Latest Instagram features

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.

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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 Features in 2021 ?

Like last year, this year, too, we summarized the top ? Instagram features for 2021.

The platform releases sooooo many new updates, and we can expect the trend to continue in 2022.

We experienced the boom of the creator’s economy, and therefore, most of the updates are related to giving people tools to publish their content and earn more money effectively.

It was the year of vertical video, IGTV, Reels, and Stories, and we can expect the platform to invest more in video-related features.

What is your favorite Instagram feature?

New Instagram updates December 2021

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

new options to order posts in Instagram feed

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

take a break on Instagram teens features

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

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 

See below: 

delete photos in instagram carousel

You have 30 days chance to restore the deleted photo by going to Settings > Account > Recently deleted.

Instagram Badges for Live Videos

earn more with Instagram Live badges

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:

turn on badges

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

add your sticker in story

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

add link on a instagram story

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

instagram collaboration

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

publish Instagram posts from 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

Instagram creators 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 

Instagram map search feature

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:

  1. Click on the explore button
  2. 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

verified instagram account

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?

The first thing you need to do to get verified by Instagram is to follow their Terms of Use and Community Guidelines. 

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 link sticker

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’ 

Instagram montage option

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

instagram teen accounts features

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 introduces limits

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

Instagram audio tab

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

ads in Instagram shop

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:

  1. Click on Edit Profile
  2. Click Business Diversity Info
  3. Select Get Started
  4. 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

protect instagram account

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]

Adam Mosseri Instagram CEO quote

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.

Instagram algorithm details >>

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

caption sticker

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

mute video and audio 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

remix on instagram 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:

  1. Click on the reels you want to remix
  2. 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.
  3. Tap remix this reel button. If you do not see this option, the user might have turned off the option.
  4. 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

instagram live rooms feature

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:

  1. Open your Instagram account;
  2. Swipe left and tap the Live camera option;
  3. Add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add your guests. 
  4. 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

recently deleted feature by Instagram

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:

  1. Stories you delete (and are not in your archive) will stay in this folder for up to 24 hours. 
  2. 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:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’
  2. Navigate to ‘Account’
  3. Click the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder
  4. 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 professional dashboard feature

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:

  1. Help you discover insights and trends based on the performance of your Instagram account.
  2. It gives you access to new tools to help you run and build your business more efficiently, check monetization status and eligibility.
  3. 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

reels shopping

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 remix

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:

  1. View a photo message from a friend
  2. Tap the camera icon at the bottom and capture a reply
  3. 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

keyword search feature on instagram

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 guide

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.

Learn more about Instagram Guides >

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:

  1. Go to an Instagram video chat
  2. Tap the media button in the bottom right
  3. Select the ‘TV & Movies‘ tab. 
  4. Choose your favorite content
  5. Enjoy watching!

Vanish Mode to make messages disappear

instagram dm vanish mode

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

new reels tab in instagram

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.

instagram stories music

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.

new reels features

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:

live features
  • 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.  

IGTV shopping, instagram new shopping option

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. 

messenger in instagram

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.

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.

fee for adding link in instagram caption

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. 

igtv auto generated 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.

large instagram reels

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

instagram checkout rollout in us

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

live shopping on Facebook and Instagram

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

QR codes on Instagram

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:

  1. Open your Instagram account and go to the Settings menu in your profile
  2. Tap on the QR Code option and modify the code look
  3. Save the image and share it with your followers

Instagram Reels

reels on instagram

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

pin comments on Instagram

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. 

new instagram shops

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.

eligibility requirements for instagram creators

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.

badges for instagram live

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.

instagram igtv ads

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. 

Instagram shops feature

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

Instagram guides feature

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.

Support small business sticker

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.

Instagram IGTV live sharing feature

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.

Stickers for small businesses

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. 

Instagram CTA options feature

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.

Desktop DM feature

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. 

Download Instagram data

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.

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.

IGTV monetization feature

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.

Trimming tool Instagram

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.

apply as creator branded collabs manager

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:

  1. Visit the Brand Collabs Manager page and click on the apply button or scroll the page at the bottom
  2. 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: 

  1.  Min 1000 Followers
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.

New Instagram updates in December 2019

We wrapped up last year with a new set of Instagram business tools and plenty of new IG updates. 

Here are the major Insta updates that took place in 2019:

Instagram Insights for posts and stories

Just like in the other social media platforms, users can now see which posts and stories from their Instagram business pages are generating the most followers or engagement metrics. 

This feature also helps you see how the number of followers is changing (by day or by week).

The main insights that are currently available are the following:

  • Profile visits that this post attributed to
  • Reach of the post
  • Number of likes, comments, shares, and saves a particular post

To view the insights from your business account, follow the steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile
  2. Tap the Triple bar in the upper right corner
  3. Tap Insights
  4. Select specific posts, stories or promotions you would like to view insights on (use the numbers to learn more about your audience)
instagram insights for posts

Which one is your favorite?

You can check the ‘See all’ section on the Insights page to check all posts from your archive and see how many Saves (my favorite metric) a post has gained so far.

Notification of stories that mention your brand

‘Stories About You’ feature makes it easier than ever to view, reply to and share the Instagram stories that mention your account (note that this applies only for Business or Creator Accounts).

Previously, you were seeing stories that mention you in your inbox. 

Now, they are all aggregated in one place.

To access Stories About You:

1. Tap the heart icon in the bottom main menu
2. Select Mentions
3. Choose Stories About You

view story mentions

Please note that eligible accounts will only see Stories About You if they were mentioned in a story at least once in the past 24 hours.

Age limit for viewing Instagram profiles

Since the establishment of Instagram, the platform has been dealing with active users that are underage.

There were several features to prevent the issue but none of them seemed to work.

To put an end to this, Instagram created a feature that allows you to set a minimum age limit for your business account to control who can see your Instagram profile and posts. 

So, if you have a professional Instagram account you are in control of the age of your Instagram content’s viewers.

You have 2 options to set up a minimum age limit for your account:

  • Set up a global default minimum age
  • Set up a country-specific minimum age

Here are the steps to set up a minimum age limit for your Instagram business account:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the top-right menu icon
  2. Tap Settings 
  3. Select Business or Creator depending on your profile type
  4. Tap Minimum Age
instagram minimum age limit

In this section, you can tap on the ‘Add’ link and type the minimum age, (for example 18), and tap ‘Done‘ on the top-right. That’s it.

Shortcut to edit business information

Instagram is always trying to make the platform more user-friendly.

To achieve this, Instagram developed a feature to help professional accounts edit their profile in just a few clicks.

This feature works like a shortcut. It allows you to edit your business page, category and contact information directly from your Instagram app.

To start editing your business information on Instagram:

  1. Go to your professional Instagram account
  2. Tap Edit Profile
  3. Under Public Business Information, choose the things you want to edit: Business contact info, Business Category or the Page your Instagram professional account is connected to
  4. Navigate to Profile Display to choose if you want to hide or display your contact info and category label on your profile
  5. Tap Done to return to your profile
edit instagram profile info

New Instagram inbox organization

As a business profile, you probably receive tons of messages and notifications on your Instagram app.

To help you organize those messages and control notifications, Instagram created a new inbox organization that will help you sort your messages based on their importance and priority.

The moment you switch to a Professional account, your inbox will be organized in 2 tabs:

  • Primary (messages that you like to see first)
  • General (messages you like to get back to later)

It will look like this:

new instagram inbox

Note that all messages you will receive will primarily appear in the Primary tab, but you can always swipe them into the General tab.

New Instagram updates in November 2019

Share Instagram stories to close friends only

To make Instagram a more friend-and-family zone, Instagram introduces a ‘close friends’ list to let you share stories with a more limited group of people.

This feature for more private sharing comes as a response to the rise of Finstagrams, private accounts where your closest friends can only follow you.

Instagram just borrowed the promising feature and after almost 2 years of testing it, it’s live now.

Here is how to share an Instagram story with your close friends only:

First, create a close group.

  1. Tap to create a story
  2. Tap the ‘Close friends’ option in the bottom
  3. In the popup tap ‘Add to list’
  4. Tap ‘Get started’ on the next screen
  5. Follow the steps and add the friends you want in the group
create close friends on instagram


Now you have your list and just tap on the ‘Close Friends‘ option in the story when you want to share a story with them.

When you see the green Close Friends indicator at the top of the story, you will know that the story will be viewed only by your closest people. How great is that?

share Instagram story with close friends

And if you want to edit the ‘Close friends‘ group, just follow these steps:

change instagram friends group
  1. Tap on your active story, and choose the option ‘Edit Close Friends List’
  2. Or open your story and tap on the top green button ‘Close Friends’
  3. In the list, tap Add or Remove to edit the list.

That’s it. Once done, just close that screen.

TikTok-inspired “Reels” mode to create music videos

It should not come as a surprise, but to keep up with the latest trends, Instagram “borrowed” TikTok’s “Reels” mode.

 This feature allows you to create music videos for up to 15-seconds. You can also take audio from other users and use it in your own video.

You can find the feature within Stories, nestled among Boomerang and Super-Zoom modes. 

You have 2 options – to record your short clip in silence or choose a song from Instagram’s music library. Enjoy!

New Instagram updates in October 2019

Email checker to avoid phishing scams

In the era of endangered cybersecurity, even Instagram cannot stay immune to hacker attacks.

To help prevent phishing attacks, Instagram introduced a new Email Checker Tool.

This feature is developed to help users spot if the email they receive was sent by Facebook or it is a phishing attempt. 

You can find your emails divided into 2 categories: Security emails and Other.

Now, when you receive an email claiming to be from Instagram/Facebook, this is how you can check if it is valid:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Go to Security settings 
  3. Head over to Emails from Instagram option
  4. Locate the email that was just sent to you
emails from Instagram

This is a very useful feature, in order to avoid any phishing emails that might request your login details and steal your credentials. Better safe than sorry, right?

Restrict feature to protect against bullying

Young people face a disproportionate amount of online bullying. Instagram is not an exception.

To fight against this rising issue, Instagram developed a Restrict feature, designed to protect your account from unwanted interactions like online bullying.

The goal is to help you quietly protect your account while still keeping an eye on a bully. Once you activate this option, you can never again worry if the bully will swipe left on a comment.

To restrict someone to comment on your posts, navigate through the Privacy tab in Settings where you can set limits and manage interactions with your peers.

Here is how to do this:

  1. Tap on the top menu icon and tap on ‘Settings’
  2. Tap on ‘Privacy
  3. Tap on ‘Restricted accounts’
  4. Search the account in the search field you want to restrict
  5. Tap ‘Restrict’
instagram restricted accounts

To undo this for the restricted accounts, just tap the ‘Unrestrict‘ button on the same screen, next to that account.

Or, there is a direct option to do this more manual. Just visit the accounts you want to restrict. Go to the account profile and tap on the top-left 3 dots, and choose the option ‘Restrict’. Easy as that.

Augmented reality try-on feature to help you try how a product will look like on you

Finally some great news for the brands that sell their products directly on Instagram.

Instagram announced an augmented reality try-on feature to help shoppers preview how different products will look on their faces before they buy them.

Initially, this feature will be dedicated to the cosmetics brands (like the use case above) that sell their products on Instagram, but it will become available for more products over time. 

We look forward to it.

Threads – Instagram’s new direct messaging app 

Over the years, Instagram was always trying to level up Snapchat when it comes to connecting with people you care about – from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct.

But there was always some private space missing.

The new Instagram feature – Threads seems like the answer to this.

This is a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated and private space.

It allows you to share photos and videos with a smaller circle of friends and help you stay more connected with them throughout the day.

threads instagram app

You can install this feature from Google Play Store or App Store.

To customize the experience around the people who matter the most for you (especially if you don’t have the time to send a photo or have a chat), you can choose a Status option​​​​​​​ that can show your close friends what are you up to.

New Product Launch sticker in Instagram Stories 

Instagram is always creative in engaging users and building excitement.

Recently, Instagram announced a new sticker for the Instagram stories, and it named it Product launch sticker.

The goal is to provide marketers with the ability to announce new upcoming products and gather an initial audience that might be interested in their new product.

