A Countdown of 30 Major Instagram Updates in 2018
Instagram loves change – there has been a ton of updates introduced on Instagram every year. It widely ranges from Instagram API updates to a new group of features that makes the buying and selling process more comfortable than ever before. These updates are meant to enhance the experience that we come across within the platform.
Instagram is no longer a place just to share your photos and videos. Besides, people are more likely to engage with their favorite brands on Instagram when compared to Facebook. Therefore, most Instagram updates are aimed at engaging users and make it easier for brands to reach out to their target audience.
Since Instagram is frequently changing, there isn’t one prominent feature to focus on when it comes to achieving success on this platform. However, you can rely on trusted service providers
This year, Instagram has announced some exciting new updates which could change the way we use the platform. Now let us walk you through the major Instagram updates of 2018.
Instagram Update #1: Automatic Schedule
Scheduling posts is an excellent way to increase productivity, save time, and stay connected with your followers. It is one of the most impressive Instagram updates of 2018 which allows the users to schedule posts automatically.
This means that nothing would get in the way of your work while scheduling a post on Instagram. All you have to do is to schedule the posts well in advance, and it can take care of the rest without any hassles.
Instagram Update #2: Usage Insights
This feature is a result of “time well spent” initiative. It will help the users to know more about the time they spend on the Instagram platform. With this update, users can know when and how long they’ve used the Instagram platform.
Besides, transparency on the amount of time used up by social media applications can help users to handle their time efficiently. It also contributes to the better mental health of the Instagram community.
Instagram Update #3: Shoppable Posts
In recent days, Instagram has transformed itself into a full-on e-commerce platform because of its new shoppable features. As of March 2018, this update was available to people in 46 different countries. This feature will further enhance the shopping experience on the Instagram platform.
It allows users to tag and buy products directly from the Instagram posts. Therefore, a user can complete the buying journey without having to leave the platform. As a result of this, buying products on Instagram can get much more comfortable.
Instagram Update #4: Group Video Chat
Instagram has introduced a group video chat feature similar to that of a Facebook messenger. With this update, you can connect up to four people at once on the Instagram platform. However, you can only call people that you’re already connected to.
One of the coolest things about this update is that you can minimize the video screen and continue browsing on the platform without needing to end your call. It is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Instagram Update #5: Share your Favorite Song
Instagram and Spotify have announced a new update which allows users to share songs with their Instagram stories. Previously, Instagram users had to share the screenshot of their favorite songs. Eventually, it was not effective because the followers couldn’t listen to the actual song. But, since the update, you can share your favorite songs with your Instagram friends easily.
By sharing a song or album from Spotify, you can unlock the custom cover art sticker which becomes visible in your stories with a link. So, your followers can click on it anytime they wish and listen to the song on Spotify.
Instagram Update #6: GoPro Content
Instagram has found another way to enhance the quality of videos shared on its platform. With the help of this integration, you can effortlessly share GoPro photos and videos as your Instagram stories. It is an excellent opportunity for those who are looking to share their content on the go.
Moreover, it would be quite exciting to see what the users of the GoPro community will post as their Instagram stories. It will also inspire adventurers and travel bloggers to share more stories on Instagram.
Instagram Update #7: Emoji Slider
Emoji slider is an interactive Instagram feature that acts similar to a poll. It helps Instagram users answer the questions using an emoji that slides along the scale. You can even watch it animate as you drag the emoji to the left or right.
Furthermore, this feature is an excellent way to engage with your audience, if you’re looking for feedback or to entertain them. There are also several ways to engage with your followers by using emoji slider in your Instagram stories.
Instagram Update #8: New Explore Tab
In the past, Instagram explore section is used to be a mess with a collection of photos, videos and GIFs arranged haphazardly. Predominantly, it would display everything without keeping the user interests in mind. Now that the Instagram explore page is getting a revamp, this section looks cleaner and better organized than ever before.
In the updated explore tab, you’d find channels across the top which allows you to choose a specific topic that you want to browse quickly. And each category will show posts that are relevant to that particular section. These categories are created based on your personal interest which will let you choose the type of content that you want to engage with.
