label to their Instagram profile that says: “Black-owned”.
Here is how to enable the option:
- Click on Edit Profile
- Click Business Diversity Info
- Select Get Started
- Click Show Black-owned business label
New collaborative feature for Reels
Instagram is testing a new option called “Collab” which will allow people to collaborate on Feed Posts and Reels.
Users can now invite each other as a collaborator on the post or reel.
If the invitation is accepted both accounts will appear in the post or reel header, and the new content will be shared with each of the users’ followers.
Furthermore, post or reel will live on both profile grids and have a shared view count, the same number of likes, and comments.
New Instagram Updates June 2021
Security Checkup to keep Instagram accounts safe
The network is serious about launching different ways to protect your Instagram account and this month introduced a new feature called Security Checkup that has a primer role in protecting users from malicious activities on the platform.
Security Checkup is created as a guide for people whose accounts may have been hacked. It has simple steps that will instruct users to protect their accounts,
It includes checking login activity, reviewing profile info, confirming the accounts that share login information, and updating account recovery contact information such as phone number or email.
How does the Instagram algorithm work? [Officially explained]
This month, in a cool video Adam again gave direct information to creators and businesses to help them understand how Instagram actually ranks their content.
He breaks it down the ranking factors for Stories, Feed, Reels, and IGTV and also outlined some important information about shadowbanning.
In reality, it is a set of algorithms that the platform uses to predict what people are most interested in and will want to engage with.
Changes are coming to video on Instagram
Instagram is announcing new changes on how they will respond to the stiff competition.
Based on the new Instagram updates shared by Adam Mosseri, their researches show that most of the people coming back to Instagram are looking for ENTERTAINMENT.
And as a response to these use cases, Instagram is leaning towards recommending video content that you most probably want to engage more. These changes are already being rolled out and people will start seeing recommendations based on topics in the coming few weeks.
This sounds like the way TikTok and YouTube curate the user feeds, but let’s wait and see, how Instagram will actually respond to the immerse, fun and engaging video content needs of the end users.
For businesses and creators, this means more opportunities to reach new people beyond the network of the followers they already have, which means more space to monetize on Instagram.
New Instagram Features May 2021
Find your winning content with new Reels and Live insights
In the spirit of giving, Instagram is rolling out some updates to the Insights product.
These new features will help creators better understand and evaluate their performance on Instagram – whether it be as a creator or business!
For Reels, you can track content effectiveness by looking at: Likes, Comments, Saves, Shares, Plays, and Accounts reached.
For Lives, you’ll be able to check Accounts Reached, Shares, Comments, and Peak Concurrent.
These insights will be part of the Account Insights, so you can get more sense of how are Reels and Lives shaping your overall account performance.
Knowing the importance of understanding content performance, in Account Insights, there is new, more detailed information about Reach. This insight is built into breakdowns to give you profound information about which types of accounts you’re reaching and which ones are driving you to the top of the Reach.
Now, your content’s performance is in your hands. The power of analytics and transparency that new Reels and Live reach insights can give you much more to grow or maintain a successful content promotion.
“Turn-off” like counts option: Still under test
At the end of 2019, Instagram announced that they’re testing the “turn-off” like counts option. But they put the project on hold due to the pandemic.
The deal with this feature is letting users decide which experience is better for them. They can choose not to see the like counts on anyone else’s post or turn them off for their own posts. Or they can keep the original version and see like counts all over the posts. But the ability to choose is a good user experience itself.
It seems like they’re re-opening the project again, as Adam Mosseri said in his tweet earlier. They are still exploring the experience for Instagram and for Facebook too. So, once it passes the test you can switch to the option you’re fine with.
Instagram addresses racial bias with equity update
No one wants negativity on their homepage. So the company made it clear that they’re taking new measurements to eliminate racial bias on the platform.
They have an internally launched machine learning method that will capture and prevent algorithmic bias to reduce unintended harms on specific communities. They keep working on adding more transparency and restrictions towards BIPOC creators so they will be “shadowbanned” on the app.
This refers to all forms of content: feed posts, stories, and IGTV videos.
This update’s priority skyrocketed earlier this month when posts by activist movements in Colombia, East Jerusalem, and posts related to the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women were affected.
New Instagram Features April 2021
Stories Caption sticker: Convert words into text
Instagram has just announced a new feature that will transform the way your stories and reels are viewed; caption stickers
The feature turns verbal speech into writen.
This is perfect for those who prefer to turn off their sound while watching video content as well as people with hearing difficulties.
This awesome update only works in English-speaking countries right now but Instagram plans on making this available soon in other languages and different countries too!
