Keep up to date with the latest updates from Instagram with this overview.
From new ad formats to upgrades to the Instagram shop, Instagram is constantly introducing new features for marketers. However, if you don't know anything about them, you can't use them.
Stay up to date so you are one step ahead of Instagram trends and give your marketing an added edge.
Here are the new Instagram updates for July 2020. Back to the previous months:
Bonus: Download a free checklist This shows the exact steps with which a lifestyle photographer on Instagram has grown from 0 to 600,000 followers, without a budget and without expensive equipment.
The most important Instagram updates you need to know in 2020
July 2020 Instagram updates
Here are the latest updates from Instagram from July 2020.
Instagram publishes reels in India after the TikTok ban
Following the Indian government's decision to ban TikTok and several other Chinese apps, Instagram released Reels, a 15-second video and audio clip feature, for a wide audience in the country. India is the fourth country to test the functionality inspired by TikTok after Germany, France and Brazil, where Reels was launched last November.
TikTok's departure from the Indian market offers Instagram mature opportunities. India was TikTok's largest user base outside of China with more than 120 million active users per month. One reason for the app's success is that developers can turn popularity into viable revenue streams. Reels does not currently support direct monetization.
Videos already make up a third of all Instagram posts in India. According to Vishal Shah, VP of Product on Instagram, 45% of all videos published on the platform are 15 seconds or shorter. The in-app tool lets users record, edit, add audio effects, and share clips in the feed, stories, and Explore tab.
An Instagram story released on July 20 by fashion influencer Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat) suggests that reels could soon hit the American market. In the United States, which replaced India as the second largest market for TikTok, officials have also publicly considered a ban. Facebook closed its TikTok clone Lasso on July 10th.
Instagram is testing a central shop tab
Some users may see the heart symbol in the navigation bar of the app, which has been exchanged for a shopping bag, in the near future. As TechCrunch reports, Instagram launched a small global test on July 7, replacing the Activity tab with an Instagram Shop tab.
With the shortcut, you can shop on Instagram with just a tap, while you currently have to tap twice on the Browse tab to reach stores. The activity also remains a tap away. It just moves up near the Instagram Direct paper plane icon.
Pin comment option now available to everyone
All users on Instagram can now add up to three comments to their posts above. The feature is designed to help users set and manage the tone of responses to their posts. Comments can be pinned by swiping left and tapping the pin icon. When an account pins someone else's comment, they receive a notification.
Today we post pinned comments everywhere 📌
That said, you can pin a few comments at the top of your feed post. By highlighting positive comments, you can better manage the tone of the conversation. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/w2X5grdee7
– Vishal Shah (@vishalshahis), July 7, 2020
Are you looking for more Instagram hacks? Here you will find our top tips and tricks.
Facebook is considering banning political ads
Before the US election, sources told Bloomberg that Facebook was investigating a political advertising blackout. The ban would reverse Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's earlier stance on the matter.
Facebook and Instagram currently allow political advertising on its platforms with limited controls against false claims and misinformation. In June, both platforms gave users the option to turn off political ads.
A ban on political ads would partially take into account the recommendations of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign. Almost 400 companies boycotted advertising on Facebook and Instagram to protest the spread of online hate.
Learn more about Instagram advertising.
Wear a mask reminder added at the top of the feed
In response to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Instagram added a warning at the top of the feed reminding people to wear masks. The reminder contains a link to the Center for Disease Control website.
With the rise in COVID-19 cases in the United States, we are raising an alarm in @instagram to remind everyone to wear facial coverings and to get more prevention tips from the CDC. #WearAMask pic.twitter.com/2VaG644Ylt
– Vishal Shah (@vishalshahis), July 2, 2020
Find out how to use social media for crisis communication here.
Facebook and Instagram start a voting information center
On July 3, voters in the United States received a message about voter registration above in their Instagram and Facebook apps. The message includes links to the state registration website, polling stations, early voting options, and more. Instagram now has election day countdown stickers that also refer to voting information. With additional advances planned before November, Facebook expects to reach 160 million people in the United States.
June 2020 Instagram updates
These are the Instagram updates for June 2020 that you should know.
