As of late, Instagram has been making it's way from a visual platform to a 360-degree destination for all things e-commerce, entertainment and education. With this transition, we have recently seen a plethora of updates come along and join the platform. From updates around the Reels feature to more of an emphasis being made on Instagram Shopping, there's bound to be something to please everyone amongst the updates. In this post, we're diving into what the updates are, what they mean for you and how you use Instagram as a social media platform, and how you can use them to your advantage and leverage them for social success.
The new Reels updates, released last week, were pleasantly welcomed by many, especially as Reels continues it's rise to success. The feature is still growing in terms of what it offers users, especially in comparison to TikTok, but with the following updates, it will be even easier to use:
You can now create 30 second long Reels, instead of just 15 seconds long. This means you can now share double the amount of value. Even though it still doesn't quite match up to the maximum video length of 60 seconds that TikTok offers, it's possible that users may be swayed to upload more originals rather than repurposing old TikTok content on Instagram.
Reels are also now available to view on desktop, making it even more accessible for users.
Instagram also claims edits will also be easier with this update. Even the timer is getting a rehaul with the ability to countdown from 10 seconds.
New Instagram Layout
If you hopped onto the mobile app of Instagram around mid-last week you may have been shocked to see the entire layout of Instagram had changed. The update puts a huge emphasis on Reels and Instagram Shopping. As the update is still slowly being rolled out here in Australia, you may have noticed, or may start to notice things like:
There is now a plus (+) button in the left corner of your screen. This button is now your creation portal and is a one-stop access point for sharing feed posts, Instagram Stories, Reels, and IGTV content.
In the middle of the bottom toolbar, there is now a little video symbol for Reels. Clicking on this tab opens up a separate area for a dedicated Reels feed. It allows you to scroll through video content without being interrupted by regular Feed posts.
The likes tab has now moved to the top right corner of your home feed beside your message inbox. This is to make room for the Shopping tab on the right side of the bottom toolbar. Viewing the Shopping tab takes you to Instagram Shops; Instagram's e-commerce platform where you can shop from almost any pages, anywhere in the world.
With the new updates rolled out in Australia, we can see the emphasis being made on shopping and transitioning to an e-commerce destination. We finally have full access to Instagram Shops, and as we said above, there is now a separate tab to access Shops and from here you can shop any page who sells products, anywhere in the world. Over in the US, we've already seen this feature being used as a more streamlined way for users to discover shoppable products on Instagram.
This will be a huge change on the app and a significant pivot towards e-commerce.
The new Instagram Shop tab features a “Collections” carousel, with lifestyle-orientated curations that have been put together by Instagram’s shop team. All of the items in each curated collection are from brands that use Instagram Shopping features. And thanks to the rollout of Instagram Checkout, shoppers can tap “Buy on Instagram” to make a purchase without even leaving Instagram.
Facebook Rights Manager
Reposting other accounts images? Things are changing around this, as Facebook has just introduced a new tool called Rights Manager. This allows Creators to track down where their content is being used on Facebook and Instagram. It also shows where images are being embedded on websites.
The best bit? They can choose to block it's use or add a credit to themselves.
More on this feature to come over on our socials soon.
Facebook's integration of Messenger on Instagram
Last Thursday, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, made the announcement of a coming update to Instagram DM's that will bring the best features from Messenger and create a better experience for messaging across both apps. Private messaging is one of the fastest-growing forms of communication, and on Facebook's apps alone, he noted: "people send over 100 billion messages every day".
See the full announcement video here: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/videos/10112400329152771
But for now, here's an overview of what's to come:
Communicate across apps- seamlessly connect with friends and family across Instagram and Messenger by using either app to send messages and join video calls.
Watch Together- enjoy watching videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels, TV shows and more (coming soon!) with friends and family during a video call.
Vanish mode- choose a mode where seen messages disappear after they're seen or when you close the chat.
Selfie stickers- create a series of boomerang stickers with your selfie to use in conversation.
Chat colours- personalise your chat with fun colour gradients.
Custom emoji reactions- create a shortcut of your favourite emojis to react quickly to messages from friends.
Forwarding- easily share great content with up to 5 friends or groups.
Replies- respond directly to a specific message in your chat and keep the conversation flowing.
Animated message effects- add visual flair to your message with animated send effects.
Message controls- decide who can message you directly, and who can't message you at all.
Enhanced reporting and blocking updates- now you can report full conversations in addition to single messages on Instagram, and receive proactive blocking suggestions across Instagram and Messenger when you add your accounts in the new Accounts Centre.
Overall, there's plenty to love about what's to come on Instagram. From getting more out of Reels to a push for social shopping, Instagram is well and truly a one-stop shop for all things e-commerce, value sharing, entertainment and being oh-so creative. Experiment with what the platform has to offer, and adapt your strategy to what you find works best for you from trying out these new updates!