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Instagram Updates Round-Up: More Changes To Look Forward To

Photo Credit: Maret Hosemann, Pixabay

 

We have a lot to look forward to in terms of influencer marketing campaigns as winter approaches, with Christmas and New Years inspiring some of the most creative collaborations between brands and influencers. So then, what could be more fitting then Instagram gifting content creators more tools to express their creativity over the festive season?

While some of these updates look to refine rusty features in the app, others look to be a response to the growing popularity of TikTok. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the latest Instagram updates and explored what this might mean for your influencer marketing strategy. 

 

1. Dark Mode

For all the late-night Instagrammers out there, you’ll be happy to know that at last Instagram has now introduced support for dark mode. If you’re not aware of the benefits yet of this feature, dark mode has been found to decrease eye strain caused by the harsh blue lights on our screen by using darker tones.

Both iOS and Android support dark mode. To turn it on on your iOS device, enter your phone’s Display and Brightness settings and toggle dark mode on. On an Android device, enter your Settings, select Display, then Advanced and you will find the dark mode there. While this is unlikely to change how users post on Instagram, it will certainly facilitate a more healthy interaction with our device – especially in the later hours.

 

2. Improved Hashtag Insights

The existing hashtag insights tool has already been a great method for both influencers and brands in gauging how their audiences are interacting with their content. New tweaks mean that you can now check how many impressions you have achieved with individual hashtags as opposed to all of them collectively, allowing you to better tailor your hashtag use based on what users are responding to.

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Photo credit: AlexTooby.com

While the feature is still being unrolled, those who are lucky enough to have it can find the insights by selecting ‘View Insights’ in settings, then scrolling down to the impressions section. Below that, you can find the ‘Impressions from hashtags’ section. 

This has the potential to better guide creators’ content strategies to ensure that they can align themselves with the most effective hashtag – potentially opening themselves up to a wider audience. This is just another example of Instagram giving their creators more power with knowledge.

 

3. Product Launch Reminders

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Photo credit: Instagram

To ensure that customers never miss out on purchasing a newly launched product, Instagram recently announced that they are testing product launch reminders through Instagram Shopping. The potential for this feature can not be overstated. Not only does it give customers the chance to shop with more ease, but it also helps content creators build hype around the product they are promoting.

The reminder can be added as a sticker to your Story, letting people know the exact time and details of the launch and also giving them the option to set a reminder within the app for when the product is released. The reminder not only ensures that anticipation for a product can be built, but will no doubt increase the follow-through rate from initial impression to later purchase.

 

4. Reels

Photo credit: Instagram

It’s no secret that Facebook recognises the threat of TikTok, with more and more young users being lured over to the short-form video platform for its addictive, endless stream of creative content. In an attempt to curb the tide of shifting attention, Instagram has created a Reels feature that will work similarly to TikTok – all within the same app.

Reels allows users to create short videos that, just like TikTok, can include music from Facebook’s expansive song library. There will also be a handful of crafty editing tools built into the feature. For now, Reels is only available in Brazil – a fitting experiment considering the nation’s social-media-savvy reputation. It remains to be seen how quickly users respond to Reels, but this isn’t the only TikTok inspired change the company is working on…

 

5. Updated IGTV Format

Photo credit: Jane Manchun Wong

As IGTV continues to find its footing as a video platform, more changes have been predicted by Jane Manchun Wong, the reverse engineering specialist whose insights we have routinely covered in our previous updates. Her latest investigation into IGTV changes has shown that Instagram is working on reformatting the platform to make the main feed a vertical scrolling list that leads users through a continuous stream of content – much like TikTok.

The format also sees the videos split into different categories as opposed to the current listing of the most popular content playing at the moment. This may encourage users to tailor their own experience based on their interests, allowing them to deepen their connection to the app. While the layout still remains in test mode and may never be released, there’s no doubt that Instagram is taking the explosive rise of TikTok seriously. 

 

6. Expansion of Like-Count Hiding

Photo by: TechCrunch

It looks as though the like-count hiding experiment that started this April will now become a reality, with Instagram expanding the test to everywhere in the world. For now, only a small percentage of users in some countries are experiencing like-count hiding, but Instagram is adamant that response to the test has been positive.

While this change has undoubtedly been disruptive to the influencer marketing industry, Instagram maintains that it is continuing to work on ways in which influencers and brands can ensure that their collaborations are garnering a response. We’re still curious to see if hiding like counts will have the desired effect on boosting creativity amongst the Instagram community as well as improving the mental health of users. So hopefully, we’ll have more to report on that in our next Instagram Updates Round-Up.