Instagram Updates: 5 You Need to Know
A huge number of businesses now use Instagram as part of their wider marketing strategy. The platform allows brands to publish highly engaging content in a space where people spend a considerable amount of their free time. It also allows brands to build and interact with communities, which ultimately can bring big benefits to the table.
Meta, the business behind Instagram, is always making tweaks and updates to the platform to make it better. Some of these updates are well publicised, especially when they have a big impact on how we interact and use the app. However, other, smaller updates are commonly overlooked.
In this guide, we are going to highlight five of the most exciting Instagram updates from the last six months.
#1 New Messaging Features
It turns out that people aren’t just ‘sliding into each other’s DMs’ for romantic purposes. In fact, private messaging has become an integral part of the Instagram experience for a large majority of users. Users use DMs to do everything from sharing private conversations on topics they care about to privately sending each other content of interest.
In March of this year, Instagram announced some exciting new features which are likely to make private messaging a smoother and more enjoyable process. These updates include new features such as the ability to:
- Share music previews
- Send messages silently (without a notification)
- See who’s online to chat
- See and reply to messages whilst browsing (without having to leave the page you are on)
- Create polls in group chats
You can find out more about Instagram’s new messaging features here.
#2 New Feed View Options
The way your Instagram feed is presented has been somewhat controversial in recent years, with the platform originally moving from serving the latest content at the top of your feed to an algorithm that uses many factors such as post time, your relationship with the account and the likelihood you will be interested in the content.
One of Instagram’s latest updates has given users the ability to choose how content is delivered to them – offering both ‘Following’ and ‘Favourites’ filters.
‘Favourites’ will show you the latest posts from accounts that you add to your favourites. This can be your close friends, family or favourite creators. ‘Following’ will show you posts from people you follow in chronological order.
Discover more on the latest feed updates here.
#3 Parental Supervision Tools
Child and teen safety is a big topic surrounding social media usage – and rightly so. There have been calls for social media businesses to do more in order to protect youngsters who use their platforms.
Another update on the platform from March of this year has seen Instagram announce the introduction of a family centre and supervision tool.
Family Center will be a central location for parents and guardians to access supervision tools and resources to keep their children safe. They also announced that further supervision tools will be rolled out specifically for VR experiences on the platform.
The ultimate goal is to continue building tools to improve child and teen safety on Instagram, eventually creating a centralised hub that offers intuitive supervision tools that can be used across all Meta platforms and technologies.
#4 Live Stream Shopping Events
Earlier this year we published this article detailing a very exciting update on the Instagram platform – live shopping.
The live shopping experience is set to change how influencers, creators and brands drive traffic and sales on the platform. This new feature will allow users to highlight key products within their live streams, offering a direct link for viewers to follow – something that had only been available in stories previously.
This update will make shopping on Instagram considerably more interactive and engaging, creating huge opportunities for ecommerce brands.
#5 Better External Previews
Previews are an important part of helping drive traffic to Instagram. This is probably why the platform has been working hard on making post previews on other sites more attractive and appealing to click.
In the past, when you shared a link to one of your Instagram posts on a site such as Twitter, the preview delivered was pretty uninspiring and text-based. This new update will see a physical preview of the post image appear on Twitter, allowing you to grab attention and entice people to click.
As part of the update, they have also now made it easier to embed a preview of your Instagram profile onto a website, giving even more options for promoting your account.
Discover more about these updates here.
Instagram Updates: Summary
It is clear that Instagram is always looking for ways to improve its platform. Some of these updates are focused on a better user experience, whilst others consider site safety and even offer new ways to bring traffic onto the platform.
Keeping on top of these latest updates means you can make the most of Instagram – whether for yourself or for your brand.