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You can count on the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, to post an announcement video weekly, informing us about the latest changes, features and Instagram updates being released that week.
It can be hard to keep track of Instagram’s most important updates, algorithm changes, and new features, so in this post, I’m compacting the top 10 most important ones from the year this far.
(And make sure you read to the end where I’ll spill a few secret projects Instagram has in the works that haven’t been announced yet.)
1. Feed Control and Chronological Feed:
If you haven’t heard or noticed yet, earlier this year, Instagram updated the functionality of the Instagram Feed so that users can have more control over what they see.
The biggest feedback from users that prompted this update was wanting the chronological feed back.
Users felt that they were missing posts from people they follow and their favorite creators. They felt having this option of changing to a chronological feed would help them catch up on the latest posts.
Thanks to this feedback, we now have 3 feed options: Home, Following, and Favorites.
The Home Feed is the standard feed we all know by now. It is the default feed Instagram uses when you open the app.
This view uses Instagram’s ranking algorithm to show you content they think you’ll like the most based on your behavior on the app.
Following & Favorites Feed
The Following and Favorites Feeds are both chronological feed options.
When you click on the Instagram logo on the top left, a dropdown menu will let you select either “Following” or “Favorites.”
- The Following Feed shows you the latest posts from people you follow.
- The Favorites Feed shows you the latest posts from your favorite creators.
I personally love the favorites option and find myself going to it often for inspiration.
Right now, you can have up to 50 accounts on your Favorites list… plenty of room to add me to your Favorites to stay up-to-date with the latest tips and tricks 😉.
2. Ranking For Originality
This one sounds simple, but it is a BIG DEAL. With this Instagram update, you can ABSOLUTELY count on it affecting the algorithm and how Instagram ranks content.
To hear it from Adam himself, check out his Reel right here (it’s the last point he talks about, so you’ll have to watch to the end).
Moving forward, creating ORIGINAL CONTENT will be a focus for Instagram.
Now obviously, this change will discourage people from stealing or reposting other creators content, but what else will they classify as “original content?”
Could it include re-uploading TikTok videos as Reels? Or maybe they’ll try to encouraging creators to make Reels with Original Audios instead of trending audios.
Right now, it’s up to interpretation and only time will tell what exactly this means.
What are your thoughts on this one? Let me know in the comments!
3. Reels on FaceBook
This update was overlooked when it was announced, but it has a huge impact on reach!
If your Instagram account is connected to FaceBook, you can now post your Reels to both Instagram AND FaceBook when pressing publish.
How does this affect you?
Let’s take a look at one of my student’s insights from my course, The Modern Influencer (see image on the right).
As you can see from this screenshot, the data looks a little confusing. How can she have 5,000 plays on the video AND 70,000 plays?
What this data is actually showing, the top number is how many plays received from the Instagram platform only. The 2nd number, is showing the total number of plays received from both Instagram and Facebook.
For her, this video performed REALLY WELL over on FaceBook.
This is how posting your Reels to both platforms can help increase your reach.
Well really, this shows that publishing your content to more than one platform can help increase your reach. You never know which platform that piece of content will perform best on.
Instagram? FaceBook? TikTok? YouTube Shorts? You can create your content calendar to post 1 video to all 4 at once.
Social Media Tools That Can Help Tremendously
If you’re like, “Millie…it’s too much work to schedule my content onto each platform at a time. I don’t have the time,” then luckily there are so many tools that you can use to plan, schedule and automate your content calendar.
For scheduling and automating content, I highly recommend checking out Metricool. If you’ve been watching my YouTube videos for a while, then you know I love Metricool and personally use them for scheduling my content on all platforms.
For planning and organizing, then try a project management tool like Trello or ClickUp. Those tools can save you so much stress if you’re regularly posting different content to different platforms and don’t know how to organize it all in your head or on your computer’s hard-drive.
Anyway, let’s get back to why you’re here: Instagram’s next update!
4. Fully Immersive Mobile Experience/Full-Screen Feed (No More 4×5 Crop?)
Instagram is testing the full-screen view for some users, where photos and videos will be shown on your feed in the 9×16 format.
They noticed that Reel viewership is going up. Users are now spending 20% of their time watching Reels so they want to bring video more front-and-center.
They believe the future of the internet is mobile-first, so they are granting access to taller photos and taller videos in the home screen as you’re scrolling.
I’ve noticed this in my feed for Reels, but I haven’t seen these changes for photo. I HOPE I get access to the taller photo options though, because that 4×5 crop is a pain in the butt and might actually encourage me to post more photos!
What do you think?
5. Product Tags & Affiliate Tagging
On April 18th of this year, Instagram announced that Product Tagging will be expanding in-feed to everyone. This is the ability to use the tagging feature to tag a brand and then select a specific product to drive some traffic to your favorite product, business or creator.
This is going to be PERFECT for when the affiliate option is available to everyone!
YES, more of you can start earning affiliate income when tagging products on both Reels and in-feed posts.
(NOTE: Instagram only says Product Tagging is available to everyone. Not everyone has access to their affiliate program, but we’re on the right track!)
If you do have access to the affiliate program, you’ll receive commission payments based on the total sales you drive for a brand. You can see a brand’s commission rate within the app.
To see if you’re eligible for making money with affiliate, head to “Professional Dashboard” and tap “Set Up Affiliate.” If that option is there, you’re eligible! If not, you may not be eligible yet.
