Instagram has grown to become more than just the photo sharing social media networking platform over the recent years.
It has become probably one of the most powerful social media channels for commercials and businesses to tap into their potential target audience, across various industries.
As a matter of fact, this high rated social media network platform has introduced several brand-new features recently. Let’s dive into the latest Instagram new features and updates into the more details:
So without go further, let’s move ahead and start right straight into it.
Feature 1: Instagram Reels
Let’s began with Instagram Reels.
Instagram Reels is one of the latest Instagram new features and updates launched in the US and other 49 countries in August 2020 and are short length videos you can post on Instagram account for more entertaining and fun aspects.
Millions of users have experiencing Reels pretty quickly compare to IG Stories? The introduction of Reels is basically the Instagram version of TikTok app.
But right here are several recent updates you have to know about it.
Instagram Shop right now is available on Reels
It’s applicable for Instagram for business, social media marketers and content creators can add product tags to their own Reels posts, that can redirect the audiences to their Instagram shop from their Reels posts.
Users just need to tap the “View Products” button on your own Reels.
And they’ll have the option in order to view the product in more detail right now there within the Instagram app, along with a link to redirect them to your own website.
Before get further to this latest update, Instagram Shop had announced that it also available across all on the post types including, IGTVs, IG Lives and IG Stories too that make use the Instagram Story stickers feature.
As a matter of fact, whenever you click on the shop tab, there’s shows a whole category called “Watch and Shop” that users enable to watch shopping videos.
It just demonstrates that videos are the most dominant content type within your today’s digital landscape.
That is the reason why this is the most powerful and grateful opportunity especially for business owners to connect directly with their followers and convert them into their potential customers.
There is the “Reels” button that shows on the main navigation bar right at the bottom, it just at the left side of the shopping bag icon of “Shop Button”.
The “plus” button generally functioning as the new publishing post button for:
- Normal post type
- IG Story post,
- IG Reel post or
- IG Live
at the top right corner that next to your notifications and DM buttons.
The reason of this update of the placement was made is to encourage users utilize these features.
Furthermore, this can helps the customers get an ease and instant access to watch reels and shop their preferred stores on Instagram.
Instagram Reels are now expanded to 30 secs max. long.
Originally when they launched the Reels just limited for 15-seconds max. long.
Therefore if you shared a Reel post to your Instagram Story, the audiences can watch the full content in your Story without have to navigate it to click on the Reel.
However, because of this latest update, the overall Reels feature now are not able always be viewed between one Instagram Story slide.
So, it will most likely to encourage users to click on the Reels to display the entire thing.
For this reason, it can boost the engagement rate such as likes comments and shares as the main objective.
We had published an entire post about the importance of customer engagement that you may learn on next post.
To summarize it, we can’t deny that improving engagement rate is the essential to building brand-consumer confidence and trust relationship.
This also could directing your followers drip down via your own sales funnel.
Feature 2: Instagram Shop
The next Instagram new features and updates is Instagram Shopping.
As we all know that there are some Instagram shopping updates happened as most of the updates are related to Reels as we mentioned in the previous part, but let us get into more deeper on Instagram Shop by itself.
As mentioned one of the previous screenshots that we had showed, did you observe the option to purchase directly via Instagram? Right now let’s look further into it.
Underneath of the shop section, you can press the “Buy On Instagram” category.
This can allow you to search and shop products that you able to buy straight on Instagram without actually having to exit the app.
In other words, users can simply add the product to their buying cart, and straightly fill in their payment method and click buy button directly inside Instagram.
Most of the business owners know that the purpose of creating your own e-commerce store is you enable to lead your customers to make the orders and make payments in just few clicks as possible.
Customers able to buy directly through the Instagram app is cut short 1 step less that usually they will have to take.
In additional point, this feature takes you 1 step closer to convert your audience to become your customer as fast as possible
As a genuine business owner, you will want to setup your Instagram shop in the a way that can provides users more product details as much as possible to build trust between your potential customers.
