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Best Instagram Updates of 2023 (& 2 Leaked Projects)

August 9, 2023

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You can count on Instagram to keep us on our toes and change their identity every two seconds.

I understand just how impossible it can feel to keep track of the most important Instagram updates, algorithm changes, and new features, so don’t you worry about it. That’s what I’m here for.

In this post, I’m compacting the top ten most important Instagram updates from the year thus far. After that, I’ll be spilling two leaked projects Instagram has in the works that haven’t been announced yet!

Instagram Update #1: Notes

This wasn’t technically this year as Notes launched in December, but Notes didn’t roll out worldwide until late January.

What’s Notes? Notes is essentially a status update – a way to start a conversation with either followers or close friends.

When someone you follow shares a Note, this will appear at the top of your inbox.

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, says he likes to use Notes to get recommendations from other people. And that’s not a bad idea!

I used this idea to post a Note asking my followers what their favorite Starbucks order is and y’all did not disappoint. I got several DMs responding to my note with your favorite drink orders.

And that’s precisely how it works. Once a Note pops up in your inbox, you can respond to it and that response will go straight to that user’s DMs, sparking more genuine interactions and conversations between followers.

Instagram Update #2: Reels Auto-Publishing IN APP

When you go to publish to Reels in your Instagram app, you can finally choose to schedule Reels to auto-post for you.

And guess what? It actually works! It’s about dang time.

It’s so great that Instagram is finally letting users auto-post. And that also includes Instagram Stories!

Yes, you read that right. You’re now able to schedule and auto-post Stories. However, this will not be done through their app. This can only be done through third-party scheduling platforms like Metricool.

Instagram Update #3: Quiet Mode

Quiet Mode is where you can pick times throughout the day when you don’t want Instagram notifications.

When you come out of quiet mode, Instagram will batch all of your notifications in one banner so that you don’t miss a thing.

Now I cannot speak for the effectiveness of this update because I always have my Instagram notifications turned off. I am always on Quiet Mode. So… cool feature, bro.

Instagram Update #4: Not Interested Multi-Select

In case you weren’t aware, you can long-press any photo or video in Explore and select ‘not interested’. If there’s a photo or theme you don’t want to see anymore, just tell Instagram you’re not interested.

Now, you can select multiple photos or videos at a time to let Instagram know you’re not interested in any of them, as opposed to selecting them one at a time. Hopefully, this will help clean up the algorithm so you can shape Instagram into the experience you enjoy.

Instagram Update #5: Gifts to Creators

In February, Instagram announced gifts in the US, which apply to all Reels past, present & future.

What does this mean?

If you’re viewing a Reel from a Creator who has gifts turned on, there will be an icon on the bottom-left of your screen where you can purchase a gift to send to the Creator to show appreciation.

As the Creator on the receiving end, once you get to a certain balance, you can cash those gifts out and get paid!

Then in April, they expanded this feature to a number of other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Mexico, and more.

This is such a cool feature that can help new Creators earn income earlier in their journeys by creating genuine relationships with their followers.

And beyond that, there are so many other ways to make money on Instagram. That’s why I create this free 100-day Instagram Masterclass to help you grow your following and earn more money in, you guessed it, 100 days.

So, get started with gifts and take my Masterclass, and you’ll be golden.

Instagram Update #6: Broadcast Channels

In February, Instagram launched Broadcast Channels. This is a one-to-many public messaging channel in the DMs section.

You can create as many channels as you want. And you, as the Creator, can share anything and people in the channel can react to those things.

Both Adam Mosseri and Mark Zuckerberg have their own Broadcast Channels where they share updates and news happening in the space.

What makes Channels different from a group chat is that people don’t have the ability to reply back. They only respond with emojis or respond to polls.

It’s just one, streamlined way for a Creator to send a mass message to their subscribers in a group-chat format, without the thousands of notifications from everyone responding to one message.

For me, I could create three separate channels for Instagram updates, YouTube updates and TikTok updates, and my followers can choose which channels to subscribe to. Then they’ll be part of any updates I have to share in each channel and they can react to each message.

Followers also have the ability to unsubscribe from a Channel if they no longer find it relevant while still following the Creator and showing their support in other ways.

Instagram Update #7: Meta Verified

Meta Verified is a monthly subscription model to get you access to verification, impersonation monitoring, increased reach and live chat support.

Now, this is definitely similar to the Twitter Blue update, where you have to pay for the verification checkmark.

When this was announced, people were livid when they saw they had to pay for “increased reach”. Instagram is not supposed to be a pay-to-play platform.

Because of those reactions, when Instagram released Meta Verified to the US, they removed the “increased reach” perk.