6. 90-Second Reels + Reels Merge
On the Instagram creator account, they announced that 90-second Reels are now available, so you can create more storytelling and more captivating Reels.
There seems to be mixed views on this. Some creators are stoked to have more time to provide longer, more entertaining and educational content, while others are like, “Nah. The sweet spot is still 7-11 seconds, I’m not going to create any content longer than that.”
I’m not quite sure where I stand with this one yet because I haven’t tested it out enough myself to have an opinion.
I know TikTok has a 3-minute option, and it seems that’s the direction Instagram is heading.
Adam Mosseri also announced that Instagram Video and Reels are now merging, so all video content on Instagram will now be “Reels.”
While TikTok and Reels have shown that short-form video content is extremely important, it seems they also see a benefit to allowing longer-form video content.
How do you feel about Reels and IG Video merging?
Yes, another way to monetize Instagram is by starting a subscription.
Subscriptions on Instagram are when your followers can get exclusive content from you and you can get recurring monthly payments!
I think this is a really exciting tool to help creators set up a more inclusive and sustainable income with their platform. Relying on brand partnerships alone is hard to do because that income can fluctuate.
With subscriptions creators will be able to set a monthly price of their choice, unlock a “subscribe” button on their profile and offer the following benefits to their subscribers:
- Subscriber Lives: Creators can broadcast exclusive Lives to their subscribers, allowing them to engage more deeply.
- Subscriber Stories: Creators can create stories just for their subscribers, allowing them to share exclusive content and to use interactive story stickers with their most engaged followers only.
- Subscriber Badges: Creators will see a subscriber badge next to comments and messages so they can easily identify their subscribers.
This feature is only available to a limited number of U.S. creators during this initial test, but like everything else, will expand over time.
8. Testing Collapsable Stories
I wasn’t sure if I was going to include this one because I haven’t, personally, seen this on any of my Instagram accounts. Buuuut it did cause a mini uproar, so I thought it was worth bringing up.
The new feature being tested is where stories auto-collapse, meaning you can only see up to 3 slides per story. After that, if you want to view more, you have to manually expand the whole thing on the upper left.
I’m not exactly sure how this will work or affect story views because in all the screen recordings I’ve seen, they don’t play through all 3 slides.
What happens after you’ve viewed the first three stories? Does it take you to the next creator’s stories without the option to “continue viewing this person’s stories?”
I’m still not 100% sure how this works, but if that is how it works, this feature could really tank story views. That’s something I wouldn’t be excited about.
But for now, this feature is only being tested on a select few accounts… (and hopefully it doesn’t go very far…)
9. NFTs on Instagram
(Again, another monetization opportunity for people who want to make money on Instagram.)
For those of you who don’t know, NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, and… I can’t even get into explaining what they are, without this post turning into a college textbook… so, that’ll be for another time.
Right now there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram. And when sharing an NFT, it will automatically tag and credit the original creator, which is pretty cool.
If you want to see the digital collectibles in action and how NFTs are currently being shared on Instagram, here are a few accounts you can visit:
10. Enhanced People Tags
For creators on Instagram, proper crediting has never been more important. Especially for marginalized and underrepresented creators and collaborators whose contributions are often behind the scenes.
With this new feature, Instagram wants to show how creators are incredibly important to them and they know how important it is for creators to get credit for the work and art they do.
In other words, give credit where credit is due.
Enhanced People Tags allows you to select a category for yourself, and that category will show up when you’re tagged in a photo or video. This can help make sure that you can have your presence and identity be what you want it to be and have credit flow from there.
To select your category, just go to your profile and press “Edit Profile” and from there, select your desired category.
This also ties into ranking for originality, as we discussed earlier. Instagram wants to help creators who are making original work rank higher, and not just some random account that reposts your work, ya know?
Which is the perfect transition to talk about leaked features.
Leaked Instagram Features
These two leaked features I’m going to talk about are features that might be coming to Instagram soon.
100% credit of these leaks go to @alex193a on Twitter. That’s who I follow to stay up to date on new features coming out before they come.
If you think any of these leaks are fascinating, go follow him! Show him some love and support so he can keep doing what he’s doing!
LEAK 1: Repost Option on Instagram
This repost feature will encourage people to repost content while actually making sure all credit goes to the original creator!
Why wasn’t this a thing sooner!?
Right now, people are just screenshotting or screen recording other people’s content and posting it as their own, but now, you’ll be able to repost other people’s content to your main feed.
When reposting, this will show up on a new tab on your profile, similar to how Reels has their own tab.
I’m not sure if it will be available to all types of content when it’s launched or like for photos. But I’m excited because this will help me share Instagram updates with all of you!
As soon as Instagram posts something I could be like “BOOM! RE-SHARE! PUT IT ON MY FEED SO YOU’RE ALL UP TO DATE!”
LEAK 2: Re-design For Reels
THIS is what this new redesign looks like. Kinda looks like it’s gravitating towards TikTok?
But obviously, it looks way better than how it looks now. It makes more sense and doesn’t show an endless list of things you can do, it just seems more concise and easier. I’m excited to see this change take place!
What do you think about these updates and leaks? Which are your favorite or ones you don’t care much for?
Are there any features you want Instagram to release?
I love hearing from everyone who watches my videos and reads my blog. So let me know in the comments below!
Follow your joy!