This can be done by following the simple steps at the below:
- filling up the product description completely,
- uploading the product images is required to display your actual product looks like,
- filling the important product details such as size, variation, specifications, features and more
- adding any additional selling points, dynamic details that will related to your targeted customer
As audiences scroll through the shop page, they also can go through other details that you’ve published in your product description such as:
- the shipping details,
- the return & warranty policy, and
- other recommended products in your shop
Instagram can also recommending relevant products from other shops at the bottom page just similar famous online marketplace platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba.
To ensure that you’re getting your customers attention before they swipe out, make sure your top and high rated product prioritize at the listing first!
Users can determine which products are in available and make the purchase directly through Instagram by just clicking the “Buy On Instagram” button.
Alternatively, now if you have an e-commerce store, you just using Instagram shop without any technical concern.
As we mentioned earlier before that users can shop through Instagram Stories? That is not only include the product tags feature.
Since in 2020, Instagram had released new stickers in order to support small businesses for business accounts.
Another examples that consist of the ability for users to buy a gift card from your brand.
Note that this feature can be applied to businesses that providing services as well and not just selling products as core.
And the last to mention is the capability to order food through delivery.
You can wisely use these functions as stickers on your Stories or even as a main call to action button in your Instagram bio.
For better understanding more about Instagram Shops, we had published a detailed post on it, so make sure you go through right after this.
But for right now, let’s continue this guide by moving to the next Instagram feature updates.
Feature 3: Instagram Guides
Instagram guides is another latest Instagram new features had been released since the end of the year 2020, and there are still many of social media marketers slowly discover out what they are actually works or that they are in existence.
Let’s have a discussion at this small business’s Instagram profile page as a reference.
Based on their account dashboard, you can observe that all the different sections, started from left to right accordingly, they are:
- the main feed section,
- the reels section,
- the IGTV section,
- the guides section,
- the products section,
- the filters section (yes when you make use of Instagram stories for business, you can generate your own branded filters for users to use in their IG Stories! ), and
- the photos tagged in section
Most of the user are still not familiar with this guide icon yet, therefore let’s take a first look of this feature.
Instagram Guides is the curated lists for places, products or posts.
And based on how your business relates to anyone of those three categories, Guides can be a great way to promote your own business.
For example, this small-business owner selling crafting hand painted mugs, crafting calendars and crafting greeting cards.
And this business owner is promoting her very own self-made products in her curated list of Coworker Gifts, Gifts for the Coffee Lover etc.
If your Instagram account had been switched to business account,you see the prompt to your own Guide depending on the account been register in which country too.
When we are tap in to Guide, we see the option to create a Guide based on these 3 categories: places, products or posts.
Select the category of guide type that you think is going to contribute the most valuable to your followers while still indirectly promote the related products of you have offering.
For example, when you owned an e-commerce store, a product guideline would be the perfect tool for you and your followers.
If you provide a service, a post of guideline that collectively teaches your own audience how to perform something may be most effective, and so on.
Feature 4: Instagram Live
Next, moving on to the next Instagram new features and updates that is Instagram Live.
As a business owner like you, either you can use Instagram Live to self broadcasting in front of your smartphones or you can broadcast yourself by using your own digital camera such as GoPro that can connecting directly to your Instagram app.
When make a broadcast live on Instagram Live, your own Instagram followers can also watching on your live broadcast what you recording it in real-time.
The followers who are viewing can instantly comment on your live streaming as long as they’re still watching, and those comments can appear be instantly at bottom of the screen in real-time.
Here are few suggestions cater for business owners on how make use of Instagram Lives such as:
- To create a Q&A section with your followers and your customers.
- To present your product on how it is works if, what is the function of the product, or how it can helps your customers.
- To share exciting news and updates about your products or your brand as they are your followers based on the relevant interest.
- Last but not least is to show your own followers regarding about something that’s relevant to their interest as well as to your business just like your video blog post.
In general, the role of Instagram Lives is to improve the relationship between your brand and potential or existing customers.
By doing so will also boost the social media engagement rate, as well as your own post reach.
So what are the latest updates for Instagram Lives in 2021?
- You now can on Live for maximum 4 hours.
Unlike previous update, it go Live for only limited to an hour just before it would shut off live section.
You might be thinking that an hour is more than enough for sure but yet now is extending up to enough 4 hours.
Yet, you will be surprising that how many brand owners will going to utilize it to get exactly cut off that going more than hours limit!
