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10 Even Newer Instagram Features You Should Be Using & How They Can Benefit Your
Business, Brand or Blog!

Instagram is constantly changing these days.. Stay on top of everything with the help of Instagram Expert, Alex Tooby. Learn what the 10 newest instagram features are and how you can use them to better your business. enjoy!

This post is the long overdue sequel to my previous post: 5 New Instagram Features & How They Can Benefit You.

Instagram is constantly churning out new features for their platform in the last few months that even I sometimes have a hard time keeping up! To help you stay on top of all these changes I’ve put together this post and filmed a quick video that explains each new feature and how to use it. Enjoy!

*Keep in mind that Instagram rolls out their features at different times to different users so you may or may not have access to all of these features at this time.

1. Visual Updates

Not too long ago Instagram replaced their original design with a minimalistic, white and black design. As always it was a stark change at first but most users have accepted the new, clean design by now. Just recently Instagram updated it even further by changing the “follow” buttons to a bright blue, and the Direct Message icon to a paper airplane. While the Direct Message update is probably just appears “nicer”, I do believe the color of the follow buttons has a reason, and a potential benefit for us!

I believe the new blue follow buttons help encourage users to click. When it’s the only colorful thing on a black and white page, your attention is immediately drawn to it, meaning this small change could help increase your follower count! On the other hand when someone has followed you, that button turns white, making it less noticeable and thus less likely it will be clicked (and unfollowed!)

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2. Disappearing Private Video & Photo Messages

Instagram just released this fun new addition that allows you to send video or photo messages to your friends, privately. Sure, you were able to send photos before, but this version has a fun twist: the content expires in 24 hours just like your Instagram Stories! (Want to know more about Instagram stories? Read this blog post: How To Use Instagram Stories)

To do this navigate to your story camera by clicking on the home icon, then swiping right. From there you can take a photo, video, or boomerang. Then, simply click the arrow that points to the right and choose who you want to send the private message to. They’ll be notified of the message and hopefully watch it before it expires!

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3. @ Mentioning In Stories

This is one of my favorite new additions. You can now tag yourself, your friends, influencers, etc in your Instagram stories simply by “@” mentioning them.

To do this, record your photo, video or boomerang for your Instagram story, then, click the screen or the “Aa” icon in the top right to bring up your keyboard. Type the @ symbol, then the username you want to tag. When you share this story, your audience will be able to click the username and be taken straight to that profile.

Again, I think this is SUPER powerful. You could easily share some valuable content then direct you audience back to your feed by @ mentioning your own username or you could give another user a “shout out” by @ mentioning them and sending your traffic their way! These are just a few suggestions but the options really are endless. Get creative!

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4. Adding Links to Instagram Stories (verified users only)

This is one feature I simply cannot wait to have access to and know will be a total game changer for all businesses, blogs, and brands on Instagram.

Instagram is allowing verified users to add links to outside sources into their Instagram Stories. So while it isn’t a link in your caption, or a few extra links in your bio, it is still ridiculous powerful and could send a ton of targeted traffic straight to your website, product page, facebook group, youtube channel, etc.

Unfortunately there is no word on when regular users will gain access to this feature, so keep your fingers crossed that it’s sometime soon!

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5. Stories in The Explore Tab

Instagram stories has given us even more opportunities to connect with our target market on Instagram. While most Instagram users are seeing much better reach then on apps like Snapchat, we’re still limited to reaching the people who follow us only.. Until now!

Instagram is now featuring a variety of Instagram Stories on the explore page (the magnifying icon). That means if you’re using IG Stories, yours could potentially be shown to a target market that’s not even following you yet. Amazing!

If you haven’t jumped on the IG Stories bandwagon, obviously now is the time!

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6. Instagram Live

Alright, this is a BIG one! I’m sure you’ve heard of Facebook Live and Periscope by now, right? These are big name live streaming apps that have taken over the social media world. People are moving from static content towards more authentic, candid, live content instead and Instagram hasn’t let that go unnoticed. In order to stay up with the trends, and potentially eliminate the need for other apps, Instagram has released a live streaming feature within Instagram Stories!

When you open your Instagram Story camera you will see a live button in the top right, when you click that, your broadcast will begin. You can be live for up to an hour and your audience will be able to leave you hearts and comments as you record (very similar to Periscope).. The only big difference is Instagram is NOT offering a replay like most other live streaming apps. That means as soon as your broadcast ends, it’s gone!

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7. Suggestions For You

Looking for more people to connect with? You’re in luck! Instagram has recently uploaded the notifications tab (the heart icon) to include a “Suggestions For You” section. If you scroll to the bottom of your notifications you’ll see a list of suggested users that you have some sort of connection to. You may be friends with them on Facebook, have mutual friends in common, or simply just have similar interests. This feature allows you to quickly and easily follow them, or hide the suggestion if you don’t want to see it anymore.

Instagram will continue to update this list so keep checking back for more people you might know!

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8. Turn Off Commenting

In a time where getting engagement is top priority for most people on Instagram, you would think turning off your comments would be blasphemy, but hey, Instagram has implemented the feature for the few people who are interested in such an action. Created with celebrites in mind, Instagram is allowing accounts to turn off commenting in order to rid their feeds of spam, irrelevant comments, and hate messages.

To use this, upload a photo and before pressing ‘share’, scroll down to the bottom and turn on the “turn off commenting” toggle. You can also do this after you’ve uploaded by clicking the three dots in the top right above your image, and selecting “turn off commenting”.

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9. Business Profiles

Okay so this isn’t the newest feature but still worthy of talking about. Instagram has introduced the ability to add a contact button to your feed, a clickable address link, in-app analytics and much more.. (To learn about all the features, check out this post: Instagram Business Profiles 101)

This feature can be a huge benefit for businesses who aren’t getting many inquires. The handy contact button makes it a lot easier for your target market to send you an email, call your store, or get directions straight to your shop.

