Instagram has been a very busy bee over the last few months and has introduced a lot of cool new features and updates.
All social media platforms update things regularly in order to stay relevant and competitive, but Instagram has really stepped up their game lately and some, if not all, of the features I’m going to talk about below, can help you up your Insta game, and stay on top of your social media marketing!
All of the features mentioned in this article are at various stages of their roll out/beta testing. If you don’t have access to them try updating your Instagram app. If you still don’t have access, try doing a software update on your phone. And if that still doesn’t work, you will have to wait until Instagram rolls them out to you.
So let’s get into it.
The first new feature I want to talk about is the introduction of the Pronoun category to Instagram profiles.
So I’ve seen some confusion and discussion about this feature online, and while it is more aimed towards individuals rather than brands, it’s important to understand what this feature does and how to use it properly.
Pronouns is a new field for you to fill in when building your profile. The term Pronoun refers to the words we use to talk about someone when not using their names, and when you don’t use someone’s preferred pronoun it can be seen as disrespectful and insulting.
So Instagram has added pronouns to create a more inclusive environment where everyone can express how they identify and show that same respect for others, which is a great step forward.
So how do you use this feature as a business?
A business brand like Fempire, doesn’t use any pronouns as of course, it’s not a person. So traditional business brands can usually just leave this field blank, as it’s not relevant to the brand.
However, Personal Brands are a different story. When you run a personal brand, your name and face are front and centre – you are the brand. And because of that, it is appropriate for personal brands to fill out the pronoun field.
You can add up to four pronouns from the drop down menu including she/her, he/him, they/them, or other. And you can also choose whether you want to show this field to everyone, or to just your followers.
You can add pronouns to your profile by editing your profile and filling out the pronouns field.
Instagram has really started showing its desire to be a more inclusive, positive environment which is great to see.
Instagram Reels & Live Analytics
The introduction of Reels analytics is exciting as it’s a feature that a lot of businesses have been waiting for ever since the initial introduction of reels. As without them, it’s extremely difficult to judge the effectiveness of individual reels. Analytics are a really useful tool and were a huge flaw in the initial introduction of reels.
In Reel Analytics you can view new metrics such as number of plays, accounts reached, likes, comments, saves, and shares.
To view your reels analytics, open the menu in Instagram -> go to insights -> scroll down to reels insights
We’ve been waiting even longer for Instagram Live insights to be introduced and it’s finally happened. Live analytics will now tell you the number of Accounts Reached, Peak Concurrent Viewers, Comments, and Shares.
To view your reels analytics, open the menu in Instagram -> go to insights -> scroll down to live insights
Recently Deleted Folder
This new Recently Deleted Folder is less flashy but is still a very useful feature. And it’s exactly what it sounds like, a new folder feature where all of your deleted posts and stories are stored for 30 days after you delete them. This is a good failsafe in case you accidentally delete a post or delete something and then change your mind about it later on, as it gives you the option to restore them.
To access your recently deleted folder, you just go to your profile -> click the menu in the top right hand corner -> go to your settings -> click account -> and then scroll down to recently deleted.
Turn the Likes Count On and Off
Another new update is the ability to turn the likes count on and off. We all know that instagram loves to fiddle around with this feature and the likes count has been enabled and disabled a few times over the years.
However, with this latest update, Instagram has decided to put the decision in the hands of the users – so you have the control over whether you see the number of likes on posts.With this latest update, Instagram has decided to put the decision in the hands of the users. So you have the control over whether you see the number of likes on posts. #instagramupdates2021 Click To Tweet
You can choose whether or not you want to see the likes counts on other users posts, and also turn them off for your own posts. You’ll still be able to see the number of likes in analytics if you do decide to hide likes and views, but from first glance you won’t see the total number of likes.
If you want to turn off the number of views on posts, you can change it by going to settings in your profile -> then click on posts -> then select hide likes and view counts
This will stop you from seeing others like counts, but if you want to turn off likes on your own posts, it’s a bit more complicated.
Unfortunately there’s no option to do this for all of your posts at once. You have to go in and hide likes on each individual post which is time consuming.
So to do this, go to your post -> click the three little dots in the right hand corner, -> and choose the option to hide the like count.
Changes to the Swipe Up Feature
The swipe up feature is the option to add a link to an outside website to your story by having your followers literally swipe up on the story.
If you’re unfamiliar with this feature it’s probably because it’s only available to accounts with over ten thousand followers. However, this is a really useful feature and is something to keep in mind for when you reach that milestone.
So how has it changed?
Well this feature is still in beta testing, but it looks like it’s going to change to a sticker. This means that you won’t have to keep reminding people to swipe up in your story, as the feature will act like the other story stickers, and will give viewers the option to tap the sticker and follow the link.
This is a really cool feature that you can select which automatically translates what you say in your instagram story into written captions in real time. This makes your stories more accessible to the hearing impaired, and more engaging in general.
Only 29% of people consistently watch Instagram stories with the sound on, so this feature not only makes your content more engaging, but also means that more people will actually pay attention and not swipe away.
To use this feature, record your story as you normally would, and then go into your stickers, and select the caption sticker.
It will take a minute to process and transcribe your audio, and then you can review it, choose a font, and post your story as usual.
You can: Upload a video that you’ve pre-recorded to your story and use the caption sticker.
You can’t: Use the caption sticker when sharing posts in your story.
It’s time to get Creative!
Now that you’re aware of what Instagram has been up to, you can move out of your comfort zone and start integrating these into your social media strategies and coming up with new strategies to build your following.
Get in there and play around with these features, and test them out. It’s always good to be up to date on new features and social media hacks. And when it comes to social media, there is always something new to learn – so keep trying new things, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Have you used any of these new features yet? Tell us what you think of them in the comments xox
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Marnie LeFevre is the Founder of Fempire. She is also a #1 bestselling author and marketing expert who has made it her mission to support women to achieve the success they deserve and to lead with confidence. She believes women can achieve anything with the right support and a sisterhood to back them up.