Turn of audio and video on Instagram Live
As Adam Mosseri tweeted:
“Have you ever wanted to turn off your video or audio when you’re Live?? now you can. Hopefully, this gives you more flexibility and lessens any pressure to look or sound a certain way during a Live.”
As Adam Mosseri explained in his announcement of this new feature on Instagram Live, many people are uncomfortable broadcasting themselves with visuals or sound on.
That’s why the latest Instagram update allows users to mute their microphones and turn off the video during Instagram Live, turning the live stream into something similar to audio chat rooms.
Similarly, like other video chat apps, when users decide to shut down their camera, there’ll be no more live video but rather only a profile picture.
Users can find the options on their phone screens during their live broadcast on Instagram.
For now, the host won’t be able to mute or turn off cameras for the other participants in the live chat.
The new options are available for both Android and iOs users around the globe.
Remix option to reels
In early April, Instagram released a new feature for their popular reels- remix – that’s fantastic for influencers.
The new function allows users to include other people’s content within theirs and thus make a unique mix using the footage from both accounts.
The remix option is enabled by default on public accounts; though if users prefer anonymity, this option can be turned off.
When someone remixes with someone else’s reels, the original creator receives a notification.
Here is how you can use this option:
- Click on the reels you want to remix
- Click on the three dots in the upper right corner or the bottom right corner if you watch the video from the app’s dedicated Reel’s tap.
- Tap remix this reel button. If you do not see this option, the user might have turned off the option.
- The reels will open on the left side of the screen, and yours will be on the right side. Click the reels button at the bottom of your screen and start filming.
It’s awesome for boosting the engagement rate, don’t you think?
Instagram Insider – Digital magazine
Instagram has now launched its own digital magazine! This new publication is called Instagram Insider and it includes all the latest trends that you can find on this platform.
For now, Instagram Insider is available in PDF form and includes all the top creators that readers can be inspired by.
At the end of the magazine, Instagram also includes answers to frequently asked questions about the platform, such as profile verification and hashtag-related questions.
New Instagram Features March 2021
Hang out live with up to 3 people with Live Rooms
What a beginning of the month!
As promised, Instagram introduced Live Rooms, a highly-requested update that embraces and encourages live communication via Instagram.
The idea behind Live Rooms is to generate more creative opportunities such as hosting tutorials or Q&As with your followers, start a talk show, engage with other artists, or just hang out with more friends at once.
Previously, you could go live with only one person in a stream. With the latest feature, you can hang out with 3 people.
This is how you can start a Live Room:
- Open your Instagram account;
- Swipe left and tap the Live camera option;
- Add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add your guests.
- Search for guests to add or let in the people who have requested to go live with you.
This is more than a feature for chatting. It also helps brands earn money. During a live chat, viewers can buy a badge to show their support.
We can expect more advanced tools for Live Rooms like moderator controls and audio features in the upcoming months.
We can’t wait to see what more creativity comes from this highly-requested update.
New Instagram Features February 2021
Instagram and Facebook roll out the Cross-App Messaging
As promised in September last year, Instagram and Facebook just rolled out the cross-app messaging.
Starting today, users from one app can find you and message you on another app.
This feature goes above just messaging and searching. It allows you to have a video chat and reshare posts across platforms.
Yet, you can select who can send you a message. Navigate to the Message Delivery Settings on Facebook to manage the messages options.
This cross-functionality applies to your Active Status, too. When enabled, it will show on both platforms that you are online. Awesome, right?
Live Rooms to chat with up to 4 friends at the same time
Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, announced launching Live Rooms, a place where you can gather your friends and chat together at the same time.
With the latest update, you can add up to three persons in your Live Room and experiment with filters to make the conversation even more fun.
In pandemic times when we can’t meet every person we want to chat with, this feature will definitely come in handy.
Recently Deleted feature to restore your deleted content
As requested from users, Instagram added a Recently Deleted feature to help them get their deleted photos and videos back.
This will also serve as a protection from hackers that sometimes delete content when they access an account.
This is how the Recently Deleted feature works:
- Stories you delete (and are not in your archive) will stay in this folder for up to 24 hours.
- Everything else like photos, videos, reels, IGTV videos will be automatically deleted after 30 days.
During these 30 days, to access your deleted content, follow these steps:
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Navigate to ‘Account’
- Click the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder
- Restore or permanently delete posts
If you want to delete or restore content from Recently Deleted permanently, Instagram will ask you to verify that you are the right account holder before proceeding.
