*Since this article was written, Instagram has added even more new features. Check them out here: 20 New Instagram Features.
Let me preface this blog post by saying that you may not have access to all of these Instagram features yet. Instagram is rolling them out to specific users on their own schedule (which they love to keep private!) and I am not exactly sure when everyone will have full access, but rest assured they are coming! I recommend you update your Instagram app to the latest addition for the best chance of gaining access to these awesome features.
Anyway, let’s get into what you came for! Below are 5 NEW Instagram features and how I think they can benefit you, your Instagram account and ultimately your business! (or brand, blog, etc)
1. Tap & Hold Images
This new feature allows you to tap and hold any image, whether found on the explore page, your feed, or the feed of someone else. When you tap and hold the image it will enlarge, then slightly swipe up and you will be given three options: Like (or unlike), Comment, or Send as Message. If you use this feature on the explore page, ‘Comment’ will be replaced with View Profile. This feature is great because it’s going to save you a lot time. Like a photo on the explore page but you see a bunch of other posts that also catch your eye? Use this feature to leave a like without having to lose your spot!
This feature is also particularly handy if you are interacting with others in attempts to grow your own account (yes, engaging with others works, and is part of the methods I use to grow my Instagram accounts). You can now easily comment and like photos without having to actually visit that person’s feed. That means you’ll be able to reach a wider range of people in less time, or you’ll be able to shut down the app and head for drinks with your friends that much sooner!
2. Follow From Search
Want more followers? Of course you do! Well my friend, you’re in luck. This new feature allows you to follow accounts straight from search. If you have chosen a clear, concise username and have a descriptive headline (the line that shows up underneath your username) then the chance of you being followed from search drastically improves. Now users don’t even need to see your feed before they decide to follow; thanks Instagram!
Not sure your username or headline are strong enough to attract users from search? Sign up for my free Instagram e-course to figure out this little secret.
3. Explore Page Video Compilation
The explore page now boasts a permanent video button in the top left of the grid. If you are an avid user of Instagram video then you are in luck as your chances of being seen on the explore page just increased big time! When you press the video button, it opens a new window and plays the first video suggested for you, as soon as it’s done another one will automatically start playing. You can easily swipe upwards to skip to the next video as many times as you want. This is great because a user could spend a lot of time here and eventually end up on one of your videos where they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to it. Additionally, clicking on any of the videos brings up two options, Share, or View Post. So you can easily send the video via DM to a friend, or open up the video on the original poster’s feed and see what else they have to share.
I don’t personally use video very often on Instagram but can see this being a game changer for those that do!
4. Top Posts
Top posts is probably the oldest of these new Instagram features, however it may be one of the most exciting. Now before I get to the exciting part, let me cover the mystery surrounding Top Posts. It’s not exactly clear the algorithm used to determine what pictures make it to the Top Posts, however, based on my research I believe it has to do with how quickly your post receives engagement. This means likes and comments, and I believe that comments actually carry more weight. So, for example, if I post a photo and within 10 minutes I have 100 likes and 12 comments I am in a pretty good standing to make it to Top Posts. Do keep in mind the requirements needed to make Top Post will vary based on how saturated the hashtag is.
Now the great part about this is, if you have a lot of engagement you can make it to the Top Posts section of very popular hashtags. Normally I recommend not to use hashtags that are too popular because your content can quickly become buried by other posts. However, now with the Top Posts feature, if you make it to the top, your image will remain visible for a longer amount of time, and to a potentially HUGE audience.
My account @menandcoffee consistently hits Top Post for #coffee which has over 40 million posts associated with it! Pretty amazing huh?
5. “See All” Suggested Users
This last feature is probably my favorite. If you are trying to grow your Instagram account it’s likely that you’ve conducted some competitor analysis at some point. By that I simply mean you’ve viewed other influencers in your niche to see what they’re up to, or to get some inspiration. Either way, this feature is going to make that process a whole lot easier.
Generally when you click the down arrow next to the follow button on someone’s feed, Instagram suggests 3 different accounts that are similar to the one you’re currently viewing, but now this new feature allows you to see even more! By clicking “See All” a new page opens with a list of 15+ accounts that are all somehow related to the one you began on. Talk about falling down the rabbit hole.. you could get stuck browsing these accounts for ages. Sorry, not sorry!
Are you excited about these new features? Have you seen any I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!