Instagram Updates Round-Up: Mid-Winter 2020

Photo credit: Raphael Silva, Pixabay


Now that the first half of winter is behind us, it’s about time we look towards some new and exciting changes set to brighten up our favorite social media platforms. We’ve already recently covered some of the updates coming to TikTok, so next on the agenda is exploring the tweaks and extra features set to alter how Instagram is used on both, mobile and desktop devices.

There’s a lot to cover with this week’s blog, so continue reading to discover the new changes expected from Instagram and what this may mean for your influencer marketing strategy.


Browser Direct Messages


Photo credit: Cloudlynx, Pixabay

In mid-January, Instagram announced that it would begin allowing a small percentage of its global users to access their direct messages (DMs) from Instagram’s browser website. While it still may take some time for the feature to roll out completely around the world, this news is undoubtedly going to be celebrated by influencers and businesses who may need to respond to plenty of messages a day.

So far, business accounts that rely on using quick reply messages are limited to 20 saved replies, which may be limiting to some that need to answer a broader variety of standard questions. Browser inboxes allow for messages to be typed, copied and sent more quickly, freeing time up for influencers and small businesses to do more of what they do best.

The introduction of the DM inbox to web-browsers can be viewed as the next step of Facebook’s overall strategy to merge the inboxes of its users’ WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram accounts across platforms. This increased flexibility, is bound to offer its users a more seamless experience, and strengthen Facebook’s hold on the messaging service market.


IGTV Advertisements

As we anticipated at the start of the year, Instagram is set to rise to the challenge of TikTok’s exploding popularity in the short-form video sphere this year, with the latest updates confirming that Instagram is working on allowing advertisements to appear alongside IGTV content. For now, the Partner Program is still in a prototype stage, but the update may be just what the feature needs to encourage more content creators to utilize IGTV to showcase their video content.

Of course, this is incredible news for influencers and brands and is bound to add a whole new element to using Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns. In addition to this, we expect that the quality of content shared on IGTV will rise now that creators have more of an incentive to generate views and engagement. For now, there is little known about how much creators may earn from the advertisements, but if it’s anything like Facebook Watch, creators can expect to earn anywhere near 55 percent of revenue generated from advertisements in their videos.


Account Interaction Insights

To underline its commitment to promoting closer relationships between people, Instagram has now released a way for users to check on who shows up the most in their feed and who they interact with the least. 


Photo credit: Instagram, Twitter

As the announcement explained, users just need to click on the “Following” list from their account page and the categories should be revealed at the top of the list. This feature will be great for users hoping to trim down on their following list. If users do not wish to unfollow these least-interacted-with users, they can also very easily mute them by pressing on the three dots beside the “Following” button and selecting “Mute”.


Improved Search for Profile Mentions

In a move that is bound to be welcomed by brands and influencers, Instagram has introduced a new Stories “@” search option that helps users to discover any stories where they have been mentioned and re-share them into their stories. The feature is available in the Create mode and appears as an @ symbol, and when it is hovered over will reveal how many mentions the user has had. 

From here, the stories are clearly navigable and can be selected for as long as they are live. This feature is bound to be used in many ways, whether it’s by influencers looking to promote the reactions of their fans, or for brands researching how much their brand is being mentioned by influencers or regular users. Either way, if used well it is bound to enhance the relationship between those behind creator accounts and followers.



As usual, we would like to shed light on a number of rumored updates that are expected to be announced by Instagram, as discovered by popular reverse engineering sleuth Jane Manchun Wong


Direct Message Emoji Reactions


Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

It has been confirmed that Instagram is working on a way for its users to respond to DMs with emoji reactions – just as it can be done on Facebook. Just like the release of browser DMs, this is bound to ensure a more seamless crossover between Facebook’s and Instagram’s messaging capabilities. In addition to this, it allows users to quickly yet evocatively respond to messages with a more broad range of visual emotions. 


Maps Sticker


Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

Another find by Manchun Wong reveals that Instagram is working on a Maps sticker for Instagram stories. We expect that content creators are bound to find many creative ways to use the sticker, though we think that it may be best used as a visual aid for influencers to communicate the whereabouts of shooting locations or venues that they may be ambassadors for.


Story Trimming Tool


Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

This long-overdue feature is set to introduce a major improvement to the in-app editing features of Instagram’s stories. This is a hugely important step for the app, as it doubles down on its commitment to tackling the rising challenger that is TikTok and its wide array of versatile and easy-to-use editing tools. We expect that this is only one of many changes to stories’ editing features to come in the near future, and moves like this are bound to keep Instagram-based creators from migrating to TikTok for want of more creative tools. 


What’s next?

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