Moreover, users can also see the relevant hashtags related to each group. This feature allows Instagram users to have total control over the content that they see.
Instagram Update #9: Anti-bullying Feature
Recently, Instagram has taken a step towards preventing cyberbullying. It has launched a feature which allows users to hide accounts that are tormenting others or encouraging hate comments. With the help of this feature, you can hide comments that you think are needlessly aggressive, or picking on an individual’s weakness.
Its goal is to end cyberbullying on the Instagram platform. This feature even protects the influencers from bullying comments and alerts Instagram when there are repeated complaints about a user.
Instagram Update #10: New Algorithm
Instagram has introduced a new algorithm which decides what content shows up on your feed. Relationship, timeliness, and interest are the 3 fundamental factors used to regulate this update. It helps to figure out which photos and videos are important to you. Its primary goal is to serve Instagram users with content from their close family and friends.
This algorithm uses frequency and following to determine which content to be delivered on your feed. Because of this update, 90% of the posts you see on Instagram is relevant to your liking.
Instagram Update #11: Mute and Unmute
The top priority of Instagram users is to have authority over the content that they see on their feed. Therefore, Instagram has introduced a new update that allows users to mute inappropriate posts from accounts without the need to actually unfollowing them.
Likewise, you can always unmute these accounts to get their posts back on your feed. It is an excellent way to tidy up Instagram feed and to streamline the content.
Instagram Update #12: AR Filters
AR studio allows individuals and brands to create and launch their own filters. People with programming knowledge like developers can create custom filters that can feature on their Instagram stories. However, people can only gain access to filters based on the accounts they follow.
This update gives you an opportunity to try out new filters directly from your friend’s stories. Instagram users can also find attractive filters by spotting them in random stories. So, if you need exposure to a new filter, then you have to follow the creator of that filter on Instagram.
Instagram Update #13: Clickable Links
Using this feature, you can turn the username and hashtags into clickable hyperlinks. By adding @ or #, your username and hashtags will automatically turn itself into clickable links. In doing so, you can direct visitors to other Instagram profiles or hashtags.
Instagram Update #14: Instagram posts into Ads
This update allows brands to turn their current Instagram posts into ads easily. In the past, the only possible way to do this is by making use of the “promote” button on the posts. Since Instagram has brought in a new update, users can now change existing posts into ads with the help of Power editor and Ads manager.
But, as of now, Instagram users can only compose an ad from a single photo or video post
Instagram Update #15: Carousel Ads
Carousel ad provides three pieces of content for the price of one advertisement. It allows Instagram users to add up to three images or videos to tell your whole story. This update helps marketers with more time and space to tell their story and promote sales.
Due to its reliable nature, users can swipe, replay, and pause as they like. It also provides a more personalized and engaging ad experience for its users.
Instagram Update #16: GIFs
At the beginning of this year, Instagram collaborated with GIPHY to build an archive full of top-quality GIF’s for Instagram stories. You can include these graphics to your content while posting it as your Instagram stories.
Adding GIFs to Instagram stories is pretty simple. Once you update your Instagram application, you’ll find hundreds of animated stickers in your library. This unique feature can add style to your content which in turn helps to establish a loyal followers base.
Instagram Update #17: Focus Mode
With this feature, you can take a high-quality picture without the need of using any fancy cameras. This feature is titled as the focus which is found amongst other favorite features like superzoom and boomerang.
As the name indicates, this option focuses on the subject’s face and blurs all the other elements in the background. If you don’t have a high-resolution camera but would like to create quality Instagram stories, you can do so by taking advantage of this feature.
Instagram Update #18: Font Styles
This feature adds an extra bit of charisma to your Instagram stories. It helps Instagram users with different font styles while including text to a photo or video. By doing so, your message will stand out of the competition and make the users explore more about your Instagram stories.
It is an excellent update for brands on Instagram to keep their profiles updated with the current trends. If you have an important message to convey, you can do so with the help of this feature to grab your audience attention.
Instagram Update #19: Reposting Stories
Previously, there wasn’t a straightforward way to repost other people’s Instagram stories. Instead of having to screenshot the image and create a new story. You can use this feature to share the content that interests you quickly.
