Top Instagram Updates You Need To Know

Here’s the rundown of the latest Instagram updates from the end of 2020 to the start of 2021.

Staying ahead of the social media game can really help know how best to keep up with your audience and how best to market to them. Let’s get started!

Instagram updates for the new year

Online Shopping On Instagram

After weird and windy year, Instagram have acted quickly to roll out new features that may help small, online and independent businesses.

The end of 2020 saw a big push on Reels – a love it or hate it feature! In December, Instagram added product and branded content tags to Reels. These product tags make Reel posts shoppable, just like Instagram posts and stories, while the branded content tags aim to increase transparency between business/creators and the consumer in regard to sponsored content.

A miniature sized shopping trolley full of parcels on a laptop

The Guides Roll Out

During the month of May Instagram released its Guides with a select group of creators. Since then, Instagram has now made the feature available for everyone!

The content is now more varied, individuals can create guides around any theme of their choice. They can be shared via Stories, DMs, and are accessible on desktop.

Is Instagram turning in to Google? Kind of…

The explore feed works on a predictive algorithm to suggest posts its users may be interested in…

“If an individual interacts with a sequence of accounts in the same session, it’s more likely to be topically coherent compared with a random sequence of accounts from the diverse range of Instagram accounts,” explains Ivan Medvedev, senior software engineer of Machine Learning at Instagram in a Medium article. Source: Instagram

Instagram *wants* you to fall down a rabbit hole, for them this means more time on the app (more time exposed to adverts) the A.I. now recognises this with the addition of keywords.

Keywords are used by search engines, which is effectively what Instagram search is turning in to. Prior to this update the search only used names, locations and hashtags. This means that from now on your name, bio AND posts need to include keywords if you want to show up in this search.

Woman scrolling through Instagram feed on her phone

The Instagram & Facebook Updates

Facebook may be breaking up with Instagram (& Whatsapp) sometime in the future. This isn’t a ‘need to know’ thing, but it’s always good to be aware.

On December 9, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Facebook. The lawsuit could require the divestment of Instagram and Whatsapp from Facebook, among other prohibitive measures.

Pin image describing Instagram updates 2021

That’s all the Instagram updates for now, but I’m sure there are many more to come as we venture further in to 2021. Watch this space!

Take a look at our most recent blog post: What Is Clubhouse And How Can I Get In?