What are the latest Instagram updates? What’s new for your business? Well, a lot.

It appears Instagram is still taking full advantage of everyone’s changed habits since COVID lockdowns (i.e – we are all screen addicts who are obsessed with online shopping and/or TikTok), so it has gone into a bit of an update frenzy to capitalise on this. 

Instagram has recently developed a FIRETRUCKLOAD of new functions and features to keep its users on the platform for longer, (its end goal), and to be honest, we’re not even mad, because this is a great big YAY for businesses using the platform.

With these new features comes new ways that your audience can engage with you on Instagram, therefore creating more opportunities to use Instagram to build a warm audience that you can retarget with your Facebook Advertising – double YAY!!!

 

Let’s get reel

Remember last year, in the thick of COVID cabin fever, when we all went bonkers for TikTok? 

You see, everyone jumped off Instagram and straight onto TikTok, and Insta wasn’t having it. It wanted its audience back, so it rolled out its own in-app version of TikTok which is the REELS feature… and it is pushing this feature HARD.

This means that businesses using Reels aren’t just leveraging the popularity of the feature itself, but also the extra reach that the Instagram algorithm is rewarding them with.

You see Reels is Insta’s favourite child right now. You only need to look at the Explore Feed or Instagram’s navigation bar to find Reels taking centre stage, and this is a HUGE opportunity for businesses to capitalise on this.

Please like me

Remember when Instagram took the like count away and the world had a meltdown?

Well, team IG have only now decided that ‘hey, that probably wasn’t such a good idea after all’, and that vanity indeed sells – so they’ve done a bit of a 180.

It’s now testing a new feature where it allows users to CHOOSE whether they want to see likes on their posts or not. 

Read me a story

Some new Instagram Stories features have also recently popped up and we are LOVING them! 

Our favourite is a long overdue CAPTION sticker that automatically turns speech into text, making Stories content more accessible. 

You can either film or upload a video to Stories and add the auto-caption function by choosing the CAPTIONS sticker in the stickers menu.

This feature only works for videos that are 15 seconds or less (i.e – one story), so if you are wanting to auto-caption longer videos, either add captions to each 15 second snippet or use a third party app such as Wave.video to do the grunt work for you.

Under the Influence 

One of Instagram’s biggest update announcements is that it is releasing three new features tailored specifically for creators and influencers to “help creators make a living over the long run”, according to Zuckerberg and Instagram chief Adam Mosseri. 

Creator Shops, Affiliate Commerce (i.e- commission payments for sales) and a Branded Content Marketplace will help influencer-brand collaborations and in turn drive Instagram’s shopping feature through creators and influencers. It will also help businesses find creators and influencers whose audience and reach are an ideal match.

The Swipe Up Gamechanger

Lastly, word on the digital street is that Instagram are looking to remove it’s 10k follower prerequisite for it’s highly sought after SWIPE UP Stories feature that allows users to add a clickable link for their followers to access by swiping up during their Story

This would be a gamechanger for small businesses who have previously been denied from using the exclusive Swipe Up feature, as it would allow them to be more tactical with Stories content, leading to more clicks and conversions. 

 

For more on Instagram’s recent updates and platform trends, you can check out their newly launched ‘Instagram Insider’ digital magazine at https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/instagram-insider-fashion-beauty-issue

The Final Word

One thing we know is a constant and that’s Instagram and Facebook introducing updates that impact small business. It’s hard to keep on top of everything,  which is why we created the Click Engage Convert Academy. The Academy has been designed to help small businesses and marketers to stay on top of changing platforms and best practice within the digital marketing space. We even have a “How To Set Up & Optimise Instagram For Business” course that you get as a FREE bonus when you join. Find out more here.