We’ve got to talk about a few new Instagram updates that happened in March.
In our opinion, these new updates are game changers for the Instagram platform, Instagram users, and the content you create.
So we’re going to jump right into it.
6 New Instagram Updates You Should Know About
- Instagram Rooms
- Leaked Affiliate Opportunity for Creators
- Removal of Likes
- Limited Reach for Reels That Have a TikTok Watermark
- Vertical Stories
- Adults Can’t Message Teens Who Don’t Follow Them
Instagram started the month of March strong by introducing Instagram Rooms.
Instagram Rooms is a way to go live with up to 3 guests at one time – for a max live of 4 people in total.
Remember that originally, you could only go live with one other guest.
So, why did Instagram increase the number of guests?
Well, according to Instagram, this request was highly requested and they hope that doubling up on Live will open up more creative opportunities.
And, in our opinion, Instagram is right.
Here are some cool ways brands can start to use Instagram Rooms:
a. Product Tutorials
The first way brands can use Instagram Rooms is through product tutorials.
The stats show that video helps 55% of people make purchasing decisions. Hence, the rise in customer POV-type commercials and video ads.
The same thinking can be applied to Instagram Rooms.
Simply gather content creators or members of your team and demonstrate the use of your product or service.
b. Panel Discussions
The second way brands can use Instagram Rooms is through panel discussions.
Instagram Rooms make a great place to host panels, Q&As, AMAs, and more.
When launching Rooms, Instagram used Rooms in this exact way and went live every day for a #StopAsianHate fundraiser.
c. Customer Interaction
The third way brands can use Instagram Rooms is through customer interaction
Imagine going live and allowing up to 3 of your customers to join you at the same time.
This is a fun opportunity to build relationships and boost loyalty amongst your customers.
And if you want, you can read our post to learn some Instagram engagement hacks next.
Instagram Rooms has not yet rolled out for everyone, so keep your eyes open for the feature to make its way to your account.
It was rumored in the past that Instagram was working on an affiliate program for content creators but we didn’t know much.
Well, thanks to the recent tweets by mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi, we now have our first look at the affiliate program…
…that will help content creators earn money when someone purchases from a tagged product.
According to the photos, it appears that:
a. Instagram is definitely working on an affiliate program.
b. You will be able able to earn money from both posts and stories.
c. You will have to search for shops and products you want to tag.
d. Instagram will make it easy for you to find products and shops to tag.
And we are extremely excited about this feature release.
Because not only will it allow content creators access to find affiliate products and earn a living.
But, it also allows small businesses like yours to have access to content creators that can help you grow your business.
This is a GAME CHANGER.
It appears Instagram is making a huge push for shopping on the platform.
The push was made crystal clear when Instagram recently replaced the camera button on the home page with a Shop button.
In fact, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, recently said the following to The Verge Magazine when asked about monetization for Instagram influencers:
“I think there’s a bunch of different ways in which we can help creators monetize… If we want to be the no. 1 place for creators, we need to make sure that we offer a suite of services that they find meaningful and valuable as opposed to just one type of unstable value, which is distribution.”
We now see the steps Instagram is taking towards monetization and we can definitely expect Instagram affiliate and more tools like it in the near future.
And if you want to learn more about Instagram Shops, then check out this post next.
Was your Instagram account included in the recent test from Instagram where likes on posts were hidden?
If so, it was actually a glitch.
Here’s what an Instagram spokesperson told CNN:
“We unintentionally added more people to the test today, which was a bug — we’re fixing this issue and restoring like counts to those people as soon as possible.”
Bug, glitch, mishap …
No matter what you call it, it is evident that Instagram is still moving forward with its testing of hiding Instagram likes.
Now you might be wondering why Instagram believes the removal of likes is a good idea.
Well, the idea goes all the way back to 2019.
In 2019 the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri explained to BuzzFeed News that removing likes was:
“About creating a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.”
At a conference later that year, Adam went on to say that:
“It’s about young people. The idea is to try to ‘depressurize’ Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people that they love, things that inspire them.”
And we can’t argue with that thought process as the link between likes, anxiety, and self-esteem has been a topic of conversation for a while now.
Nonetheless, no official decision has been made and we can expect Instagram to continue their testing.
We’ve mentioned in our past posts that Instagram prefers native videos to be added to its platform and frowns upon recycled content from other apps.
Back in February, Instagram was very direct in the do’s and don’ts when it comes to Reels on its @creators account.
According to Instagram best practices, don’t post a reel that:
- Is blurry due to low resolution
- Is visibly recycled from other apps
- Is uploaded with a border
- Has the majority of the image covered in text
If you do, your reels won’t be recommended as often to people who don’t follow you yet.
And this makes sense as Reels is a direct competitor to TikTok and they would like to minimize any promotion of TikTok on their platform.
Speaking of TikTok competition…
…Instagram has also been testing vertical Instagram Stories – a layout very similar to the one you would find on TikTok.
The feature was first noticed by no other than Alessandro Paluzzi.
He provided screenshots that showed text that reads: “Now you can swipe up and down to browse stories.“
Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch the feature is being built but is not out to the public at this time.
Whether the feature becomes widely available remains a mystery, but will clearly affect a brand’s Instagram marketing strategy once launched.
What we do know is that Instagram is ruthless in its fight to copy, we mean, to beat TikTok.
To help make Instagram safer for teens, Instagram has rolled out a few new policies.
Here’s a list of new features they are introducing to help keep young people safe:
a. Adults will no longer be able to message kids under 18 who do not follow them.
b. Prompts will appear to encourage teens to be cautious about the adults they are messaging.
c. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology will be used to better detect someone’s age.
According to Instagram,
“These updates are a part of our ongoing efforts to protect young people, and our specialist teams will continue to invest in new interventions that further limit inappropriate interactions between adults and teens.”
What Do You Think Of These New Instagram Updates?
There you have it – 6 new Instagram updates from March and February of 2021.
Instagram marketing for businesses is indeed one of the most effective marketing strategies today.
So don’t miss out on the benefits it can give your brand!