Most of the consumers will appreciate the transparency of the brands that had relationship with the business, and Instagram Lives are the wonderful way to provide that the plus points.
So where exactly your followers can find your Instagram Live? Users still can manage view at their Instagram Stories at the top of your feed and check out who is on Live as it is indicated by the Live icon.
- Followers can also now notice who is in the Live Now section.
On the other hand of this Instagram update, followers can tap into the Explore section, after that tap the Live Now section and scroll through to explore more Lives broadcasting beyond the accounts that aren’t follow.
However it is depending on how your users have set their own Instagram notifications settings, they will also get notification once your profile is going on Live.
If they have notifications setting enabled,then they will definitely receive the notification once your account is going on Live which is the reason why you can see many business accounts encouraging their followers to do this!
- Live broadcast video now can be saved in your archive for up to 30 days.
This Instagram update is important mainly because of you have more time to save them and re-use them as other format of content especially for IGTV content in case you want to.
Followers often appreciate when replayed the Lives to IGTVs. This is beneficial for both:
- those followers who weren’t able to join on the party to watch the Live in real time, and
- those who would like to recall back to something that was mentioned or shown in the particular video later on
Once again, Instagram Lives are just the better way to enhance the relationship between you and your followers.
Particularly, this will help nudge all of them along with your sales funnels in the hopping to convert them into your customers.
And lastly, these latest updates can give you more authority to do beyond that.
Feature 5: Instagram Keyword Search
Last but not least, this update is probably one of the most exciting Instagram updates for 2021.
This keyword search update could be a game-changer for entire Instagram in terms of how brands interacting with end-users and vice versa.
Up to date, businesses are recommend to include hashtags and Geo-locations in their Instagram bio and their posts in order to let the users to discover their posts via keyword search.
For the reason of hashtags is the important content search for Instagram just like your Google search.
Yet in 2021, Instagram is definitely starting to test keyword search in advanced.
This means end-users can search a keyword via the Instagram search bar and find the most relevant posts and profiles that possess the relevant keyword in their content.
It also can be done the search without inserting for hashtags and locations.
As the results, this current Instagram keyword search updates act similary like how you search in Google search and other search engines looks like.
Search engines use keywords to craw out the relevant pages that most likely you may interest. As billions of pages had been indexed in the search engines resource hub you need to optimize your web pages to get rank in the top search pages which is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you are interested on how SEO works in Google and other search engines? Checkout another guide here.
In general of SEO practice is to place the keyword you would like to rank and optimize in your website content.
Likewise, an Instagram spokesperson said:
” the team considers a number of factors including the type of content, captions, when it was posted, and more”
to deliver the most relevant search results the app will show based on the search query that had looking for.
Furthermore, it also uses machine learning in order to ” find the highest quality and hight correlation content that’s relevant to what you wanted to search for. “
For right now, it is said that currently only grid posts will being show.
At this current update, the search function will be limited to “general interest topics and keywords that within compliance of Instagram’s community guidelines” according to the spokesperson.
Taking an example, some users are already discovering that they can search for puppies or even pasta related keywords.
This is essential for businesses to understand as they blueprint their Instagram marketing strategy for 2021 and onward.
For more strategic about the keywords optimization in Instagram keyword search, you’re highly recommended to place the keywords into your captions.
By doing so, it will helps you gain some extra miles reach for people searching that exact keyword in Instagram search bar.
And like most of the new features on social media platforms, it’s recommended you to get started to use these new Instagram updates at the early stage before other users do.
In this way, you will most likely to rank higher with the algorithm.
This will put you in the position ahead of the game when these trends start being in skyrocketing and taking off.
Instagram Updates For 2021 Must Started To Use (Quick Recap)
As overall, that’s it for the best 5 biggest hidden Instagram updates for 2021! Let’s have a quick summary for this post.
Now, we have learned the most-wanted and most hidden updates from one of the popular social media platforms is that Instagram for businesses. And following of these Instagram updates are:
- Instagram Reels
- Instagram Shop
- Instagram Guides
- Instagram Live
- Instagram Keyword Search
If these Instagram updates making you excited you want to revamp your Instagram marketing and social media marketing strategy, let us help you achieve more!
Get in touch with us now to get started!