New Instagram features: 2021 and beyond
This new feature launched back in January. It allows users to track performance, access professional resources, and grow their businesses. The professional dashboard provides another look into how businesses interact with followers, providing insight into what times audiences are online.
As of this March, multiple Instagram users can participate in one Instagram live session. Users can collaborate with other brands in their industry or pop a few loyal followers into the chat using this feature.
The Remix Reels feature entered the chat back in April. This feature allows users to recreate or respond to existing Reels, side by side.
Stories Caption Stickers
Another April addition— caption stickers for Stories. This feature automatically converts audio to text, making stories more accessible for deaf and HoH users and followers who browse with their sound off.
Updates to Insights
Instagram updated its Insights platform to accommodate for all its photo-sharing new features, too. Users can now examine analytics for Reels and IG Live.
The algorithm experienced some important updates this year, too. It prioritizes fun, engaging video, and does not optimize for content recycled from other platforms.
Additionally, Instagram got a bit more transparent about the algorithm. Some tips straight from the pros themselves:
- Post Reels often
- Use fewer hashtags
- Prioritize video and shopping
Links for All
Remember when users had to meet a follower threshold to link out via stories? Not anymore! Users can now add link stickers to stories, no matter the size of their account. This is huge for smaller accounts who constantly had to update their bio links,
This feature was taken down back in October 2020 due to the intense election but was reinstated this year. Location stories allow users to find stories posted in their area.
Another location-based feature launched in September 2021– map search. This feature allows users to find nearby shops, venues, and restaurants. When a user clicks an item on the map, they’re shown more info along with the brand’s IG profile.
Instagram added a Black-owned business label to the platform to support Black-owned brands selling on Instagram. This feature makes it easier for customers to find and support Black-owned businesses.
IGTV was given the boot this year. It’s been combined with Feed videos in one new feature called Instagram Video. Users can now tap videos in their Feeds to view in a full-screen video player.
Instagram’s been supporting its creators more than ever this past year. They introduced Instagram badges in 2021. Users can now tip their favorite creators through badges while watching a Live video.
Add Yours Sticker
The Add Yours sticker is a new feature taking stories by storm. It’s basically a public thread in Stories that allows users to share pics in response to a prompt. It’s a great way to expand reach and engage with others on the platform.
What to Expect in 2022
Suggested and Chronological Feeds
As of December 8th, Twitter account @InstagramComms hinted that a new Favorites feature is being tested and an option for the long-coveted chronological order is in the works. Favorites allow users to choose whose posts they see higher in their Feed. View these features as Instagram’s effort to give users meaningful control over their browsing experience.
Video memes are gaining steam, and they aren’t likely to decrease in popularity anytime soon. Video memes combine the success of memes with the success of short-form videos. It’s a combo destined for greatness in 2022.
A Focus on Community Engagement
Instagram already prioritizes engagement with fun features like emoji reactions and story stickers. We expect more of this to come in 2022, with the purpose of inspiring good conversation and building communities.
How to Keep Up with Instagram Updates 2022
As you can see, Instagram is constantly popping out new features to keep up with the latest trends in social media. Creators and brands alike need to actively keep up with new updates in order to be successful on the platform. Just think of it this way— what if you knew how important Reels were, so you posted recycled TikToks every day and didn't see results, without keeping up with the latest features and algorithm updates, you wouldn’t know that Instagram isn’t optimizing for recycled content. So, how can users keep up with the latest Instagram updates for 2022?
Well, social media is a good place to start. Instagram is prioritizing transparency more these days, and CEO Adam Moressi posts lots of good info and explanations on his Instagram page. Instagram Creators is another account to follow to read up on the latest news and updates.