New Instagram Features January 2021
Professional Dashboard for performance tracking
Instagram kicked off 2021 to a great start announcing one of the most valuable features we have seen so far – a Professional Dashboard, available to all Business and Creator Accounts on Instagram.
This is one of Instagram’s ongoing efforts to give creators and businesses the tools they need, encourage them to turn their passions into a living, and support small businesses.
This is what this Professional Dashboard can do for you:
- Help you discover insights and trends based on the performance of your Instagram account.
- It gives you access to new tools to help you run and build your business more efficiently, check monetization status and eligibility.
- Provides you with educational resources like tips, tricks, guidance, inspiration to help you make the most of Instagram.
We expect more resources to be added to this Professional Dashboard over time, so it will be easier for professionals to discover and access the tools best-suited for them.
This feature marks a strong beginning of the new year. We are excited to see what they will come up with next.
Top Instagram Updates in 2020
Lockdown has been an unsettling and confusing time for consumers. Many social platforms have had to adapt their functionalities to help their users.
But, Instagram has gone one step further. Despite providing COVID-19 advice from health organizations, they developed various new features to help small businesses, given the current lockdown restrictions.
To wrap up the year, our team has summarized the major updates on Instagram that happened in 2020.
New Instagram Features December 2020
Shopping is coming to Instagram Reels
Instagram just made shopping available in every format on their app — the Feed, Stories, IGTV, and Live.
After being tested for several months, starting today, shopping becomes available on Reels, too.
Businesses and creators can tag their products when they create Reels. So, when users view an Instagram Reel with this content, they can tap a ‘View Products‘ button to buy, save, or just learn more about the featured products.
To make things more transparent, creators can add a ‘Branded Content‘ tag to their Reels to show that they are paid to promote the products.
In times when video-based shopping is seeing increased adoption, this update will make shopping on Instagram even more attractive for online shoppers.
We are really excited to see what the next shopping-related updates to the Instagram app would be. ?
Remix your friends’ photos on Instagram for funnier conversations
Instagram rolled out another feature that will bring even more fun while chatting with your friends.
With the latest update, you can play around with your friends’ photos, make a mix of them and send them back in the conversation.
This is how it works:
- View a photo message from a friend
- Tap the camera icon at the bottom and capture a reply
- Move and resize the photo, perform a twist with stickers, text, and drawings (the opportunities are endless)
Keep in mind that you can also control replays. For example, you can choose ‘One View‘ for messages that you want your friends to see only once.
Or to tap ‘Allow Replay‘ so your friends can have more time to view your messages. Photos and videos sent with this option will loop automatically, so your friends can tap and hold to pause them.
Currently, this update is available for Instagram version 24 for iOS and version 24 for Android, so make sure to check it out and have some fun while doing it.
New Instagram Features November 2020
Instagram Keyword Search
Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri announced keyword search in a very subtle announcement on his social media profiles.
For example, if you previously wanted to search for “bread recipes,” you’d only be able to search for posts that have the hashtag #breadrecepies and accounts, including on “bread recipes” in their name or bio.
With the keyword search, you can search keywords or keyphrases and get results of the actual posts that have the bread recipe, even if they don’t contain the hashtag.
At first, it seems no big deal, but on second thought, this feature might be a game-changer in how people will use Instagram and, therefore, how creators, brands, and marketers respond to this new usage.
In more detail, there is a clear intent in the keyword. A person is looking for something, and now Instagram will show the posts that most likely match their search intent. Is all this sound familiar?
Yes, it feels like Googling ?
As marketers, it will immediately trigger a response in understanding how Instagram will rank the top posts. We might even try to do some SEO magic to our Instagram posts to discover what ranks first: most likes, are verified profiles, most optimized content – or all the above.
So, Is Instagram becomes a new search engine? Can it replace some of the search intent, especially on mobile? Is this beginning of Instagram SEO?
Let’s wait and see, but it’s fascinating to see how Instagram will evolve.
Instagram Guides is expanding to all users
Instagram has expanded the Guide functionality and is allowing all users to create article-like posts.
So, in short…
Guides are expanding to posts, products, and more users.
As of November 17th, 2020, Instagram announced that they allow the Guide functionality to all users that initially were available to specific creators only.
Now everybody will be able to create and post a guide, litteraly by anything.
In short, guides are recommendation articles that can include different Instagram posts or captions, products or photos, and videos. It’s a creative space for people wanting to recommend a travel destination, cosmetics, or a fitness routine to their followers.
Watch Together to watch real-time videos with your friends
Instagram just gave users a more exciting messaging experience to stay connected to those that matter most to you. Watch Together feature is going to make hanging outs even more fun on your favorite social platform.
