Instagram is one of the most used, most talked about, and dare I say it, most popular social media platforms currently on the market. According to Statista in May of 2021, “[Instagram] recently reported 500 million daily active users and one billion monthly active users worldwide.” That’s a lot of people hanging out on an app based around sharing and collecting highly edited content. There are tons of perks to having a business Instagram account; such as,
More people are signing up for the app daily.
Easily build user generated content for you to share on your business page.
Easily target your customers with hashtags.
It allows for you to build your brand with highly engaging and desirable content that your audience wants to see.
But with these perks, comes the need to stay up to date with the latest trends. What are the new dances people are doing? What is the new background music? How can your business stay relevant during this time? One of my personal favorite current trends is, “Tell me you love dogs, without telling me you love dogs.” This caption is then normally followed by a super cute puppy doing something messy or adorable!
Let’s get into the 5 new Instagram updates you must use to stay trendy, relevant, and at the top of your game!
1) Better Reels and LIVE Analytics
If you are like me, you love a good statistic. Is what I am doing working? Is my goal being reached? Is anyone seeing what I'm doing, or am I just wasting time? If I'm not happy with the analytics I see, I know that I need to regroup and figure out a new strategy.
Instagram has now enabled Reels creators to track their success through likes, comments, shares, saves, plays, and accounts reached. The interesting thing to note here is the accounts reached. You will be able to see what kind of viewer is seeing your content, which will help you figure out what kind of content to post more often. This will truly change the way Reels creators develop content as they will be able to see which content their audience prefers, so bring on more dances!
For LIVE hosts, the new analytic features are similar (accounts reached, shares, comments, and likes), but they have added peak concurrent, which is the highest number of viewers during a live stream. Maybe you need to wait one minute into your stream to get your full viewer count, or maybe your channel does best with five to 10 minute long LIVEs and not 20 minute ones. This will help you understand how long your LIVEs need to be in order to reach your maximum number of viewers, meaning you are going to save time because you will know.
2) Caption Stickers
Caption Stickers are by far one of the best and most inclusive updates I have seen from a social media platform in a while, and I think this new Instagram update will be a game changer. Caption Stickers turn spoken word into text. No sound? No worries!
These Caption Stickers will not only help businesses reach the hard of hearing community better, but will allow for a different level of interaction with content. Studies show that many video viewers do so without the audio on. Now, this problem is solved with these awesome stickers! Currently, these are only for English speaking regions however I expect an update with more languages to happen quickly.
I love when brands actually become more inclusive! This is for sure a win in my book.
3) Instagram Takes on Clubhouse
Another new Instagram update launched is a feature which will allow for LIVE hosts to turn off their video during a stream. When this happens, only their profile picture will show. This update also allows hosts to mute their microphones.
This is a clear jab at Clubhouse’s massive success, and will be interesting to see how each platform plays out in their own right. In all honesty, I never got on Clubhouse and the hype around it seems to have gone down, but I may be wrong. Let me know if I am and I need to get over my social anxiety and speak to strangers through an app.
4) LIVE Rooms
Following the pandemic and peoples’ desires to be together again, Instagram released LIVE Rooms. These rooms allow for people to hang out with up to three people, so four people in total. So far, there doesn’t seem to be much success with these rooms, however this may be due to regions opening back up from the pandemic.
These LIVE Rooms are great for hosting Q&As, interviews, tutorials, and to overall engage with your audience. They are as intimate of a space as you can get over Instagram and could be a great and powerful tool. This new Instagram update is one that I think will be best utilized for businesses looking to connect with their audiences and build relationships.
5) To Hide the Public Like Count or Not to Hide it. That is the Question.
As many know, Instagram has been testing whether or not hiding Like counts would be beneficial or not. What they learned was that some enjoyed it while others hated the new Instagram update. They also discovered that many users utilize the Like count to understand what’s trendy and popular.
Now, Instagram has said that they are going to let people decide for themselves. You will now have the ability to hide all like counts on all posts in your feed. You can also hide your own counts on your posts so that others can’t see it. Instagram said, “This way, if you like, you can focus on the photos and videos being shared, instead of how many likes posts get.”
Interested in learning more about social media post writing? Check out this blog on 6 Tips for Writing Engaging Social Media Posts.
Remember, Instagram is a platform that has the ability to make your content go viral, but you must look at your longterm strategy to make sure you are up to speed on the latest trends. If not, you could be left behind!
I will leave you with this final thought.
In my opinion, we have entered into a new wave of Instagram. People are no longer wanting to see influencers flaunt their millions on their yacht drinking an expensive water. Instead, the micro-influencers, the mom bloggers, the small town experts are on the rise. The more authentic and relatable, the better chance we have of our audience being more in tune with their posts. This also means that their followers are less likely to be fake and more likely to be truly interested in what they have to say. You can always check on their engagement rate if you are ever unsure (Google - Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator).