Since Instagram's inception in 2010, the social media platform has undergone a bevy of changes surpassing industry trends and market curves, all while keeping the market by surprise. In fact, that's a lot in 12 years.
And with Instagram now boasting over 1.4 billion active monthly users, it's clear that the platform is only going to continue growing in popularity. With the rapid rise of video content, Instagram also elevates its features to keep up with market trends.
And while you may be distracted by other booming social sites like TikTok and YouTube Shorts, here's our rundown of the latest Instagram features you did not know about to keep your finger on the pulse.
Oh, and yes, there's still more on Instagram than just a squared feed.
Top 5 Latest Instagram Features on Instagram
Instagram never stops to surprise us. 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.
With that here are the top 5 latest Instagram features you probably did not know (or know) about.
1. Instagram Reels
Instagram's vertical video format competes with the popular TikTok format? Yes and Reels is definitely not a dupe of TikTok. It is a unique feature that stands on its own. And if you're struggling to grow on Instagram, Reels might just be your answered prayer — a secret viral growth.
“Since introducing Reels to our Instagram channel last year, we’ve seen our engagement grow by 280%,” shares Later’s Social Media Manager, Mel Brittner.
photo credits: Instagram
What is it? Reels is a video format (up to 60 seconds long) where you can create and share quick, creative videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. It's perfect for those little snippets of creativity that you want to share with your following, and beyond your audience.
What makes it different is that instead of users-only seeing Reels from accounts they follow, users see Reels from all across Instagram accounts on the Reels tab. And recently, Instagram is making Reels a sole format for its channel making every single video upload a Reel.
What an exciting new way for brands and influencers to flex their creative muscles and add a visual experience beyond a grid post.
2. Grid Pinning
photo credits: @Instagram Twitter
Instagram finally blocked our old it-must-follow-the-feed anxiety. Say no more because Instagram just allowed us to pin posts to your profile — whether be it a video or photo.
On June 7, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that users will finally be able to pin their favorite posts to the top of their account, so you’ll be able to choose which posts people see on your grid first.
The new feature is available on business accounts and creator accounts, no matter the follower count. Now, your pinned post will stay at the top of your profile above your grid posts. So, no matter how many new posts you upload, your pinned post will always stay on top — until you unpin it.
This is a great feature for brands to promote their latest product, services, or campaigns. For influencers, it is a way for them to keep their call-to-actions on top of mind or maybe even a personal message.
But of course, without breaking the grid, you're only allowed to pin up to 3 posts to the top of your feed. So make sure you better pin what's worth it. They say, the posts you pin will say a lot about you.
If you want to test out pinned posts for yourself, here’s what you need to do:
- Open Instagram.
- Navigate to your profile.
- Tap the post you want to pin.
- Tap the three dots in the righthand corner.
- Select “Pin to your profile.”
3. Expanding Product Tagging
photo credits: Instagram
E-commerce brands are no longer a stranger to Instagram. With its popularity, many brands are now using Instagram as a way to sell their products. Brands are now tagging their products in posts and stories which then link viewers to the product page.
And to no surprise, Instagram is always up for a treat — expanding product tagging in feed to everyone.
On April 18th, 2022 Instagram announced that the product tagging feature is now available for anyone in the U.S. This was previously accessible only to creators and brands, and now everyone can use it.
With the latest update, users will be able to tag a brand and then specify a product on their published feed posts. Users that tap on the product tag will see detailed information about the product (including pricing, website links, etc). They can also purchase the product directly from the app or through the brand’s product detail page.
We can finally say, 'Thanks Instagram, shopping made easy.'
4. Full Screen Feed
Oh, and co-relates to Reels, Instagram is actually now full screen. If you blinked you may have missed Zuckerberg’s announcement, as it was made via an Instagram story
photo credits: @Zuck
Although photos are still part of the new Instagram aesthetics, it’s clear that this is not seen as a growth area for the platform. Video, especially short-form video, is the growth driver right now. Even Facebook is shifting its focus to video with the recent integration to Reels.
Now, we are guessing Instagram has finally duped TikTok's 'For You' page. Haven't tried it yet? Well, see what we're talking about.
5. Customizable Link Stickers
Missed the 'swipe up for the link' option?
Actually, Instagram just made the customizable link for everyone now. It first started off as an exclusive feature for 10,000 followers and more but now everyone can make use of it regardless of the follower count.
The process is quite simple, create a story, tap on the link icon, type in any website you want, and then ta-da! You can now use the link. But what's great about this update is that you're no longer stuck with the 'swipe up' text. Now you can edit it to anything you want.
This is a great way to increase website traffic or maybe even promote your latest blog post. So go on, give it a try on Instagram Stories.
There you have it, Instagram updates are rapid and happen quite often. So keep your pulse in check and be on the lookout for any changes or new features to make your Instagram experience more fun and engaging.
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