There’s a good reason why Instagram changes all of the time.
Now that the channel has more than 1 billion monthly active users to satisfy, it can afford to fall behind the curve. Instagram wants to be your go-to channel for authentic, attractive, and engaging content – particularly when you’re on your smartphone.
If the platform wants to stay ahead of competitors like Facebook and Twitter, then it needs to roll out the occasional update. However, we’ve seen a massive selection of changes to Instagram over the last few months, ranging from new creator profiles to enhanced Stories features, and new ban policies.
Perhaps the biggest Instagram update for 2019 isn’t what the channel is adding- it’s what it’s removing. Instagram is officially testing the option to remove like counts from your feed.
Read on to learn more about the biggest Instagram updates for the end of 2019.
Instagram Update 1: A New Camera for Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories has more than 500 million active users.
It’s no big surprise then that one of the main focuses of the F8 conference for 2019 was the Stories feature. One of the most recent additions to the tool is a new camera mode and an update to the standard camera functionality.
The standard Camera mode allows users to swipe to the right to access all their favourite shooting options like Superzoom, Rewind, and Boomerang. If you swipe to the left, you’ll find all the creative tools on Instagram Stories, like stickers, text, GIFs, and more.
The alternative Create Mode available from Instagram Stories allows users to create content without uploading a video or photo first. This is perfect for anyone who wants to create a quick text-based story or poll with their followers.
Instagram Update 2: Creator Profiles
Another major update for the second half of 2019 was the introduction of a new profile for Instagram users. This “Creator” profile claims to support influencers rather than traditional businesses. Though the Creator profile is similar to the Business account in many ways, with access to things like Instagram Insights and contact buttons, it also comes with a few extra benefits.
For instance, as a Creator, you’ll have access to a Studio that delivers in-depth analytics about engagement, when your audience gets online, and what kind of demographics you reach best. You’ll also see your follow/unfollow data, and unlock a wider range of DM filtering options, so you can reduce the number of annoying messages you get each day.
At first, Creator profiles sound fantastic – but there are some downsides. For instance, you won’t be connected to the Instagram API as a Creator. That means that you can’t schedule automatic posts for Instagram or use any third-party tools for your analytics.
Additionally, rumors indicate that these new profiles will only be available to influencers on Instagram with a specific follower count.
Instagram Update 3: New Stories Stickers
Is it just us, or does it seem like new Instagram updates always include at least some kind of sticker? Throughout 2019, we’ve seen the arrival of new shoppable stickers, advanced poll stickers, and even donation stickers for charities. The feel-good donation sticker from Instagram is perfect for non-profits who want to create new fund-raising opportunities directly from their Instagram profile. Anyone who clicks on the sticker can enter a donation on Instagram and send money straight to the causes that they care about.
At the time of writing, the donation sticker is only available in the US, but Instagram will be rolling the functionality out further afield too. Instagram also rolled out the chat sticker this year too. This provides another way for brands to interact with their customers. Essentially, users add the chat sticker to their Story, which invites followers to use a new group-chat based around that story. When users click on the sticker, they can request to join the conversation.
The IG team introduced this Instagram update as a way to get people talking about things that they have in common. However, there’s always the option for brands to use the tool to connect with influencers or a small segmented audience.
One issue is that the sticker is a bit difficult to use. If you have a broad audience and you use the chat sticker, you might get swamped by requests if you’re not careful.
Instagram Update 4: Stories Stores Content for Longer
Speaking of the most recent Instagram changes to the Stories section, Instagram also announced that they will be increasing the amount of time that users have to access the content in their Stories section. Usually, when you took a video or captured a picture in Stories mode, Instagram would only store the material for 24 hours – even if you didn’t publish it.
However, now, Instagram has announced that you’ll be able to access everything you capture in the Stories app for 7 days.