5 New Instagram Features Every Business Needs to Know About (April 2016)

Do you use Instagram for business? Want the scoop on all of the newest updates your business needs to know about?

Since being bought by Facebook, Instagram has evolved at a quicker pace than any time in its history, and the changes continue to come - this time, with at least one real big shift that will impact marketers hugely. Let's take a look at 5 New Instagram Updates Every Business Needs to Know About:

1. Instagram's BIG algorithm change

Some people are really not happy about this. Until now, posts in the feeds of Instagram users by people who they follow had appeared in strict chronological order. Now, however, Instagram will still show all of the posts from people you follow but plans to do so in an order based on how relevant and timely they are to you.

Instagram says that the change is in response to users missing, on average, 70% of posts in their feed - so it wants to make sure you don't mistakenly overlook the content that best resonates with you. For brands, it's a Facebook-ification of the Instagram algorithm, and a clear signal that your content needs to drive engagement, or it may be missed (without paid promotion, at least).


Instagram promises that the change isn't going to be immediate, but better to know and be prepared, right?

2. Switching between multiple accounts

For a feature that users have been desperate to see for years, Instagram sure took its time introducing the ability to switch between multiple accounts. But it's here, and if you manage multiple Instagram profiles, it makes navigating between them - without the annoyance of signing in and out - super easy. Add a new account within settings, then switch by tapping your username at the top of the app's home screen (as in the picture above).

3. Video length limit increased to 60 seconds

In the last six months, the time people spent watching video on Instagram has increased by more than 40 percent. In order to deliver a more rich and engaging experience, the video length limit has been increased from 30 seconds to 60 seconds. Also, video posts now display the number of views they have received - a quick and handy indicator for businesses, and a sign of popularity amongst your audience.

4. The return of multiple clip choice from Library

Once a staple of Instagram (and removed for some reason or another), the ability to upload and stitch together multiple video clips from your Library has returned. Choose your first clip, then upload more via the Scissor icon. You can also trim, re-order or delete clips from here.

5. Notifications and Explore for desktop

Take a look at the top of your Instagram account on desktop, and you'll notice two new icons at the top of the page - Explore and Notifications. They're exactly the same as what you'll see in the app, but handy nonetheless.

The Notifications tab will alert you to likes and comments on your posts. Clicking one will open the post, where you can add, reply to, or delete comments.

The Explore tab will automatically generate people who Instagram thinks you might be interested in, based on your activity within the app. Use it to find new customers to engage with, reach out to new influencers, and even spy on the competition.

Over to you

What do you think about the latest changes to Instagram? In particular, do you think the decision to change the algorithm was a good one? Let me know in the comments below!

Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.

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