Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has quickly grown to become one of the most influential social media platforms in the world to date. With an impressive 1 billion users, engagement is on the up, and while there is still room for growth, the platform is also evolving. 

The top 50 brands on Instagram now have a larger audience than on Facebook. To take full advantage of everything the social network has to offer, it’s essential to stay on top of the latest trends and updates. In this blog, we discuss Instagram’s most crucial updates in 2021. 

taking inspiration from TikTok 

With TikTok quickly storming the social media industry, Instagram has taken inspiration by testing a new technology within Instagram Stories – along with introducing ‘Reels’. 

Instagram Reels allows users to create and share short video clips similar in style to TikTok. It enables users to select music from a large library of songs or choose their own audio. In addition to the music element, the feature includes a variety of editing tools, complete with filters and video effects, Instagram stickers and text tools. 

introducing the professional dashboard for content creators

With influencer marketing showing no signs of slowing down, Instagram has now created a new professional dashboard to encourage further content creation and engagement. This feature is expected to help support content creators and small businesses to build new content strategies and make better choices. The professional dashboard is available for all business and creator accounts on Instagram.

Elements of the new dashboard include:

  • Tracking performance – Shows useful new insights and trends based on your performance.
  • Growing your business – This allows you to discover the best tools to help build your brand.
  • Educational resources – Provides educational resources, including tips and inspiration. 

recently deleted

Gone are the days of accidentally deleting a post you wanted to keep on your feed. Instagram has now launched a new folder feature called ‘Recently Deleted’ which will help creators access any previously deleted content from the last 30 days. 

Anytime a post is deleted, it will be removed from your feed and then moved to the recently deleted folder. You can access this by going to your profile, clicking on the icon on the top right corner and then going to Settings > Account > Recently Deleted folder.

Instagram live has expanded

In March 2021, Instagram introduced Live Rooms, which allows users to go live on Instagram with up to three people, whereas previously you could go on Live with only one other person in a stream.

Instagram launched this feature hoping that the doubling up of Live would encourage more conversation, open up more creative opportunities. You can start a show, co-create with other artists, engage in Q&As and more. Live Rooms also allows creators to earn money. Live viewers can now purchase badges for their favourite creators to express their adoration. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Instagram has noticed that people are embracing Live in different ways. Monumental moments have occurred in the last year, with informational discussions about Covid-19 guidelines, interviews with the rich and famous and creators of all kinds relied on Live to bring people together and reach their communities in new, creative ways.

Instagram and Facebook cross-app messaging

With Instagram partnering up with Facebook in recent years, it’s no surprise that you can now send a message from Instagram to someone on your friend list on Facebook. The update also allows you to hold a video chat or share posts across multiple apps. You can take a look and manage these message options on the message delivery settings on Facebook. 

it’s no longer a photo-sharing app

Instagram’s CEO recently announced the platform is “no longer a photo-sharing app” – which may come as a surprise to most users. 

The Instagram feed has changed a lot since the app launched in 2010. Its original premise was to share square photos with your friends but has now evolved into one of the biggest, most influential platforms in the world.

Following the bombshell from CEO Adam Moserri that Instagram is far more than just photos, it’s a wonder where the app will go in the future. In our previous blog where we mentioned social media platforms that failed, we quickly learned that it only takes a slight change for the best platforms to die a painful death. So, what’s next for Instagram in the future?

The app will be making a lot of changes in the coming months, and the developers will be focusing on a more ‘entertaining’ approach rather than visual appeal. The research shows that its users are looking for more video, messaging and shopping content rather than imagery, so these elements will almost certainly take the lead in the future.

What has been your favourite feature rolled out by Instagram in the last 12 years it’s been present in our lives? 

Get in touch today to find out more about how our creatives at Rooster Marketing can elevate your social media marketing strategy.