The in-app analytics will also help you hone in on exactly who your target market is, when they’re online, and use that information to reach them more effectively!

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10. Multiple Accounts

Again, not the newest feature, but still one that has made a HUGE impact for a lot of Instagram users.

Earlier in 2016 Instagram introduced the ability to toggle between up to 5 accounts on one device. Previously you would have to constantly log in and out to access multiple accounts. This feature is a major life saver for people like me with a few businesses on the go, and especially for social media managers that manage multiple accounts at all times.

To add an additional account to your Instagram app, navigate to your profile, click the settings cog in the top right hand corner and scroll down until you see “add account”. A new screen will open where you can log in to your additional account. After you’ve done that you’ll be able to toggle between the two accounts by pressing and holding your profile image in the bottom right of your screen, or by clicking on your username.

Simple, time saving, and headache reducing! I could not live without this feature.

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So there you have it! 10 amazing Instagram features that not only make the app more exciting but have the ability to drastically improve your business and the connection you have with your target market!

 


Which new feature is your favorite? Are there any you dislike?

Let me know in the comments!


 

Want to build an Targeted, Engaged &
Profitable Following on Instagram?

Guess what? You can! It just takes 6 simple steps:

> Keep on reading..

Leave a Reply

28 Comments on "10 New Instagram Features You Shouldn’t Ignore"

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Nyle Rigor
Guest

Hi Alex, I know you mentioned before in one of your emails when business profiles were rolled that you’re not quite jumping on the boat yet, did you finally give business a try? What are your thoughts about? Is it going to be worth the jump from regular profile? Thanks!

~Nyle

Bre
Guest

Hey Alex! I really like the linking ability in “Stories”. I can’t wait until it’s available on my account. Does the live streaming let you at least save a copy to your phone? Or is it gone, gone?

Barbara
Guest

Wow, thanks for the update. I wasn’t aware of all the new features with Insta Stories.

Rae Walaska
Guest

Wow! I found this really informative. I am new to instagram so it was great to get a low down on all of the features and how to use them. Thanks!

ADAM DOOLITTLE
Guest

I cant wait til we can add our own links too. That’s the one downside to Instagram right now but its good to see they’re changing.

Bianca
Guest

I’m most excited about mentions in stories. As a chef I am always using products and being able to tag a brand will be huge for my biz!

Bianca
Guest

Im most excited about tags in stories. As I chef I am always sharing cooking/food stories, being able to tag brands will be huge for my biz!

Suz
Guest

I really need to get on the Instagram Stories Train! I have yet to use it, even though I view them all the time. With so many great features it’s hard not to start. I also had no idea about the suggested users, which is something I’m always looking for. I’m pumped that they’re including it now. I have to check out your previous post, since I’ve learned so much through this one!

zahra
Guest

Interesting. I’m new to instagram and still exploring. Bookmarking this page.

Kristine-Bites Of Flavor
Guest

Wow, this is a great list! I had no idea that Instagram had some of these features on their new platform. Very helpful for blogging!

Kate
Guest

Having the linked accounts has been a game changer for me. I have a food/lifestyle/travel blog, as well as a photography company, so being able to toggle between both is so much easier.

Natalie Greagir
Guest

This is such a helpful post! My word for the new year is visibility, although I’ve implemented new strategies today. I really appreciate a detailed post that’s intentional about Instagram. Thank you for sharing!

-Natalie

Natalie Greagor
Guest

This is such a helpful post! My word for the new year is visibility, although I’ve implemented new strategies today. I really appreciate a detailed post that’s intentional about Instagram. Thank you for sharing!

-Natalie

Mylah
Guest

These are such exciting updates! I can’t wait for the link for stories, as well!

Marcela Pulido
Guest

So many new features! Thanks for the update on what’s new, can’t wait to try out some of them.

JanD
Guest

Love this blog post. I’m waiting for when they will allow us to add external links to blog stories. I do love that I can toggle between my accounts. I’m not sure that I’d like the idea of live posts that disappear.

Roy Miller
Guest

This was a very informative post for me. I have an Instagram account but I am not using it. I think I need to reconsider it now.

Kayla Yestal
Guest

So awesome! I can’t wait for them to bring the link feature to all users and not just verified users!

Catherine Seiwert
Guest

Thanks for the updates! I only knew about a third of these. Would love to more about how stories will be shared/seen among people not following you, especially since we can’t hashtag them, right? Any idea how to boost the chance it’ll get seen?

Ashley
Guest

This article is such a help! I don’t get instagram, so I have printed this article, and will work on my account step by step, using your article! Thanks for sharing.
xo

Fatima Zehra
Guest

Thanks for posting thsi! I wasn’t aware of so many of these features!

Krista Dial
Guest

Wow…this was chock full of lots of new info for me! I thought I was up on all that’s new in the social media world, but clearly not! lol Especially for IG. I’m looking forward to checking out these features and appreciate you give us the lowdown!

valerie
Guest

Wow Alex..I knew of some of these, but not most…how in thee world can we possibly keep up! ha…Great review as usual, and thanks for always sharing and keeping us in the know! I hope I meet you someday in person… Canadian Girls Rock!! 😉

Valerie

Stefani
Guest

Great update post, so much to make use of!

Lenny
Guest

Very nice! I wasn’t aware of all these features.

Nataja
Guest

Super helpful ! I also can’t wait for access to links in IG stories ! I just saw one of my fave YouTubers use it !

Tara Bradford
Guest

I love this! Thanks for breaking it down for us!! xx

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[…] *Since this article was written, Instagram has added even more new features. Check them out here: 10 New Instagram Features. […]

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