Latest Updates to Instagram

Instagram is going through some big changes as it battles the big guns of Tik Tok and YouTube. Is it just us or is it hard to keep up with all these changes?

The best way to stay popular as a social platform, and just about any other online space, is to adapt to changes in consumer demand. Not only is Instagram trying to keep consumers happily scrolling and double tapping, but it also needs to ensure that businesses can smoothly promote themselves to these happy Instagrammers.

Great video content has become an overwhelming factor for success, but we’re also seeing the channel introduce more flexible options to improve the overall user experience.

We’ve rounded up some of the biggest and best changes to the platform to keep you up to date and feeling ready to post:

Analytics on desktop

Although Instagram’s main focus has always been on mobile, they have announced that feed and story insights can be viewed through the desktop version of Instagram. However, we’re yet to gain access to this feature, so it’s likely they’re rolling this out to each region gradually.

This is great news for social media managers wanting to check up on how well their content is doing and avoid switching from phone to desktop all the time.

Sticker links

Links are the most effective way to get a consumer to visit the website for your product or service, as it’s the fastest and easiest way to go from discovery to purchase via Instagram stories.

It has long been a frustration for businesses and creators that a swipe-up link can only be added to their Instagram stories if they have over 10,000 followers.

Instagram is currently testing the option to add URL links to stories by adding a sticker, although it’s currently unclear how many followers you will need to be able to use this feature.

Black-owned label

Instagram has now made it easier to discover black-owned businesses as a new label option has been added to business profile options for Shops on Instagram.

This option is currently only available in the US, but we hope to see this rolled out everywhere soon.

Drops feature

A new section under the Shop tab to allow brands to announce new product drops has been announced.

This will allow consumers to view information on when a product will be available to buy, the pricing and other item details. They can also bookmark the item or share the drop with a friend through Instagram’s direct messaging feature.

The new feature is currently only available in the US, but we can see this being a great feature for worldwide introduction.

Reels ads

Testing is currently under way for ads within the reels section of the app and the ads will look the same as other reels – full-screen, looping and layout the same.

The ads will appear in between other clips and will be identified by a small tag that says “sponsored” below the name of the Instagram account.

Instagram believes that reels are the best place to reach more people who don’t follow you and help them to discover your product or service.

Suggested posts

Suggested posts will be mixed throughout your primary feed; users will also be able to add specific topics as an interest for their suggested posts, snooze recommendations for 30 days or hide the posts entirely.

This is great news for brand discovery, and it could be an interesting move by Instagram as it lets users have a feeling of control over what they’re seeing.

The idea has already been tested once and was received well so they are testing it with new parameters before rolling it out.

We’re positive that Instagram is putting businesses and creators at the heart of its updates, and it appears to be rigorously testing all the changes to ensure a smooth transition.

We could be witnessing it evolving into a very different app and it’s important for businesses to understand how to use Instagram for Business to maximise on their social media strategy.

If you’d like to get advice on managing your Instagram, or if you’d like someone to manage it for you, please get in contact with the Shooting Star team to find out how we can help.