Instagram promises to address racial inequality
Given the dynamics behind Black Lives Matter, Instagram has committed to re-examining how its policies, tools, and processes affect Black Communities on Instagram. The re-examination focuses on harassment, account verification, distribution, and algorithmic bias. The company has also committed to increasing the number of color people employed in leadership positions to 30% over the next five years.
Instagram has also added a “Racial Justice Act” section to its donation sticker options to make it easier for people to support related organizations.
We want to make it easier for you to organize fundraisers for organizations dedicated to racial justice. Tap the donation sticker in stories and you'll see a new section on the Racial Justice Act. pic.twitter.com/fi7ufx5JFR
– Instagram (@instagram), June 15, 2020
Read our guide to real social media activism.
Access to Instagram shopping will be extended to other companies
In June, Instagram introduced the admission requirements for retail to expand access to Instagram shopping to other companies. In accordance with the new requirements that came into force on July 9, any eligible company or creator account in supported markets with at least one eligible product can use Instagram's shopping tags. In order to be eligible, product lists must be available for direct purchase from a verifiable website or Instagram checkout.
Instagram tests a grid "show all stories"
More than 500 million people use Instagram stories every day. The popularity of the format is probably why Instagram is looking for ways to give it more visibility. Most recently, the platform tested the "Show All Stories" option, which brings users to a full grid of stories. The app previously tested that two lines of stories appear at the top of the feed instead of one.
You heard about two sets of Instagram stories …
Now prepare for "SEE ALL STORIES" pic.twitter.com/vs42wwHuh0
– Julian Gamboa (@JulianGumbo), June 26, 2020
Buyable product labels in captions
Selected Instagram business accounts were able to add product tags to the subtitles of their posts. Tapping will open the tag on a product page that can be purchased. The beta e-commerce feature was discovered by tech reporters Oriol Salvador and Matt Navara.
new to Instagram? Marking products in the COPY of an Instagram feedpost … https://t.co/0gIBIPq5UV
h / t @oriolsalvador pic.twitter.com/KTXC4xabF8
– Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra), June 17, 2020
Integration of Instagram Direct and Messenger in development
The developers of Instagram and Facebook are working on integrating the platforms' private messaging channels into apps. Early prototypes showed the "Get Messenger on Instagram" option. The integration enables Facebook contacts to connect via Messenger on Instagram. The functions of Messenger, including customizing chat colors and video chatting, are likely to be taken over as well.
As already mentioned, we are working on making our messaging services work in our apps. This is an early prototype that we are not testing externally.
– Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) June 3, 2020
May 2020 Instagram updates
Learn about the new Instagram updates for May.
Instagram opens stores
Brands and developers now have the ability to open Instagram storefronts that showcase collections and products that can be purchased in the app. People can visit stores through a tab in Instagram profiles or find them through the feed, explore tab and stories. The new native shopping experience aims to increase the return on social commerce by eliminating the problems between discovery and checkout.
Learn how to set up an Instagram shop for your company.
Live ads and badges provide direct revenue streams for creators
In late May, Instagram announced plans to start testing a new badge feature. Fans can buy badges during Instagram Live Videos to stand out in the comments, get a place on a list of the creator's badge holders, and earn "a special heart". Badges cost between $ 99 and $ 4.99. During the trial period, influencers receive 100% of the revenue they deserve.
IGTV ads offer another source of income for authors. These ads appear when users click the full video after previewing. A small group of creators and advertisers have access to the ad format, while Instagram tests various experiences, including an option to skip. Instagram has also expanded access to the Brand Collabs Manager platform so more developers can connect with brands.
Shopping comes to Instagram Live
Between February and March, when orders for home stays were placed worldwide, Instagram Live viewership increased by 70%. Instagram has made it possible to tag and display products in live videos so brands and developers can benefit from a larger audience. The test will start with companies and will be rolled out over the next few months.
Live videos can now be saved to IGTV
Instagram live hosts now have the option to save their live videos to IGTV. Before this option was made available, the live streams expired 24 hours after the first broadcast.
Learn how to increase your followers with Instagram Live.
Instagram brings out guides
A new "Instructions" tab was displayed in the Instagram profiles of selected accounts. The format contains a collection of curated articles and videos, as well as headings and tips that can be added. Each guide can be split into stories or direct messages, and they appear in a special section of the Explore tab.
At the moment, the guides are tailored to the topic of well-being, although Instagram has also published a guide to racial justice. According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, travel guides were planned as the first use case before the pandemic.