Here is how this sticker appears in the story:

product launch sticker

So, the idea is to allow marketers to post an Instagram story with the launch sticker that followers can click on it and set up to receive a reminder in their Instagram profile once the product is launched – on the date when the sticker was initially set to finish.

Similar to Checkout and Shopping from creators, Instagram is aiming to provide options that will enable users to buy a product without leaving the Instagram app. This feature is one of them.

New Instagram updates in September 2019

Organic shopping posts that serve like feed ads

instagram shopping ads

Instagram has been enhancing shopping-related functions in recent years. The strategy was successful, with more than 130 million (wow!) accounts tapping Instagram shopping posts each month.

To provide users with a richer shopping experience, Instagram starts testing the ability to include existing organic shopping posts as ads in the news feed.

Advertisers can create their ads in the Ads Manager. The audiences who will see this ad in their Instagram feed and click on it will be directed to the product description page on Instagram, where they can go to the purchase page on the brand’s mobile site.

New Instagram updates in August 2019

Instagram creator studio to manage your account

Finally! Instagram made it easier than ever to manage your account.

You can now use Instagram Creators Studio to schedule Instagram posts and manage analytics directly from your PC.

It will save you plenty of time and effort because everything you need to maintain your Instagram profile will be a click away.

To start, access Instagram Creators Studio from Facebook Creators Studio.

Have in mind the requirements:

  • You need to have administrative access to an Instagram account and Facebook page
  • You need a professional Instagram account

So, if you are ready with these requirements, go ahead access the Facebook Creator Studio first.

From there, you can go to the Instagram creator Studio by connecting your Instagram account.

Once you are all set up, here is what you can do with Creator Studio:

  • You have access to all Instagram content (videos, photos, carousels, stories, IGTV) and you can view each post’s performance. You can also create posts for the Instagram feed and IGTV posts and deliver them by specifying the date and time.
  • You will have all the insights needed to learn more about your followers and the actions they are performing and even identify your top followers
  • Manage every message you get from one inbox

Now, I will show you the steps for one of the most useful features in the Creator Studio for Instagram.

  1. To start, click on the top left button ‘Create Post‘ and choose ‘Instagram Feed
  2. Write the post caption and upload content (photos or videos)
  3. Click on the dropdown button beside Publish in the bottom right corner and set the post schedule details
  4. Click ‘Publish
post on instagram with creator studio

This is a very simple and useful tool that allows you to post and manage Instagram directly from your PC.

Make sure to try it 🙂

New Instagram updates in July 2019

Join a conversation using a chat sticker

Back to basics.

When Instagram wasn’t just a tool for brands and influencers to grow their followers, it was a place where friends shared content with each other and chatted about things they like.

To bring this back, a chat sticker has been added to Stories, called Chat Sticker

It’s the first time we see such functionality as part of a social media platform. And it seems like this Instagram story update will bring users chats to a higher level.

It works like this: When your audience taps the sticker on your story’s content, you can talk with them in the chat room created via DM.

Although the feature was initially developed for private Instagram accounts, brands (especially in the e-commerce industry) found a way to use this tool and start a conversation with their fans.

It seems like they are also enjoying the benefits of it.

This is a great option for D2C – direct to consumer brands who want to immediately engage with a small but private group of users or customers and chat directly about a product feature, current campaign, ask them about a question directly, send them a selfie with the product, etc.

Here is how to use it. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go ahead and add a new Story and tap the top sticker icon
  2. Look for the Chat sticker in the list and tap on it
  3. It will appear over your story, where you can tap to edit the Chat title
  4. Once you are done just Publish the story
instagram sticker chat

So, when your followers can see the story and join the discussion.

As a publisher of the Story, you can see who requested to be a part of the chat by following the steps:

  1. Open your active story and tap on the viewers’ avatars at the bottom left of the story.
  2. Tap Add to Chat button to approve the requests
  3. A message chat editor will appear. This is the place where you can start the chat
Instagram start chat sticker

Please note that on this screen you can add more people or use the options to leave the chat or remove somebody from the chat.