“Add this to your story” button shows up immediately after other users tag you to their Instagram stories. By clicking on this button, you can bring about the changes you wish and share it with your profile.
Instagram Update #20: Re-sharing
Instead of taking a screenshot of your feed, this update helps you to share the posts instantly. It is an excellent way to improve engagement and earn more views for your content.
Instagram Update #21: Location StickersL
Instagram will suggest the location of your photo or video when you add location stickers to your Instagram stories. Even, if you post a picture that was taken a few days back, Instagram would automatically recommend the location with the help of this update.
Therefore, by including a location sticker, you’ll have a chance to reach thousands of new audiences. There are possibilities that people might even follow you if they appreciate what they discover on your account.
Instagram Update #22: Mention Stickers
Instagram has introduced a mention sticker that goes along with your location and hashtags. Before, users had a chance to tag other accounts by typing the account name following @ sign.
But now anyone can tag their favorite businesses and friends with the help of these interactive stickers.
Instagram Update #23: Mass Upload
In the past, if you want to post multiple videos or photos to your Instagram story, you have to do it one by one. But with this update, you can upload multiple images and videos at once.
When your Instagram app is updated, you’ll find an icon at the top-right corner of your screen. Tap it to select as many as ten photos or videos in one go.
Instagram Update #24: Nametag Feature
This update has made the process of finding and adding people and their accounts a lot easier. It is more like a customizable identification card which helps people to find your account when the nametag is scanned. Nametag also allows users to add emoji, selfies, and colors. Therefore, users have the liberty to design their own nametag.
Instagram users can also share their nametag with friends through other platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook and even through text messaging. This update makes the whole process quick and fun to add people and their accounts.
Instagram Update #25: Follow Hashtag
From now on, users can follow hashtags on Instagram. Therefore, by following a particular hashtag, your favorite content will show up on the feed automatically. Moreover, users can also avoid searching for content that they are interested in.
It is an excellent feature for brands because they can easily monitor their own hashtags to review user-generated content. This feature also helps you understand what your competitors are doing and which content is generating the most engagement.
Instagram Update #26: IGTV
One of the biggest Instagram updates this year. It is more like having a YouTube channel on Instagram. It allows Instagram users to subscribe to your video channel just like YouTube.
It also encourages you to post long videos in vertical format. You can post one hour long videos on IGTV which helps the audience to take in more of your content.
Instagram Update #27: Instagram Notification
People scrolling through their Instagram feed are not sure what’s new or what they’ve already seen? In July, Instagram has released a new update, from which users will receive a notification saying “you’re all caught up” if they’ve seen all the posts from the last two days.
Instagram Update #28: Instagram Lite
As the name suggests, it is the lighter version of Instagram that consumes only 573 KB of your storage space whereas the original version takes up 33 MB of data. It is an excellent choice for users with poor internet connections and low storage space on devices.
Instagram Update #29: Do Not Disturb
Instagram is testing the “do not disturb” feature that will pause the notifications for 8 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour or 30 minutes. This feature is also an initiative of “time well spent” movement which was launched in February this year.
Instagram Update #30: Payments Feature
Payments features are introduced to let the users shop directly from the Instagram platform. With this feature, users can buy items without having to leave the application. You can even store the payment information to make purchases from within the Instagram app.
However, this feature is currently restricted to a few users. Once the testing is done, Instagram will make it available for all the users.
Instagram is one of the elite social media platforms in today’s world. As a consequence, trying to stand out on Instagram which has over 800 million monthly users is not an easy task. Moreover, it is constantly changing the way how users interact with this platform.
Instagram has been introducing new features to keep its users active and engaged for years to come. Yet, it is safe to say that not every update of Instagram is a worthy consideration. On the other hand, there are few updates on this list that can be a lifesaver for many social media marketers.
Since each Instagram user has different intentions, it is essential to test the features that works best for your account. So, to achieve success on Instagram, you have to look beyond its basic features. Soon, Instagram may surpass other social media channels and so make sure to take full advantage of its features.
If you have any questions about the Instagram features listed here? Let us know in the comments below.