Latest Instagram Updates: June 2019

Instagram has been releasing consistent updates on its app since the start of 2019. From testing out hiding likes to adding a shoppable feature to influencers’ pages, the platform is seeking ways that it can make creators, brands, and users happy and active. Many of these changes come from improving current functions on the platform, allowing for more creative content and better user engagement overall. Check out all of the new features Instagram offers that you may have missed below:

IGTV Previews in Feed
IGTV has been running for close to one year now, and Instagram is continuously trying to push more creators to share content via the feature. To do this, the platform met with creators and viewers for feedback on how they can improve it. This past February, Instagram enabled users to share a preview of their IGTV content in their feed. The post includes a one-minute cutdown that routes viewers to the full IGTV video at the end of the preview. This pushes more users to discover and watch IGTV content. Since its addition, Instagram has seen viewers spending more time on IGTV and a surge in new content from creators of all sizes.

Landscape Videos Supported on IGTV
At its launch, IGTV creators were only allowed to upload videos in vertical format. They voiced their desire to be able to create landscape format videos for their channels in order to produce more high motion content and include multiple figures in one frame. Instagram listened and provided support for landscape videos. While vertical videos are great to feel close and personal with your audience, Instagram now believes that this will allow creativity to flourish and increase engagement, just like when they expanded posts to more than just square photos back in 2015.

Donation Sticker on Instagram Story
You can now utilize your Instagram Story to support a good cause! The platform introduced a Donation Sticker that creates a nonprofit fundraiser for users to raise money for a charity they care about. Those that view the Story can click the Donate button to contribute, where 100% of funds raised through Instagram will go directly to the charity. Users can monitor how much money their followers have donated by swiping up on the Story. This sticker is a great way for users to increase awareness and excitement around important causes in their community, from supporting teen mental health to women learning to code. The Donation Sticker is currently available for the US market, but the app is working hard to extend the feature to the global market.

Explore Revamp
Around 50% of accounts use Explore to discover new pages to follow and content to get inspired by. The page received a makeover this month to integrate new features and improve overall navigation. A bar is added to the top of the page tailored to your interests, such as fashion, food, and travel. The front of the bar features two shortcuts to IGTV and Shopping to increase users’ access to this content. Tapping on ‘IGTV’ will display the latest videos from creators you follow or may want to follow. The Shopping section allows you to filter the type of products you’re looking for to create a seamless shopping experience on the platform. Instagram also plans to add personalized Story suggestions for users to explore and discover.

Introducing @shop
Last month, the Instagram team introduced @shop, a new community for those who love shopping on the platform. The account features small businesses and their creators, where users can learn the creative process of the brand designers to the heritage and values behind the brand. The feature also allows creators to take over their Instagram Story to take users on a tour around the office or behind the scenes on how certain products are made. You’ll find emerging brands like Feel jeans, products like Glossier Play Colorslide, founders like KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson of Mented Cosmetics, and the latest trends that the community is raving about. The best part is that every product featured on @shop is shoppable through the new product tags!

App updates are essential for brands, influencers, and users to get the most out of their online experience. As technology advances and the community continues to speak up on feedback, more features will be implemented to foster all types of creativity on the platform. What feature would you like to be added to Instagram?

Photos via Unsplash and Instagram