Here is where you can do this:

  1. In the chat, just tap the top right info icon
  2. A settings screen will appear where you will be able to leave the chat, add more people or set other settings for the chat.
sticker chat settings

Updated ban policies and pre-ban warnings

To hold people accountable for what they are posting on Instagram, Facebook announced that accounts that have a certain percentage of the offending content will be disabled.

Accounts that post content that includes nudity and pornography, bullying and harassment, hate speech, drug sales, and counter-terrorism policies will be the first ones to be removed.

The goal is to improve Instagram policies and keep it a safe and supportive place for sharing your most important moments.

In case your account is at risk of being disabled, you will be notified.

If your account is removed by error, you can dispute, and Facebook will restore your Instagram account with deleting its record.

New Instagram updates in June 2019

Introducing ads in Explore​​​​​​​ to help advertisers reach new people

show Instagram ads in Explore tab

Instagram users like to connect with brands.

This is what makes Explore such a great place to find new products, businesses, creators, etc. that you don’t usually follow, but are relevant to your interests.

To help advertisers reach new audiences who are exploring something new Instagram decided to bring ads to Explorer.

This seems like the golden ticket for advertisers because they can easily extend their campaigns using automatic placements with a simple opt-in to reach audiences in Explore.

As for the users, after tapping on a photo or video in Explore, they will begin to see ads as part of their browsing experience just like in the main feed.

Don’t worry. As usual, you will have control over the ads you see. 

Horizontal video is now available on IGTV

landscape IGTV video format

​​​​​​​You are probably familiar with IGTV, a video application that allows you to create and view long-form videos.

Initially, only vertical videos were supported, but Instagram announced that horizontal videos would also be supported.

This video format option comes after receiving feedback from many creators and viewers. It seems that they wanted the horizontal upload format because it’s simpler and they are used to it.

Same here. I am used to watching videos on a horizontal screen. What about you?

Advertising with the creator’s content

branded content ads Instagram creators

For businesses that want to share their brand story from the creator’s point of view and use that authentic content in their ad strategies, Branded Content Ads feature is their chance of a lifetime.

This option gives businesses the opportunity to advertise through the creators’ profiles and reach new audiences.

With the creator’s permission, advertisers have the ability to promote their organic branded content posts in the creator’s Instagram feed or Stories.

Here is how advertisers and creators can start with Branded Content partnership:

Advertisers can use this feature by permitting the creators to tag their Business in their branded content Feed posts or Stories

instagram branded content advertisers

Once the creator has tagged your business in a branded content post and given permission to promote it, you can use this post to set up a campaign in Ads Manager.

On the other hand, Creators on Instagram can now authorize businesses to promote their organic branded content Feed and Stories posts as ads on Instagram. 

To allow this option, they should give their approval for feed posts and stories that are already published or created from scratch.

Creators can choose the Advanced Settings option to tag Business Partner and allow them to promote the post.

branded content instagram creators

If you are up for it, check out Instagram’s official information page to get more details on how to get the most value from this feature.

New Instagram updates in May 2019

This year’s Facebook Developer conference f8 has 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.

Instagram feature that lets you 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 to the products they were selling to their inbox or to the brands’ websites.

This process is obviously not efficient, tracking the sales attribution can be challenging and the few additional clicks impact to 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 a few months ago.

The creators will be able to tag their photos with the actual product information that they are promoting and have a direct checkout link so their followers can immediately buy it.

The feature is currently in a roll-out phase and it will start appearing for some creators in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to bookmark this feature.

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% of the funds you raise, 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.

New Instagram updates in 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.

New Instagram updates in 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 wants 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

A few months ago, Instagram announced that it was 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.

New Instagram updates in January 2019

Share Instagram Stories

Finally, you will be able to share the link of the story to other social networks 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

To this date, if you were in the Instagram marketing field and you want 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 on how to boost an 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 customize it with text, color, emojis, and add a specific date.

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 Instagram 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 social media 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.

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 feature in order to enhance the interactions with followers in 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 these stickers vary and you can think about campaigns that boost interaction amongst 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.
  • Incentivize 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.  

You can go to your camera icon and 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 the newest Instagram updates and features are announced.

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Avatar for Nikola Bojkov
Nikola Bojkov

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