While the speculation pendulum has swung back and forth regarding the future of Instagram, the social media platform touted it had over 700 million users in April. Not too shabby! With numerous updates and new feature releases this year, Instagram has been making a strong case that it is a force to be reckoned with in the social media world.

Need a refresher on what all is new with the ‘gram this year? Check out the following list of updates that the platform has implemented this year:

GENERAL USER UPDATES:

ARCHIVE – Remove posts from your public profile without deleting them.

This feature allows you to hide published photos in a private section of your profile. Whether it’s due to poor performance or timing, you can archive your posts with the option of republishing later. The best part of this feature is that you won’t lose any of your engagement metrics such as likes or comments. And, should you chose to repost from your archives, they’ll go back to their original spot in your feed. Magic.

MULTIPLE IMAGES/VIDEOS – Create a slideshow of photos and videos in one post.

Have a set of images/video that you don’t want to split across several posts? No problem.

INSTAGRAM COLLECTIONS – Save posts into private collections or folders.

Create your own, private Instagram photo album with this new feature. By clicking the bookmark icon in the bottom right of a post you can save posts. Save posts from any account and organize them into different collections.

 

DIRECT MESSAGING – see private messages, shared posts and disappearing photos/videos all in the same thread.

 

INSTAGRAM LIVE UPDATES:

There are two additional features this year:

1. Great news! You no longer have to lose your live content! Save your live videos to your camera roll AND also add them to your Instagram stories.

2. Viewers can reply directly through your live videos. Hosting contests or looking for user-generated content on Instagram? This opens up a whole new world.

 

BUSINESS/ADVERTISING UPDATES:

 

INSTAGRAM PLATFORM API – Analytics and reports at your fingertips.Metrics that were only available through the Instagram app are now available in the Instagram API. Start keeping track of organic content performance on those third-party tools, and be on the lookout for new features regarding comment moderation. Note that only businesses with profiles will be able to access these new features. Stay tuned: more details to come! In the meantime, learn more about Instagram’s API here.

 

LEAD GENERATION ADS – Thanks, Facebook!

If you’re wanting to generate interest in your brand on Instagram, these are the ads you want to be investing in. According to AdEspresso:

“Instagram lead generation is all about creating intrigue and encouraging customers to make the leap from your Instagram ad to a sign-up form, an app download, or your website.”

 

With a wide variety of calls to action, these ads can direct your target audiences to pretty much anywhere you want: Learn More, Watch More, Shop Now, Book Now, Sign Up and Contact Us.

 

INSTAGRAM STORY ADS – now available to all business and marketers.According to Instagram, Stories is used by 250 million people every day. This is lot of potential exposure for businesses and marketers running ads in the feature. View one of Airbnb’s Story ads here and learn how to place Story ads here.

 

SHOPPABLE INSTAGRAM – Access to the “tap and shop” feature is expanding.An Instagram feature that is still exclusive to apparel, jewelry and beauty brands, shoppable Instagram is now available to a longer list of those brands. Make your single-image posts more “shoppable” by tagging products so your viewers can simply tap and shop. It’s very convenient and, hopefully, will be rolled out to even more brands in coming months. For now, Kate Spade is one of the select brands able to utilize this feature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENT BLOCK FILTER – Bye bye, inappropriate comments.
Business profiles now have the ability to use Instagram’s automatic filter or set up a manual filter to block offensive or abusive language in the comments on posts, videos and live videos.

 

And oh-snap! Here are some new Instagram Story features that rival Snapchat:

 

REWIND MODE – Play videos in reverse with this new fun feature.

 

NEW SELFIE / FACE FILTERS – Take your selfie to the next level.
Turn an ordinary selfie into a work of art with face filters. From koala ears to flower crowns, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.

Image: Instagram Blog

 

INSTAGRAM STORY LINKS – Keep driving that traffic.
This is a great new feature for businesses with 10K+ followers. Add links to pieces of your Instagram stories, and drive viewers to your site to learn more about a product or topic, etc.

LOCATION STORIES – Add location stickers to your Instagram stories.
Whether you’re letting viewers know where you’re located at a trade show, or you’re simply highlighting the location of a product, event, etc., location stickers give your audience a little more insight into where you and your brand are at.

 

Stay tuned for more Instagram feature updates!

About Jessie Hill

Jessie moved to Des Moines to study politics and PR at Drake University. Outside of account executive work, she enjoys painting large-scale flowers on reclaimed windows. Ask Jessie about social media trends, project management, or her beautiful paintings at jessieh@2rm.com.