In 2020, Instagram has given its users some incredible new features and updates. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting people and businesses alike, the platform has recognized the importance & power of social media marketing now, more than ever before.
We’ve put together 8 major changes & updates Instagram released this year, and what they mean for their users across the globe.
Support small businesses story sticker
Users can now show love for your favorite local businesses through the story feature on Instagram. This feature officially rolled out in early May, when local & small family-owned businesses were struggling to stay afloat amidst COVID-19 lockdown. The “support small business” sticker allows other users to preview the account and the story slide is also added to a shared Instagram story.
Early this year, Instagram added a new feature that allows users to easily sort through which followers they interact most and least with. This allows users to manage their follow status, turn-on notifications, or mute an account.
Augmented reality filters, better known as AR filters, are computer-generated effects that work with your camera, adding a layer of effects in the foreground or background of your image. They were initially introduced in 2017, but it wasn’t until this year that users were able to create their own. Although it sounds like a complicated undertaking, Spark AR Studio makes it simple for users to customize images and videos through codeless design.
Instagram Guides launched in late May, with the goal to help users consume tips, recommendations, and step-by-step guides in a more digestible way. The new feature encourages trusted creators and organizations to provide mental health, wellness, and other educational resources for their followers.
In March of this year, Bloomberg reported, “Instagram started reaching out to its top video creators last Friday, asking them to partner on ad tests.” Up until now, Instagram has never shared ad sales with its users, but show advertisements both in the main feed and in stories. If successful, the new program will allow creators to receive the same ad share as Youtube at 55%.
Businesses are now able to add a CTA, otherwise known as “call to action”, buttons on their Instagram profiles. Through this new feature, customers can now visit the business profile and reserve a table, purchase tickets, start an order, or book through third-party platforms without having to leave the app.
Accessing DMs through desktop
This new feature was a game-changer for social media managers and digital engagement specialists everywhere. Prior to release, direct messaging was only accessible through mobile. Now, users have access to their DMs on desktop, making it easier for users to respond to their messages.
Music sharing in Canada
In February 2020, Instagram officially announced that the music sharing feature was finally coming to Canada. The music sticker initially rolled out in mid-2018 but was only released to specific countries, including Australia, France, Germany, and the US. Now, Canadian users are able to share samples of their favorite artists and songs.
The app serves over one billion users and the forecast still foresees a steady growth. Instagram continues to prevail as a massive source for marketing opportunities, so there’s no slowing down when it comes to rolling out new features for their diverse userbase.