With over 1 billion users, Instagram has grown to be one of the most influential social media platforms in the world. It is known to generate the highest engagement rates out of any platform, because of this, it pays to keep on top of all the movements and evolutions that are occurring within the site.
Here are just a few of the latest updates that all digital marketers should be aware of.
Reels Expands to 60 Seconds
While Reels were originally limited to 15 seconds and then quickly expanded to 30 seconds, we've been limited to that for a while. But now, all users should have access to the option to create 60 second Reels.
New Reels Effect Grid
In another move to imitate TikTok, Instagram Reels have a new ‘Effects’ area and the grid where you choose your effect looks very TikTok-esque. If you haven't noticed it yet, go to Reels and select ‘Effects’ to see the new layout.
Facebook (owner of Instagram) has recently made a huge step into eCommerce by introducing Facebook Shops that are accessible though both Facebook and Instagram. Put simply, businesses can now create customisable catalogues of their products that users can browse, save, share and purchase from.
Insights for the Last 60 Days
IG insights in-app previously only gave you the last 7 days in the overview section. But now there is 60 days of data in the overview section and they'll be expanding this to 90 days in the coming months. On top of this, stories archives seems to have also been extended from 14 days to up to 2 years old.
Instagram Video Ads up to an Hour Long
Instagram is now allowing video ads up to an hour length for Feed, Stories, and Explore placement. While an hour-long video ad won’t be that appealing, this does at least mean you can use video ads longer than 2 minutes (the previous limitation). This will also allow you to include your Facebook video ads (that are longer than 2 minutes) in Instagram placements for more exposure.
Added Alt Text Feature
Instagram has introduced a new option of adding alt text to images. Not only does adding alt texts to website images help to better SEO ranking, it also means people with visual impairments can enjoy the social media platform more.
Stickers to replace ‘swipe-up’ links on Instagram
Instagram has just removed (end of August 2021) the ‘swipe up’ link in Instagram Stories in favour of a ‘link sticker.’ This link sticker will behave much like the poll, question and location stickers in that creators will be able to resize it, select different styles and place it anywhere in their stories. Ultimately this will enable greater engagement between audiences and creators.