Starting today, you can see guides – a new way to discover recommendations on Instagram.
We know that people have problems with COVID-19. Therefore, the first guides focus on wellness content from respected organizations and developers.
Further information: https://t.co/nade33EfoM pic.twitter.com/AgivMXB1vk
– Adam Mosseri @ (@mosseri), May 18, 2020
Anti-bullying comment and tag controls added
To combat bullying on the platform, Instagram has made it easier for users to remove negative comments and control who can tag them. Accounts now have the ability to delete comments in bulk – a feature that is most useful for high engagement profiles or accounts that trolls target. To combat malicious use of tags and mentions, account holders can limit tagging permissions to anyone, people they follow, or anyone.
Today we offer new ways to control your Instagram experience. ❤️
Now you can delete multiple comments and block or restrict multiple people at the same time. You can also manage who tag or mentions you on Instagram.
More information is available at: //t.co/Ubhfr4IsPs pic.twitter.com/n6zKEa4Zju
– Instagram (@instagram) May 12, 2020
Giphy joins the Instagram family
As part of a $ 400 million contract, Facebook acquired the GIF Giphy website to integrate the website with its apps. The acquisition was largely motivated by the popularity of GIFs on Instagram. According to Facebook, Instagram accounts for 25% of giphy traffic. "By bringing Instagram and Giphy together, we can make it easier for people to find the perfect GIFs and stickers in Stories and Direct," the press release said.
Welcome to the family! For those who are wondering, GIPHY will continue to operate its library and content and API partner relationships. So if you use GIPHY on other platforms, nothing will change. https://t.co/DR1e3wCrn9 pic.twitter.com/U6XWAohtzU
– Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) May 15, 2020
Creators can now create AR effects with music
The effects gallery for Instagram stories is becoming more musical. The latest upgrade to Spark AR, Instagram's augmented reality platform, streamlines the AR creation process and now offers the ability to add audio effects. In addition to sound, another new feature allows you to create AR effects that change photos and videos from the camera roll.
April 2020 Instagram updates
Instagram story updates and more from April 2020.
Added gift card, food ordering, and small business donation tools
To help small businesses manage the economic impact of the pandemic, Instagram has released a number of features for business and creator accounts. After setting up their accounts with selected partners, companies can add stickers for "gift cards" and "grocery orders" to Instagram stories. In addition to a "Donate" button, companies can also add these options as buttons to their profiles.
Learn how to build your audience with Instagram Stories.
Live fundraisers start with the donation button
Instagram live hosts can now add a donation button in their video below to raise money for nonprofits. The hosts can track the donations and virtually “wave” to the supporters to thank them. If someone donates, they will have special access to an “I donated” sticker for a limited period of time. All proceeds from live fundraisers go directly to the selected non-profit organization.
Now you can create and donate live fundraisers on Instagram. ❤️ The money raised goes to non-profit organizations.
Donate and you will see a new "I donated" sticker in stories. When you use it, your photo / video will be added to a shared story where friends can see how you give something back. 💫 pic.twitter.com/RIKRP93XSY
– Instagram (@instagram), April 28, 2020
Steps to improve the visibility of long reach accounts
Facebook and Instagram are now testing a feature that shows the location of long-range pages and accounts. The pilot is currently focusing on accounts outside the United States, but is reaching a large US audience. The company also strives to make more places transparent, including Instagram profiles.
As of today, as part of our transparency efforts, we're showing the location of high-reach Instagram accounts on posts that they share when they're based outside the country and have a majority of followers in the country. We are testing here in the US to start.https: //t.co/HDAwVTzo2C
– Adam Mosseri @ (@mosseri) April 22, 2020
IGTV App gets a redesign
Instagram's standalone IGTV app has been redesigned to put developers in the spotlight, the company told The Verge. The changes also include the new Discover tab, which takes a page from the TikTok playbook by providing content from different creators (regardless of whether you follow them or not). IGTV videos shared with Instagram Stories now play a 15-second preview on Instagram instead of displaying a static thumbnail.
Read our full guide to IGTV.
Instagram Direct comes to the desktop
Instagram users can now read and reply to direct messages from desktop browsers.
March 2020 Instagram updates
Most new Instagram updates in March were released in response to the global pandemic.
