Instagram’s New Updates & Future Features

By Kenzie Kerrick

Logging into your Instagram you may have noticed a few new features to be added to this month’s update. A Bio update allowing you to add account handles and hashtags for customization, a story feature to focus images, and an algorithm to stop auto-updates. Instagram is not stopping there; they are planning to create many more updates in months to come and some are already in the works.

Bio Update

How does it work?

To use this new feature, make sure to update Instagram to it’s latest version. This tool is as easy as it sounds, go to Edit Profile and under the Bio section and start typing out “#” or “@” for the desired account or hashtag you want to add. While typing a drop down box will appear with the tags, simply click the one you wish to add to your bio. Whenever a user clicks one of the hashtags or a handles added to a bio, an interactive link will push users directly to a new page. This creates a more seamless way to navigate through multiple accounts and your brand’s hashtags.

 

Why is this important for your brand?

You can add relevant accounts to your profile or hashtags related to your brand or brand image. This can be a great tool to express what your brand cares about or share other accounts that are connected to yours.

Note: When you add a @ or # to your bio it will alert the account you are tagging. The user has the option to untag from the bio.

Algorithm

The Difference

Instagram lovers rejoice! Instagram’s response after negative feedback from users allowed for this update to happen. The update will help newer posts be seen easier while scrolling through your feed. With the addition of a ‘New Posts’ button for users to click when they want to see new posts in their feed fixes the automated refresh that made scrolling difficult with unexpected feed updates. Instead of the algorithm meddling with new posts, there will be less interference allowing more continuity in what we are seeing and less of old content popping up.

Instagram Focus

This feature creates sharp images that are similar to portrait mode on iPhones. Focus on faces or objects to take your story content to the next level. This feature is compatible with the Instagram 39 update, new iPhone devices such as the SE, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, X and is compatible with some Androids.

To use this feature swipe right at the bottom of the screen (between Boomerang and Super Zoom). It will prompt you to “Find a face” – or object using either the front or back camera, once it focuses the background will be blurred and the focal point will be sharpened for a high quality shot. Don’t forget to mention who is in the photo with the @mention sticker!

GIFs are Back!

After some controversy with Giphy, Instagram and Giphy worked together to fix bugs and created stricter rules in regards to what is available for on the app. The beloved feature was introduced to Instagram January 2018 and it looks like they are here to stay on this platform!

What’s Next?

Scannable Nametags (work on this)

Currently in the testing are scannable tags to add onto profile pages. This tool will enable users to gain followers easily. This feature can be used outside of the application as well. These scannable items could go onto products or within stores to grow a new audience within Instagram. It is similar to Pinterest’s Pin Codes and Snapchat’s QR codes, both of which create brand awareness and help boost product sales.

Explore Page Redesign

The purpose of this tab is to allow users to access new content that they are not following. Through Instagram’s data collection they are able to find new users and brands that are similar to users’ likes and interests. Since many users are focused on their personal feed, Instagram has been testing a redesign on the Explore page to organize categories and hashtags at the top. These categories are a mixture of images and videos based on what Instagram believes you’d enjoy viewing; for example, People, Animals, and Sports.

Are you an Instagram Pro? Get access to unreleased features and be ahead on all the new updates with Instagram’s Beta Program for Androids! This allows for users to be the testing audience for potential updates. (Warning the app may be unstable as it is a trial period).

We want to know, what are your favorite updates and what would you like to see from Instagram in the future?

Let us know in the comments below!

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