So, next time you update your Instagram app, you and your friends can tune into IGTV, Reels, TV shows, movies, or trending videos in real-time over a video chat.
To start using Watch Together:
- Go to an Instagram video chat
- Tap the media button in the bottom right
- Select the ‘TV & Movies‘ tab.
- Choose your favorite content
- Enjoy watching!
Vanish Mode to make messages disappear
Another great messaging feature from Instagram we have needed for so long – the option to make your messages vanish after some time!
Instagram announced rolling out the Vanish Mode – a feature that
makes your seen messages disappear after you leave a chat thread.
Please note that only people that follow each other on Instagram can use vanish Mode in direct chats.
To make the Vanish Mode available, swipe up in an existing chat thread – and you’re automatically in vanish mode. To return to a regular chat – swipe up again.
After all, it’s an optional feature. It’s up to you to decide whether you enter vanish Mode with someone or note. In case someone takes a screenshot of your chat while you’re using vanish Mode, Instagram will notify you.
Instagram adds Reels and Shop tab to your home screen
Instagram’s home screen navigation just got a fresh new look!
After the increased craving for short and entertaining videos and more people buying online and relying on creators for shopping recommendations, Instagram announced adding Reels and Shop tab to users’ home page.
The goal of the Reels tab is to make it more straightforward to discover short, funny videos from creators, while the Shop tab provides you with an easier way to connect with your favorite brands and buy the products you love.
Instagram’s team hopes that this new design will give the app a much-needed refresh while focusing on its core value – simplicity.
New Instagram Features October 2020
The Music sticker expands globally
Ready to start adding soundtracks to your Instagram Stories? Rolling the music sticker worldwide made this so much easier!
Besides adding text and filters, music stickers can have a massive influence to make your Instagram story more appealing and engaging.
And they work pretty straightforward. Just create a Story, tap on the music sticker, and search for a song.
You have the freedom to edit which part of the song you want to play (up to 15 seconds). If lyrics are available for the selected song, you can show it in different fonts and designs.
Next time, when someone watches your story, they can tap on the lyrics and continue listening to the song or learning something about the artist itself. Awesome, right?
New useful Reels features
Talking about adding some catchy soundtrack to your Instagram story, Instagram Reels added some useful options for all Reels creators.
Here are the main new options you should be aware of (and use them for your advantage, of course):
- Save Audio – save sounds and re-use them on your next video
- Share Audio Pages – share your Reels over Direct Message
- Audio Browser – find your next audio in the ‘For You’ and ‘Trending section’
New updates for Instagram Live
Despite new updates for Instagram Stories and Reels, the platform surprised us with three new Instagram Live updates:
- You can now go Live for up to 4 hours (until now, it was up to an hour-long)
- Live videos will be available in your archive for 30 days, so you can download them or re-use it for your next IGTV content
- ‘Live Now’ section is added within the IGTV app and on Explore so you can discover more Lives
According to Instagram, this is another step toward helping creators follow their interests, reach audiences, engage with communities, and build businesses.
Instagram badges are live
And here is another good news for creators that use Instagram live!
After a couple of months of testing, Instagram badges are finally rolled out for creators in the USA.
As a reminder, viewers can buy a badge during a live video and as a result – stand out in the comments section and unlock additional features such as being listed on the creators’ list of badge holders.
According to early adopters, despite helping brands stay connected with their fans, badges seem to be vital to make some money on Instagram.
Currently, Instagram badges are in ongoing expansion in the US, but soon they will be available in France, Italy, Spain, UK, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Australia, and Japan.
We are looking forward to seeing how the creators globally will do with this cool Instagram feature.
Instagram Shopping is expanding on IGTV
It was about time, IGTV Shopping is here! After the shopping options for Explore, shopping tags on Stories, and Checkout, Instagram is expanding it’s Shopping features across IGTV.
This way, when Instagram users are watching IGTV and see something they like, they can click on the product and will be directed to the retailer’s website to purchase it.
It is a win-win situation for both users who want a fast buying experience and brands and influencers that want to monetize from their IGTV channel.
Of course, Instagram will also get a percentage of sales. However, since more people are turning to online shopping, this won’t seem to be a problem for anyone.
Despite IGTV, shopping features will be tested with Instagram Reels, too.
New Instagram Features September 2020
Facebook is merging Messenger and Instagram
We’ve just got the best of both worlds!
Facebook announced bringing the best Messenger features to Instagram by combining the Messenger app and Instagram. This update will allow users to communicate across these two apps more smoothly.
