Have you heard about all the new features Instagram has been launching? They are coming fast and furious so unless you have been watching closely you may not have heard about all of them. That’s why we have made this roundup of the most important new features you should be taking advantage of.
If you are a business or individual keen on enhancing your relationships, increase followers and improve your engagement level on Instagram then read on.
#Hint: It appears Instagram working to become a WhatsApp, Facebook, SnapChat and YouTube all-in-one.
Here’s how (we’ve categorized the Instagram updates into four).
1. Some Win for Privacy
You can now clear your Instagram Search History by tapping on ‘Options’ and then ‘Clear Search History’ at the bottom of the menu. You can also hide, disable or delete comments on your Instagram posts.
under ‘Options’ then ‘Comments’ and then ‘Hide Inappropriate Comments’.
Fed up with Instagram and want out?
Like on Facebook, you can now download all your Instagram data before leaving (more like pack your photos and video stuff and bolt!). Plus, you can also share that data on other social media channels including YouTube and Twitter.
What’s still in testing is the ability to remove followers from a public account.
Also new is the ability to use a Google Authenticator-like 2-step-verification instead of the current SMS-based one, which is increasingly turning into hackers’ back door.
2. New Instagram Stories Features as of August 2018
You probably already know you can tag accounts using mention stickers as well as adding GIFs to your Stories.
But have you used the newer emoji slider polls feature for Stories?
Using a slider scale and animated emojis, your followers can let you know what they think and feel about a certain topic.
You can use the feature to ask questions and get answers from your followers directly on Stories. If you want the poll to stick around longer than the usual 24 hours, you can turn it into a ‘Highlight’ for Stories post.
Also, while Android users have been able to share posts directly to Instagram Stories since May 2018, now IOS users can as well.
Here’s a biggie, though:
While you could mute Instagram Stories before, you can now mute a person or business’ posts and entire profiles.
3. New Instagram DM Features (August 2018)
Now you can opt out of using Direct Messages.
You can direct video-chat on Instagram—as many as 4 friends at a go while scrolling through your feed (similar to hosting a live webinar or Facebook Live Video).
Like on Facebook and WhatsApp, you can now see who is currently online for DM-ing. Excellent if you want to kick-up a chatting storm—not leave messages or wonder who’s available to chat.
From your DM, you’ll be able to repost another account’s Stories. When they tag you in their Stories post, a button in your DM will let you make edits or directly repost it on your Stories.
4. Ability to Know You’re Up-to-Date (And Instagram Usage Data)
In August 2018, Instagram will give you a heads up when you are done scrolling your feed for the day. That way, you can know when to refresh your page instead of “zombie-scrolling” past the most up-to-date posts from people or accounts you follow.
And now that “zombie-scrolling” came up…
…the visual app has added the ability to know how much time you spend on Instagram—although it was a hidden feature and was only recently revealed by a developer (not Instagram).
5. There’s More…
Want to ramp up your credibility on Instagram? Become Instagram-verified. This is not easy and certainly not guaranteed. Instagram claims that it’s only a few public figures, celebrities and brands that get this elusive blue check. However, Tom Ward of Forbes claims that you can get that badge by getting a third party to submit the request for you.
Like Pinterest, Instagram will now let you decide what topics are more important to you by choosing categories you’d like to show up in your Instagram feed from the updated Instagram Explore Page (Topic Channels).
Still, like on Pinterest, you can save posts for later. You can even categorize them under custom-labeled Instagram Collections by tapping on the save icon on the bottom right of your screen.
You can also add music to Stories. Want to start sharing songs from Spotify on Instagram Stories? Unlike screenshotting a song as many would before, your followers can now actually listen to your favorite tunes with you.
Right now, IOS users can choose their favorite tunes from the royalty-free Instagram music library before capturing video—and Android users will soon.
Final Word on the Latest Instagram Features
Instagram has been on an updating roll since late 2017 and the creative bubble doesn’t seem to have a bust coming any time soon. With the handful of the new Instagram features 2018 has to offer, as discussed above, you can not only attract more followers, but you can also improve your engagement level and, ultimately, your Instagram relationships.
Over to you.
Any new Instagram updates you are excited about or would like to see come into effect? You are free to share in the comments below.