I’m not making any claims here, but I have a friend who pays for Meta Verification, and they say it seems like increased reach is still a feature. So, is it just a case of removing “increase reach” publicly, but still having that perk behind the scenes?

The downside to this is I’m not able to get verification on Instagram. Why is that? Because my name on my profile is different from my name on my driver’s license. Those have to match exactly to get approved for verification.

So, looks like I’m out of luck for now. Let’s hope they change that soon!

Instagram Update #8: Reels Trends

In April, Adam Mosseri announced the new Reels Trends feature.

There’s now a feature under your Professional Dashboard labeled, “Reels Trends”. This is where Instagram will show you all the trending sounds and hashtags.

As a Creator, you will now be able to hop on as trends are happening, instead of scrolling through your feed looking for potential trends and always feeling behind.

This new feature will really help you grow on Reels, so make the most of it!

Instagram Update #9: Enhanced Reels Features

This is a two-in-one update because we now have improved editing tools and new Reels Insights.

Enhanced Reels Editing

I am super stoked about this. I might even go so far as to say it’s my favorite of these Instagram updates. The editing on Instagram has sucked and I’m so glad they’re fixing it.

Is it the best? No. But it’s a lot better.

With this update, you’re now able to edit your video clip separately from the audio. It’s a lot more customizable.

It almost reminds me of the editing you can do in CapCut and other third-party apps.

Enhanced Reels Insights

On the side, there are the new Reels Insights.

When you check your Reels Insights, you’ll now have access to see Average Watch Time and Total Watch Time.

These insights are incredibly important because if you’re making video content, you need to know when people are dropping off your video.

Let’s say you have a 30-second Reel and with this new insight, you see that people are watching your video for an average of 10 seconds. That means there’s something about 10 seconds into your video that are causing people drop off or scroll away.

Usually, a low Average Watch Time means you may need help with your hooks. If that’s the case, you should download my 50 Reels Prompts to give you more ideas on how to grab and keep the attention of your viewers.

With that, you can now identify what is losing people’s attention, make changes and hopefully hold people’s attention for longer.

Now, when it comes to Total Watch Time, I think this will come into play with the new Reels payout process. This isn’t proven, it’s just a prediction.

We shall wait and see.

Instagram Update #10: Multiple Links in Bio

In April, Adam Mosseri announced that you can now add up to five links, with descriptions, in your bio.

When you go to add your link-in-bio, you can choose which five (or fewer) links you want to include and order them however you want, with the first link the only one fully featured in your bio.

When someone clicks on the link, a menu of all of your links will pop up and give someone the option to choose where they want to go.

And this is a feature that Adam said a lot of people were requesting and waiting for. Personally… I want to know who requested this so I can have a word with them.

I’m sure it’s in Instagram’s interest to keep everyone from using third-party platforms, which I understand. That said, I still don’t think this change was that necessary.

But this is something that can be done with a Stan Store and it functions and looks so much better. I worked hard making my Stan Store and I’m sure not letting go of it that easily!

But you have to pay for Stan Store, so if you want something free and find this helpful, go for it!

Leaked Instagram Features

Now I have a few leaked features that haven’t been announced yet by Instagram, but these secret projects have been leaked by known platform-leaker, Alessandro Paluzzi, otherwise known as @alex193a on Instagram!

Go support him on Twitter because he’s the only trusted leaker out there… which sounds kind of contradictory, but he’s always spot on.

Collaboration Status

Basically, there’s going to be a toggle on your Instagram account where you can choose “Open to collaborating”.

When it’s turned on, you’ll let other Creators know exactly that – you’re open to collaborating.

When you toggle to “open”, others will see this on your profile, in your DMs and in search results

I think this is Instagram’s way of encouraging Creators to collaborate with each other more, which isn’t a bad thing! When you collab, you’re essentially sharing audiences and reaching new faces you never have reached before.

New Voice Memo Features

Right now, you’re able to send voice memos in Instagram DMs, but they’re adding new features to this.

The first is you’ll be able to speed up voice memos to 1.5x or 2x to get through them more quickly

The next feature they’re adding to voice memos is if you have multiple back-to-back voice memos, the next one will play automatically.

The last leaked feature for voice memos is you will be able to listen to your voice memos outside of the app. So, you’ll no longer need to stay in your DMs to wait for them to finish. You can keep browsing through Instagram while listening to your voice memos.

As you can see, Instagram has been working hard to keep their app top-of-mind for its users and they’re doing a great job.

Maybe some of these Instagram updates aren’t the most asked-for or most necessary, but I love that they’re willing to try new things.

What’s your favorite new feature? Which leaked feature are you most looking forward to? Let me know and I’ll see you in the comments!

Follow your joy!

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