So now, no matter which app you use, you can have access to the best messaging experience. For example, people who use the Messenger app can get in touch with you on Instagram without downloading the Insta app (and in reverse). The best part is that you have full control of the app where you want to receive your messages and calls.
Do not worry, messages, and calls from your contacts that use Instagram will remain in your Insta app.
With the new Messenger experience on Instagram, you will get the following new features:
- Communicate Across Apps possibility to send messages and join video calls with your friends no matter if you are using Instagram or Facebook Messenger
- Watch Together option to watch videos with friends and family during a video call on IGTV, Reels, Facebook Watch, TV shows, movies, etc
- Vanish Mode for your seen messages to disappear after you have seen them or when you close the chat
- Selfie Boomerang Stickers from yourself and animated message effects
- Personalized chat with a variety of colors and a shortcut for your favorite emojis
- Effortlessly forward your content with up to 5 friends or groups and respond directly to a message in your chat
- Advanced message controls so you have the control of who can message you directly, and who is not allowed to send you a message at all
- Improved reporting and blocking updates to report inappropriate conversations
For now, this update will be rolled out in just a few countries, but soon we can expect them to expand globally.
New ‘Suggested Posts’ feature after ‘You’re All Caught Up.’
To help avoid users’ addictive behavior endlessly scrolling down the Insta app, a few years ago, Instagram introduced the ‘You’re All Caught Up’ feature to let Instagram users know when they have reached the bottom of their feeds.
But now, Instagram includes suggested organic posts and ads at the end of users’ feeds in order to keep them scrolling for longer.
The reason? According to Instagram’s director of product, Robby Stein, after a user knows that they are all caught up, with this feature, they can decide how they want to continue to invest their time, and it makes it easier to go a little deeper for those who choose to do so.
Suggested Post’s goal is not just to increase user engagement and time spent on the app but also to give publishers a new ground to show more ads.
The new feature is already available globally.
Fee for adding links to your captions
According to a patent application by Facebook, there is a possibility that Instagram will charge if you want to add links to your captions.
If this feature rolls out, once Instagram detects a link within a caption, they will show a pop-up asking for payment to activate the link. In the patent application, the price is set at $2, but it is still unknown what might be the actual price.
Currently, Instagram allows only over 10k followers and verified profiles to add links to their Stories. For brands that don’t want to pay for including links to their captions, they can add a clickable link in their Insta bio with a simple link in bio tools like FeedLink to do the job instead of them.
Automated captions to IGTV
Talking about captions, Instagram will add AI-powered automatic captions to IGTV videos when people are watching it with the sound off.
These captions will only be visible for users who will be watching their videos on mute. Of course, in their account setting, users have full control of how and when they see the captions.
For now, the feature will kick off in 16 languages, but this number will continue to grow in the upcoming months.
Yes, this is one of those updates that makes many social media managers and content creators very happy because they can spread their messages even if their IGTV videos are being muted.
This is the second time the parent app uses AI to bring text to video. Two years ago, Instagram introduced automatic alternative text and custom alternative text to photos to help visually impaired users improve their Instagram experience.
Reels can be recorded for up to 30 seconds
While the future of TikTok remains uncertain, Instagram is giving users new useful updates from the feature they successfully borrowed from TikTok – Instagram Reels.
As far as you know, Reels began as 15-second videos, but now it’s recording time is doubled. So with the latest update, creators can record up to 30 seconds of video.
Other updates include setting the timer for 10 seconds and making it easier to edit and delete any clip.
TikTok videos also started up to 15 seconds long, but the company recently extended the limit to 60 seconds. Will Instagram follow the same practice?
New Instagram updates in August 2020
Instagram checkout is rolling out in the USA
After being tested among a small number of partners, Instagram finally announced that Instagram checkout is available to all eligible businesses and creator accounts in the USA that already have an Instagram shop.
Instagram checkout will make it easier for people to make a purchase in just a few taps, without leaving the app. And for businesses and creators, it comes as a more seamless and secure way to sell products directly on Instagram and reduce the cost while doing it.
For now, businesses can open up an Instagram Shop with checkout using Commerce Manager, or eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Once you have your Instagram Shop, you have a variety of options at your fingertips – creators can tag your products in their posts, you can notify people of your upcoming launch and promote your products and create real-time demand for your offer with Live Shopping (scroll down to read more about it).
If Instagram checkout seems like a fit for your marketing and sales strategy, explore the official guidelines on how to get started.
Live Shopping for people to shop in real-time
Instagram is making huge a difference when it comes to online shopping, and this time they went over and above with it’s latest Live Shopping feature.
