November 13, 2021

New Instagram Feature Updates and Trends for 2022

As we head into 2022, Instagram has made some adjustments and updates that are beneficial for everyone but especially for those who use the platform for business purposes.

So we put together some of the most relevant feature updates and trends that you can start using right away.

Let’s dive into it!

Instagram Features Update

Link Sticker

Sharing resources and information through links has always been a priority in every social media. On Instagram, one of the best ways to do so is by sharing those links in stories. But it was something not every user had access to. 

Before this sticker was created, users needed at least 10k followers or a verified account to add a link to their stories. This was possible using the “swipe up” feature.

Not quite fair, right?

That’s why in recent days, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri shared the news on Twitter.

Adam Mosseri's tweet about the new Instagram link sticker

Now whether you have a business or personal account, you can share whatever you want despite having a small number of followers or not having a verified account.

Parental Supervision Tools

Technology and social media speed up very fast and kids are the first ones at keeping up with it. But they can also be the most vulnerable and this brings concerns to their parents.

In that sense, Instagram developed “Instagram Kids” which was another version adapted to young people under 13, to provide a safe experience for them while using the app. 

They shared that the Instagram Kids project will be paused. Instead, they’re focusing on building parental supervision tools. Among the list of options in the app they mention, parents will be able to:

  • Monitor how much time their kids spend on the app
  • See who can message them
  • Manage who can follow them
  • Manage who they can follow

These features set the path towards a better and safer experience for young people, as well as for their parents. 

Limits

Being on social media can be tough, especially because you’re exposed to all inappropriate content like cyberbullying, aggressive, sexual and violent comments.

With that in mind, Instagram developed “Limits” which is a feature to prevent unwanted comments and DMs.

Instagram worked along anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organizations to create a predefined list of offensive terms.

As a result, users are now able to hide and limit the comments and messages from people who aren’t their followers or people who recently followed them. 

To activate it, you need to go to the privacy section in settings, select limits and manage who you want to limit and for how long.

A simple feature to avoid complex and uncomfortable situations. 

Audio Tab

Now among the options you have to explore new content, there’s an “Audio Tab”. With this new update, you can search for your favorite songs and watch the trending Reels that are using them.

This can be useful if you’re looking for inspiration to create new Reels, as well as if you want to reach a larger audience.

There’s another good option which is to record your own audio and if you have a public account, people can use it and it’ll be attributed to you.

Add Yours Sticker

The “Add Yours Sticker” is one of the latest feature updates of 2021. It allows creating a public thread in Stories where people can share photos and videos related to a specific theme.

The best part? It’s available for everyone, for all types of accounts no matter their number of followers.

It gives you the chance to engage your followers organically because it’s a dynamic they can be a part of.  

Head of Instagram's tweet about the new Instagram sitcker called Add Yours

Account Status

To avoid confusion when issues on your Instagram account come up, they created this section called “Account Status” where you’ll be able to see what’s going on with your account and your content, if it’s been taken down and why.

Instagram account status feature

Image Source: Instagram

You have the option to submit the content for review in case you think it’s been a mistake and your content didn’t go against Instagram’s guidelines. 

Before, you could do this as well. The main difference is that with the account status feature update, you’ll have a dedicated section.

Instagram Live Scheduling

Did you or your customers miss an Instagram Live because you didn’t know about it?  Well, with this feature that isn’t likely to happen again.

Scheduling will allow you to promote an Instagram Live on your feed up to 90 days in advance. People can sign up and receive alerts and reminders for it. 

This allows you to be more strategic about your Instagram Lives. The only similar tool that was available before was the countdown sticker in stories. 

It might seem a pretty simple feature but…

Just imagine that you promote an Instagram Live a few weeks earlier. As a result, your followers get reminders so they don’t miss the live and you keep yourself accountable by committing to it.

See? It’s a win-win! 

Instagram Marketing Trends

Influencer Marketing

Brands pay influencers to promote their products and this is a trend that will keep growing. Not only because it’s a way of reaching a larger audience, but also a way of building trust and credibility from people.

This trust leads to engagement and even sales without the huge investment that you may have with traditional ads.

Also, influencers connect with their followers on a deeper level because they humanize their content. They show what’s behind the scenes and what’s beyond the final product.

eMarketer estimates that by 2022 at least 72.5% of companies with more than 100 employees will use influencer marketing and 92.1% will use social media marketing.

emarketer statistics about the use of social media and influencer marketing

Instagram Shopping

Let’s be honest, we love a simple and fast process when we’re shopping online. 

Here’s an interesting stat: 130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month.

That’s massive, isn’t it?

It shows the amazing opportunity you have to reach potential customers through Instagram shopping. 

This set of features give you basic eCommerce options so you can offer your customers a great buying experience from within the app.

Some tools and benefits you get when using Instagram Shopping are:

  • Product tags: This allows users to tap into the images and videos you post to learn more about them.
  • Product detail pages: these are individual pages that display all the info about your products.
  • Collections: a feature that lets you organize your products into sections or categories within your shop.
  • Ads with products tags: increase the chances of reaching potential customers since they’ll be able to see the product’s key info. 

Instagram Stories Ads

4 million businesses use Stories ads every month, while 500 million Instagram accounts use Stories daily. This means that you have a high chance to reach your potential customers using Stories.

One of the main reasons this trend will keep growing is because Stories are very effective. It’s a direct format with a short duration, where you can present and communicate your ideas.

The app allows you to select the objective that you’re creating the ads for. You can choose among:

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions
  • Traffic
  • App installs

If you’re creative with your stories ads and use them properly, when people get to see them they’re more likely to engage with your ads rather than causing ad fatigue. 

Reels

Instagram Reels is one of the most used features right now because it’s powerful when it comes to reaching more people.

Whether it’s by educating, entertaining or informing, the truth is that every day more creators and businesses are using it to build brand awareness. 

Instagram image on feed and Reels section

Image Source: Instagram

Jack Shepherd, Founder at The Social Shepherd has seen clients’ results from this approach. He says “Instagram is pushing Reels much more than any other piece of content at the moment, as they fight to compete with TikTok and the style of video that’s working so well there.”

Beyond a feature, it’s a trend that every creator who looks for growth should focus on. 

Jack adds “We’re recommending to brands that they create as much Instagram Reel content as possible, as that’s where brands can really gain discoverability and reach as that’s what the algorithm is favoring.”

Also, another incentive is that Instagram will allow some users to earn money from bonuses by using Reels. 

To see if you’re eligible, you have to check your Instagram’s professional dashboard because it’s only available for business and creator accounts.

The Takeaway

Instagram is constantly changing as well as every other social media. Being updated about these changes is important, but being able to use them in your favor to create content is key to running a sustainable business over time. 

When deciding whether to try new things or not, doubt may come up and that’s normal. But sometimes, a fresh approach it’s all you need to keep going and skyrocket your business.

Looking for the best way to engage your customers from your website? Sign up for our Instagram Feed Widget now!



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