4 New Instagram Features Explained

November 18, 2021

Social media apps are constantly trying to kick it up a notch and find new ways to attract and retain users.

Recently, Instagram released a host of exciting features and updates for Stories, Reels, Lives, and Video, and we’ve done the digging, so you don’t have to. Here’s a breakdown of four new Instagram features and how they can benefit your brand:

Link Stickers for Stories

Instagram recently did away with the “swipe up” feature in Stories that allowed accounts with large followings to link to content outside the platform.

On October 27, Instagram announced the introduction of a great new feature to replace that function: Link stickers. Stickers in Stories are already used for a variety of features including music, polls, and even the weather. Link stickers have been soft-launched to a limited group of users since June, but now Instagram has made the function available to everyone.

This is huge news!

The previous “swipe up” feature was only available to users with 10,000+ followers. It was one of many ways that Instagram seemed to show a preference for helping grow accounts that, quite frankly, had already grown.

The Link stickers feature is going to be huge for growth on Instagram. Being able to add a link in Stories will allow creators and small businesses to share their products and services, without first having to drive visitors to their “link in bio.”

Not only will users get to know one another better, but creators and businesses can now have their work shared by their fans, without needing anyone to sacrifice their own “link in bio.”

Collabs for Posts and Reels

In mid-October, Instagram announced the “Collab” feature.

This feature will be available for both posts and Reels at the time they are created.

Now when you create content, instead of simply tagging another user you can “Invite Collaborator” to share the post with you. The second user will be notified that you want to collaborate, and upon acceptance, the person will share credit for the content and it will appear on their account too.

The keyword here is “invite.” This feature will not allow you to collaborate with Kylie Jenner and have your content automatically appear on her profile. (Unless she accepts, of course.)

Once the post has been shared, it is truly a shared post between accounts, not a copy.

Likes and comments accumulated from either side will show up on the post. And should the invited collaborator want the post removed, s/he has the option to “stop sharing.”

Right now the Collab feature is limited to one collaborator who can’t be added to a post after the fact. Your collaborator will not be able to edit the content either, including the caption.

Instagram Collab makes it easy for content creators to collaborate and co-create on the platform.

New Scheduling Feature for Lives

Finally, a tool has arrived for something that users have already been doing on the platform: scheduling live videos.

Now when you plan your content ahead of time, you won’t need to post to your feed and Stories to remind everyone – over and over – when you will be going live.

This scheduling feature allows you to program your Live up to 90 days in advance.

Once your Live is scheduled, you can post it to your feed and a clickable calendar icon appears. When your followers click the icon, they will get reminders and notifications about your live video.

This is a great feature that will make Lives more like an event, and less like Instagram Stories.

Using Hashtag Expert’s new “When to Post” tool, content creators can make sure that they schedule their Lives at the best time for their audience.

IGTV Is No More – Introducing Instagram Video

In the latest of a number of user interface changes, Instagram is getting rid of IGTV and replacing it with the “Video” tab.

This might be in response to the fact that IGTV never really caught on as Instagram hoped. Maybe dubbing it “TV” was too much pressure for users.

This isn’t a significant change, since the tab will live in the same spot that IGTV currently inhabits.

So what is the difference?

Now when you post any videos (other than Reels) to your feed or do a Live, they will go to the video tab. These videos can be up to 60 minutes long – a huge improvement over the previous 60-second limit for feed videos.

Another part of this change: IGTV only allowed 10-minute videos for regular users and gave large accounts 60 minutes. Now, every user has the same ability to post hour-long content.

As with most Instagram updates, if you don’t have access to these features just yet, don’t fret! Instagram promises that the features will be rolled out across the platform soon.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about all these new changes. The updates to Stories, Reels, Lives, and Video are sure to help you up your content game.

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