The process is really simple – business and creators add up to 30 products from their collection on live streaming. When going Live, they can pin the product they are talking about so viewers can get familiar with its characteristics. If they like it, users can tap on it to view the product details page and buy them.
Here are the official steps to add products to Live Shopping on Instagram.
Please note that currently, Instagram Live Shopping is available to all businesses and creators that use Instagram checkout in the US.
If interested to give it a shot to this promising option, we created an article where we dive into All The Details About Instagram’s Latest Feature – Live Shopping.
Easily open Instagram accounts with QR codes
Instagram is transforming the functionalities of Nametags, the internal QR-like codes that could be scanned only from an Instagram camera (until now).
With the latest update, you can now scan QR codes from any 3rd-party camera apps capable of reading QR codes.
The main goal here is for businesses to help users easily scan the code, open their Instagram account, and explore the products they offer, store info, or just follow the company’s account.
To include QR codes to your marketing strategy, follow these steps:
- Open your Instagram account and go to the Settings menu in your profile
- Tap on the QR Code option and modify the code look
- Save the image and share it with your followers
Finally, Instagram is responding to the trending TikTok format.
Instagram Reels are 15 seconds short, fun, animated videos that provide a great platform for people to express their creativity, through music, animations, sounds, AR effects, emojis, and similar.
The huge advantage of Instagram Reels is the fact that Instagram as a major platform deals with record labels and provides a big library with sounds that users can freely use for their videos.
To learn all about Instagram Reels head to our blog: ‘Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Reels’
New Instagram updates in July 2020
Instagram pinned comments
As part of the changing community standards policies and addressing the bullying issues on the network, Instagram has rolled out a feature that allows users to pin comments on a certain post.
By doing this, brands or social media moderators will have more to say in what is important or what they think is trustworthy when interacting with users on Instagram.
This feature will definitely allow you to highlight the relevancy and visibility of what really brings value, thus eliminating the reach of the spam comments in posts.
To Pin a comment, first, make sure you are using the latest version of the Instagram app.
Then, tap on an Instagram post you want to manage and view the comments section.
Once you’ve found a certain comment you want to pin to the top, swipe to the left, and tap on the thumbtack (pin) icon.
Redesigned Instagram Shops to offer more personalized product recommendations
As the pandemic surges and buying online is no longer an option, but a necessity, Instagram just made it even easier for users to shop from brands and creators announcing its latest all-in-one Instagram Shop feature.
This is an already familiar feature we have seen before. The difference is that Instagram Shops is a new destination in the Explore tab that not only helps users discover the latest trends but also helps them preview new product launches or get even more personalized recommendations based on their interests.
As announced, the Instagram app will soon have a new Shop tab in the navigation bar, so users can go to the Instagram Shop with just a tap.
New commerce eligibility requirements to help businesses and creators sell on Instagram
With the new Commerce Eligibility Requirements, more types of businesses (including creators) can now access Instagram Shopping.
This way, any eligible business or creator that has (at least) one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive users from Instagram to their websites to buy the product.
According to the updated policy, to provide a consistent and trusted shopping experience for Instagram users, businesses need to tag products on Instagram from the website they own and sell from.
These requirements are now into effect (starting July 9th) in all the countries where Instagram Shopping is supported.
Please note that your Instagram account must be in an available market in order to tag products. So, go ahead check your country Instagram Shopping Availability here to see if you can be reviewed and approved for Instagram Shopping.
If eligible, visit this setup guide to learn how to enable Instagram Shopping.
New Instagram updates in June 2020
Supporting Instagram creators with Badges in Live videos
Until now, users could support their favorite Instagram creators in Live videos with comments, likes, and donations. With the latest Instagram functionality, fans can now participate in Live broadcastings with badges that they can interact with or even purchase during the live video.
As announced, badges will appear next to a person’s name throughout the live video offering fans advantages like:
- Standing out in the comments section
- Placement on creator’s list of badge holders
- Access to a special heart
- Unlock additional features
Badges are expected to expand across the US, Brazil, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Mexico in the upcoming months.
And if you would like to be considered for early access to badges, this is the form you should fill out.
Rolling out IGTV ads
Instagram just rolled out IGTV ads to support creators’ investment in IGTV and help them make revenue and facilitate connecting users with their products or ideas.
Users will see the IGTV ads when they watch the IGTV videos from previews within their Instagram feeds.
These video ads will be mobile optimized and can last up to 15 seconds.
New Instagram updates in May 2020
Turning business profiles into Instagram Shops
To lend a hand to all of the businesses that still struggle to sell their products online due to the Covid-19 crises, Instagram announced Shops on Instagram.
