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Top Instagram Updates in 2021

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Keeping up with news on Instagram has become quite a challenge, now even more than ever. Instagram has been changing and tweaking its features all the time – and it's been doing so in order to satisfy the fast-growing network of users and make its platform as easy, useful and user-friendly as possible.

Picture 1. Instagram releases new updates

Some of the changes they make are only here for a testing period, some of them are here to stay – but what we know for sure is that they're here and that they will be even more frequent. To be able to use Instagram fully and utilize all of its features to benefit your brand, it’s important to stay in the loop about this. So this is why we’ve singled out some of the most important changes you can expect in the next couple of months. Get ready!

1. Reels Replies to Increase Engagement

Instagram has just made another step towards integrating Reels even more into the whole user experience. Now you can reply to comments using Reels! So when replying to a comment, now you will have a blue Reels button available, which allows you to create a video reply. It will then appear as a sticker and you can send it to the commentor.

This is in fact not a new and innovative feature - it has been present on TikTok for quite a while now. But it definitely signifies that Instagram is making great efforts to leverage the popularity of short-form videos and to attract younger audience.

2. Instagram Enables Custom Text on Link Stickers

Following their update introducing the Link sticker, and making it available to everyone, the Instagram team is working additionall to increase your creative opportunities. The latest update enables you to change your link text and to choose a color that best suits your Story.

With this update, link stickers can be used as CTAs that will help you drive traffic and that you can connect directly to your promotion or offer.

Picture 2. Instagram making the LINK sticker available to everyone

3. "Add Yours" Sticker Launched to Ease Engagement

TikTok has had a major influence on the popularity of video content, and though it wasn't taken too seriously from the start, it has become one of the fastest-growing social networks in a very short time. So "the big players" figured out that there must be something they're doing right! And this IG update is an attempt to test some of the TikTok processes on Instagram.

Enter "Add Yours" Sticker! This Sticker will make it possible for you to encourage your followers to respond to your Story and create more reply treads that are visible when you click on the Sticker. What an engagement booster! Looks a lot like TikTok Duet feature, right? That's 'cause it's almost the same :)

Picture 3. IG "Add Yours" Sticker feature is used to increase engagement

4. Instagram Removing IGTV and Introducing Videos

Starting from the beginning of October IGTV will no longer be available - at least not under that name. Instagram is retiring the IGTV branding and they're introducing a new category called Videos. This category will combine IGTV and feed videos in one format under the same tab.

They're hoping for "a more streamlined experience" which will enable the viewers to scroll down and search for more video content of the users they're interested in. Also, there will be new trimming tools and filters provided as well as location tagging within the videos. So if you're still not convinced whether posting videos are worth your time and effort, maybe this huge Instagram update will make you rethink your decision.

Picture 4. MOI Doha Videos Tab

5. Instagram Reels Up to 60 Seconds

Reels were launched in 2020 and started off with a 15-seconds duration, which was prolonged to 30 seconds only a month later. Since videos are a content type that drives way more engagement than images and is becoming more and more prevalent in the content calendars around the world, Reels duration is extending – to 60 seconds. That’s what we call listening to community feedback!

Wrap Up

Updates can bring both good and bad stuff. It’s important to stay informed and to try to make the best of them. There is always a way to use any of the new features to benefit your audience – you just have to figure out the best way to do it.

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