Social Media Updates Round-Up: Happy 10th Birthday, Instagram!

Can you believe that Instagram has been around for 10 whole years? It seems like only yesterday that we were all posting pics with sepia-toned filters to a handful of followers, and now Instagram has unmistakably changed our entire lives. For the occasion, Instagram has revealed a few new features, some of which we will be detailing in the post below. Here’s to another decade!

Instagram Turns 10!

Photo credit: Instagram

Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, put together a thoughtful post detailing what the last 10 years have been like. Read it here for a little more insight on the platform and what to expect in the near future, and beyond.

Automatic Closed-Captions on IGTV

Accessibility is a very important topic all across the social media landscape right now, as differently abled users have been locked out of certain features and experiences for far too long. A big way to begin to fix this is that creators make sure all of their videos are closed captioned, which thankfully, Instagram just made a whole lot easier. 

Photo credit: Instagram

Using artificial intelligence (AI), Instagram now offered automatic closed captioning on IGTV, which is a big plus for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Available so far in 16 languages, the AI might not be 100% accurate, but Instagram believes that the more people use it, the better the AI will become. It’s a no brainer, really!

Shoppable Ads on IGTV and Reels

Back in 2018, Instagram launched shoppable videos on their Stories and Live features, giving brands and vendors a way for their fans to seamlessly buy merchandise while consuming content. Since that experiment proved a resounding success, as of this month, IGTV and the ever-expanding Reels feature will now support shoppable advertising. 

Photo credit: TubeFilter

In particular, this could prove to be a huge game-changer for Reels, as its main competitor TikTok has yet to figure out a way to monetize the platform for brands and creators. Will shoppability finally give Reel the edge they’ve been looking for since the feature was launched earlier this year? Only time will tell…

Suggested Reels Feed

Speaking of Reels, Instagram is really pulling out all the stops to make sure the feature performs. Now, on top of Reels appearing in the Explore page, you may have noticed there is now a suggested Reels feed nestled within your regular feed. 

Photo credit: Social Media Today

Here, much like on TikTok’s For You Page, you can scroll through the Reels of accounts you don’t follow, in order to discover new content. If Instagram is able to duplicate TikTok’s notoriously specific algorithm, this could give them a huge advantage over their main rival.

Reels and Shop Tabs

If you’re an avid Instagram user (and in 2020, who isn’t?), you’ll probably have noticed a few subtle navigation changes this month. As they roll out more and more features, they have found themselves in the position of trying to declutter the main feed while still adequately showcasing all the new bells and whistles.

Photo credit: Social Media Today

At the bottom of your screen, you’ll notice new icons for the Reels and Shop features, as well as the Search icon moving around a bit. Different users having slightly different experiences at the moment as Instagram tests out all the new options. Once they settle on something, it will probably be here to stay, as they are really doing their best to solidify these new features with their users. 

New Messaging Features 

DMing has become a huge part of the Instagram experience, with more than 100 billion messages being sent on Facebook’s family of apps every day. With those kinds of numbers, it makes sense that they would want to make messaging on the platform as fun and easy as possible.

Photo credit: Instagram

As well as new aesthetic features like chat colors and customizable reactions, Instagram is integrating Facebook Messenger, so ostensibly you will only have to manage one friend list when it comes to all your DM needs. Audio and video chat will also be available, now making Instagram a fully functioning chat platform as well as the biggest photo-sharing resource on the planet.

What’s Next?

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