The COVID-19 Information Center was launched to stop misinformation
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads worldwide, Instagram and Facebook have announced the steps they are taking to prevent the spread of misinformation.
In addition to the information center, which contains updates and tips from global and local health organizations, the company plans to remove "known harmful misinformation" related to COVID-19. Misleading content is checked by partners and exploitative advertisements are prohibited.
In addition to masks, we now also ban hand disinfectants, surface disinfectant wipes and COVID-19 test kits in advertisements and trading lists. This is another step towards protection against excessive prices and predatory behavior (1/2).
– Rob Leathern (@robleathern), March 19, 2020
When someone searches for or types in related keywords or hashtags, they are connected to accounts and resources of global and local health authorities. Some hashtags and COVID-related AI effects are blocked and restricted overall.
To help people get relevant and up-to-date resources, we'll be posting more information from @WHO and local health ministries in the Instagram feed above in some countries. pic.twitter.com/czAHYItlEx
– Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms), March 13, 2020
Learn how to use hashtags on Instagram to get results.
Stay home and thank you health heroes stickers added
To show gratitude to healthcare workers and promote physical distance, Instagram added a sticker for Stay Home and Thanks Health Hero to the story gallery. If the sticker is used, the story will also be added to a shared Instagram story.
Today we're launching a new "Stay Home" sticker that you can find in Stories. If you use the sticker, your photo or video will be added to a shared Instagram story where users can see how you can stay at home and be safe ❤ pic.twitter.com/MtU3d4bKKq
– Instagram (@instagram) March 21, 2020
Instagram pilots IGTV ads and monetization for developers
Instagram has confirmed that it has started testing in-stream ads on IGTV, its long-form video channel, with a small group of developers. According to Bloomberg, creators earn 55% of advertising revenue, which is equivalent to YouTube rates. These ads provide a direct stream of monetization for Instagram creators as competition between platforms increases. Instagram continues to actively promote the creation of IGTV videos on its @ creators account.
February 2020 Instagram updates
Here are the key updates on Instagram in February.
New categories introduced
The following lists and follower lists now organize accounts in different categories. Below the list, users can now see the 50 accounts that are most frequently displayed in their feed and the 50 accounts with which they interact the least. The full list of followers can also be sorted by newest or earliest. The categories on the Followers tab now include "Accounts you don't follow" and the 50 least interacted with accounts.
Support and calling tools to curb harassment
On Safer Internet Day, Instagram introduced new tools that make it easier for people to track and address problems. People who report content and accounts have access to support requests, where they can monitor the status of reports and request additional reviews. Deactivated accounts can now challenge the decision in the app and no longer via the help.
Instagram launches @InstagramComms on Twitter
Instagram has created a new Twitter account (@InstagramComms) for news, product updates and more. The company's primary Twitter account continues to focus on community stories, content, partnerships, and events.
Hello, we are the Instagram PR team and this is our new handle! pic.twitter.com/udAPAGEh4v
– Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) February 28, 2020
January 2020 Instagram updates
The Instagram updates in January included several new business tools.
Growth metrics added to Instagram Insights
Business and creator accounts can now better follow follower growth through the Instagram Insights dashboard. The new section shows audience growth over seven days in a bar graph and the numbers follow and do not follow for selected periods. With this update, accounts can also see which posts and stories generate the most followers. Another feature added to the Activity tab summarizes the stories your account was mentioned in the past 24 hours.
Do you want more followers on Instagram? Here are some tips that actually work.
Age gating options now available
Instagram has introduced age gating features that allow business and creator accounts to control who can see their profiles. Accounts can set a default minimum age or age limits vary by country. In December, Instagram started asking people to submit their birthdays when creating accounts and promised to have age-appropriate experiences with the app.
Secondary Inbox tab created for business
Direct messages that businesses get on Instagram can now be organized using primary and general tabs. The two tab system is used to separate low and high priority messages. All messages are initially displayed on the Primary tab, but less urgent messages can be moved to General. Message requests from accounts you don't follow will also appear in your inbox and can be sorted by All Requests or Top Requests.
First steps on Instagram? Learn how to use Instagram for business.
Manage your Instagram presence along with your other social channels and save time with Hootsuite. With a single dashboard, you can plan and publish posts, engage your audience and measure performance. Try it for free today.