And this turned out to be a real game-changer for the ecommerce industry.
Similar to Instagram checkout and Product Tagging, this feature turns business profiles into online stores.
So now, users can visit a shop from a business’ Instagram profile or through Feed and Stories. Once they land on the shop, they can browse and buy products directly from an Instagram profile.
To start using this feature, you need to be an eligible business that completes the following criteria:
- Sell primarily physical goods
- Located in a Supported market
- Comply with Merchant agreement and Commerce policies
If you fulfill all of the criteria above, proceed to enable the shopping option on your Instagram business account to start using the latest Shop feature.
Once your shop shows to be eligible and approved, you will receive an email when your shop is converted into an Instagram shop and ready to start customizing.
We created a complete Facebook Shops guide with all the details about the Shop feature, so you can start using it today.
Guides – a new way to discover recommendations on Instagram
Instagram users struggle to find reliable information from their favorite Instagram accounts during the pandemic.
And relying on hashtags only is not an option anymore.
To tackle this, Instagram introduced Guides.
This feature is developed to help users easily discover recommendations or tips and from your creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers on Instagram.
Primarily, the focus is set on creating Guides on wellness content.
So, for now, this feature is limited to wellness-focused creators and companies that Instagram selected to launch this feature such as @afspnational, @heads_together, @vitaalere, @klicksafe, @headspace_aus, @deepikapadukone, @sudahdong, and @eenfance.
To see how the Guides feature works, visit the Instagram profile of participating creators or organizations mentioned above. Next, tap the middle icon to view their Guides.
As announced, this feature will soon be accessible within the Explore tab too.
Supporting small businesses stickers on Instagram
As we saw above, Instagram is not resting when it comes to supporting businesses facing immense challenges during the Covid-19 crisis.
Recently, Instagram announced a new Support Small Business sticker on Instagram.
This way, Instagram users can easily show their support for businesses in Stories.
They can mention businesses directly in the Story sticker, give their followers a preview of the account they are supporting and motivate others to do the same.
This seems like a win-win situation.
The Support Small Business sticker helps businesses stay connected to the people they serve and at the same time, reach new customers.
So, once your business is mentioned in the sticker, you can repost the content to your Story and send a direct message to people who tagged you.
In parallel, you can also use this sticker to encourage other entrepreneurs in your community.
Share your live videos directly to IGTV
With the COVID outbreak, people are looking for ways to be entertained online. And IGTV seems like a suitable way for brands to communicate with their customers and share new content in a video format around trending topics.
Until now, you could upload live videos in Stories, and they would be broken up into 15-second chunks with a 24 hours life span.
But with Instagram’s new update, you can share your Live videos immediately after the Live broadcast is over. The video will be saved to IGTV permanently until you decide to remove it.
This way, you can ensure that the video content will appear to new viewers and your message will be spread further.
Furthermore, you will give people something to tap on and interact on their smartphones while being in COVID-19 quarantine.
If you are still considering how to use Instagram’s new update, we got you covered!
We created a complete guide on how to use IGTV and make the most out of every Live you create and skyrocket your engagement rate.
Note: Next month (on the 29th of June, 2020), we can expect to see the long-awaited Instagram API update that was postponed several times.
This means that 3rd party apps that are using the current API will no longer be able to display photos from your Instagram account if they don’t switch to the new API after this date.
We created this article where you can find everything that you should know as a marketer about the upcoming API change and what should you in case your plugins stopped working due to this change.
New Instagram updates in April 2020
Gift cards, Food delivery, and Donation stickers to support local businesses
As physical stores being no longer an option, Instagram introduced new simple ways for businesses to continue their business operations online using Order food, Gift card, and Donation stickers.
The main goal of this feature is to help business and creator accounts include stickers in their Instagram stories that will direct customers to a website where they can order food delivery or buy a gift card.
To start using these stickers, you should connect with third-party companies that provide delivery or online gift card services.
The Donation sticker is a different story. Its purpose is to help nonprofit organizations boost their fundraising campaign awareness by asking loyal supporters to lend a helping hand.
As an added bonus, your Instagram followers and supporters can reshare these stickers in their own Stories and help you spread the word and drive more financial results.
To guide you on how to start applying this feature in your marketing strategy, we created a step-by-step article with all the details you need on how to use Instagram’s new update.
Businesses can add support CTAs to their profile
In addition to adding stickers to your Stories, you can also add Gift Cards, Order Food, and Donate options in the form of clickable buttons on your Instagram account.
These support CTAs will show next to your Contact and Message tabs on your Instagram profile.
