The Latest Updates and Features of Instagram 2021

Instagram has become THE social network for images! Instagram in 2020 is more than a billion monthly active users & 1.08 billion users.
Despite strong enthusiasm for this social network, the platform continues to have to innovate to retain its users and face healthy competition (we are thinking in particular of the increased development of the social network TikTok).

The latest Instagram features have also been created to allow the community to express themselves & stay connected with the people they care about. Why? Because today, you may not even see the posts of your friends anymore! Instagram’s algorithm is getting more virulent and doesn’t always allow you to access the content you want to see.

This often plays tricks on us & we must keep in mind that it was developed around commitment, interest, time & frequency but also according to the number of subscriptions. (A future article on this subject, would you like?)

In summary, you will quickly understand that Instagram’s new features are intimately linked to its algorithm & that one does not go without the other.
Back on topic. In this new article, I will detail the new features of the Instagram social network to absolutely use in your digital strategy and above all, I will explain why! Instagram continues to go further to surprise us and push us daily in its massive use.

Instagram Reels

One of Instagram’s latest must-have features is of course: REELS – which means “tapes” or “reels” (previously used to shoot movies) in English.

This feature is a new way of creating and discovering short and entertaining videos on this platform.

This type of short video is reminiscent of what made TikTok so successful, which Instagram uses here to build loyalty in its community and attract new profiles.

You will be able to create funny videos to share with your friends or with anyone on Instagram via the “Explore” feature. You can record and edit 30-second multi-clip videos with sound effects while using authoring tools (text, speed etc.).

REELS allow you to communicate with your community and make yourself known to the Instagram community, large & very diverse. You will be able to share your REEL in a dedicated space and publish it on your feed.

The format was strongly pushed & acclaimed by Instagram, which has also completely revised its ergonomics.

Let your imagination and your creativity speak to realize your first REELS and become a real content creator!

The Guides

Guides: a new way to create engaging content!

This new feature, proposed in May to a few influencers, now makes it possible to create micro-articles accessible to all.

These Instagram guides will make it easier for you to share products, places, or posts that interest you. But above all, to bring a new editorial approach to your accounts through storytelling. With guide writing, you will tell a true story, that of your brand & your account.

Three types of  Guides  are currently available:

  • Places: where you can recommend posts by location. Your saved publications corresponding to the chosen location are also shareable via this format
  • Products: to share your own products as well as those from different Instagram stores
  • Posts: To recommend your own posts or those of other creators that you have saved.

I particularly appreciate this new feature, which allows us, as Social Media Managers, to share longer content, whereas up until now, the media such as photos & videos were popular.

A tool that will undoubtedly shake up this social network once again!

Launch of Instagram Shopping in IGTV!

In 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, a feature dedicated to vertical videos, designed for mobile and integrated directly into the application. For almost three years, IGTVs have made their way!

In 2019, the watchwords were “story” & “IGTV,” & the engagement and reach of these videos were a real springboard for brands. Stories accumulate more than 400 million daily views & it has been shown that 1/5 of brands receive direct messages following their Instagram stories.

As you can see, the video format continues to be developed & promoted by Instagram, just like monetization.

With the arrival of the Instagram Shopping feature on IGTV, brands can expand their income through 2 means, namely:

  • In-app purchases directly on videos
  • Redirection to the seller’s website

In the same vein, Instagram has decided to highlight the shopping part. The “shop” tab is now accessible in one click from your home page. This will allow you to discover branded products but above all to buy directly through the application. Instagram will also offer you personalized recommendations based on your browsing history & products you have already spotted.

A new ergonomics which makes sense in particular in the current context of COVID-19 & where the population is more and more forced to buy online.

The Shopping will soon be available through the Reels, but no date has yet been communicated. To be continued!

To go further!

A new way of presenting archived stories has emerged on Instagram. Indeed, two display models are now available:

  • Calendar display: this allows you to see when your stories were taken (up to 3 years ago)
  • The map that indicates in which locations your photos were captured. It is necessary to add the location sticker to your stories so that they can appear on the map in your archives.    

Without forgetting, the update of Instagram Search!

Surely you’ve noticed it, but Instagram has decided to expand the search for keywords. Previously, the only way to find content on Instagram was to search through a username, hashtag, or location.

Now, for any search, you will be able to consult the public posts containing your keyword! This expansion of the search function will give you more ways to find what you are looking for.

Now you wonder why do we have to use all these new features as a brand? Simply to counter Instagram’s ferocious algorithm! As stated at the beginning of the article, this algorithm continues to develop and it is in particular more and more difficult to multiply the interactions & to bring out your publications.

The Instagram algorithm will simply notice that you are using its new features & your account will stand out more in your community and in the “Explore” feature.

Therefore, it is essential to integrate these features into your digital strategy and use them as much as possible to boost your Instagram account’s visibility!

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