So, when a user clicks on some of them, they will be directed to the chosen platform where they can complete the purchase.
For a similar purpose, you can use your link in bio and create a redirect link to your most valued landing page where you want your Instagram followers to continue their interaction with your brand.
Access Instagram Direct messages from your desktop
The long-awaited feature brands have been anxiously waiting for is finally here!
Instagram’s direct messages are now accessible through the desktop version of the site.
DMs (like the cool kids say them) were previously available to read and respond through the mobile Instagram app only and now you have them too on your desktop’s Instagram homepage.
This feature comes as a relief for brands and account managers.
They can type, copy, and paste copy faster and easier on their computers, thus improving their customer service on Instagram.
New Instagram updates in March 2020
A tool to access and download your Instagram account data
To help you be in control of your data on Instagram and show transparency in the type of content the app serves, Instagram announced a Download your data tool available within the Instagram app.
This tool will showcase your activity on the platform like post likes and comments that you have left, profile updates, what categories of content you have been into, etc.
It will also provide you with insights on the content you see in your Explore tab and why you are seeing it.
You can view your Instagram account data and even download a copy of it at any time. It takes up to 48 hours to receive a download link.
To access or review your account data on Instagram, follow these steps.
Please note that you can also use the Archive settings to download Instagram stories.
Generate revenue with IGTV
IGTV monetization is finally here!
As expected, Instagram’s video platform (IGTV) is becoming a larger consideration for online businesses in 2020, mostly because of the monetization options that are a great driver of creators to move or combine their Youtube with IGTV presence.
With this update, Instagram is allowing IGTV video creators to show advertisements along with their videos, hoping that in return, they will be motivated to bring more high-quality content back.
Similar to Facebook Watch, the goal is to encourage video creators to spend more time on the platform and direct their user base there.
Share videos directly to IGTV
March is all about embracing the usage of IGTV options.
Your live streams don’t need to remain in your Instagram stories anymore and disappear after 24 hours.
Instagram is testing the option that will allow users the moment the broadcast is over, to share their live streaming videos directly to IGTV.
Additionally, you can organize videos into IGTV series and then promote previews to gain followers’ attraction back.
New Instagram updates in February 2020
Video trimming tool for Stories
It has been a while since we have seen an Instagram Stories feature.
Instagram was probably busy testing a video trimming tool for Stories, a functionality that will allow editing and trimming videos for Stories within the app.
As announced, this tool will be very similar to other video editing tools that you may encounter if you use Android or iOS on your smartphone.
For many brands to create and edit their video Stories with other apps, and then upload it on the Instagram platform, this feature will make their job easier and faster, especially for small businesses who are creating Stories on the go.
We look forward to seeing this feature in action!
New Instagram updates in January 2020
Branded content: The future of advertising
Branded content is making it’s way to the forefront of Instagram, helping creators turn their passion into a living (more than ever).
To meet this opportunity, Facebook launched Brand Collabs Manager that is developed to help creators connect with brands that are looking to promote their products and services using the relations that creators/influencers have with their followers.
This feature, basically allows brands to collaborate with creators on trending campaigns in order to increase their reach and engagement, thus inlocking a new earning potential for creators.
So, if you are a creator and want to get access to the monetization tools from Facebook tools provided in the Brand Collabs Manager, you must apply to get discovered for paid partnerships.
Here are the steps on how to do that:
- Visit the Brand Collabs Manager page and click on the apply button or scroll the page at the bottom
- In the Eligibility section, you will see your pages and for each page, an indicator if it’s eligible and if not
According to the eligibility criteria, your Page will need to meet the following:
- Min 1000 Followers
- Engaging Content
- Engagement: In the last 60 days, you needed 15,000 post engagements, or
- Minutes Viewed: In the last 60 days, you needed 180,000 minutes viewed between all of your videos, or
- 1-Minute Views for 3-Minute Videos: In the last 60 days, you needed 30,000 1-minute views on videos that are at least 3 minutes long
- Meet Partner Monetization Policies – Continue publishing content that your Page has the rights to share, and continue to share that content in an authentic way. It’s important to stay familiar with the Partner Monetization Policies so you maintain eligibility
- Facebook accounts must request access to the branded content tool
IGTV becoming a more serious competition to Youtube
Instagram’s video platform (IGTV) is expected to become a larger consideration in 2020, mostly because of the above monetization options that possibly will be a great driver of creators to move or combine their Youtube with IGTV presence.
So, making all the needed features for Youtube creators to move to the IGTV platform is definitely the expected feature rollouts for the upcoming year.
The ad product that might attract more creators on the platform is expected to be very similar to the branded content format.
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