Instagram is a very popular platform for businesses and influencers to build and reach their targeted audiences.
However, it seems that recently Instagram has been a hub for “promotion scams.”
These scams consist of scammers spamming your inbox with messages and comments about being able to get you “thousands of followers for a low price,” when in reality, you may get a few new followers, but upon looking at their accounts, they are rarely updated and would not even be your targeted audience.
Instagram may seem like it has seen better days, however, you may be able to beat these scammers and get your own followers by utilizing Instagram’s new features.
“Polish” Your Account
Before starting with these Instagram new features, it is important to be sure that your Instagram account is “polished.” What this means is taking the steps to ensure that your account is optimized.
Does your Instagram account’s bio reflect what you’re trying to get across? What about your image captions, user name, and profile image? Do they all reflect your brand?
Keep in mind when considering any Instagram new updates that Instagram is constantly adding to them. It would be a good idea to keep yourself in the loop on updates.
One of the main features that Instagram is pushing heavily is reels. Now, users can use reels more easily than ever with pre-built templates.
This cuts down on the user’s time when putting a reel together. The process of using them is very simple. All you have to do is click on “Use Template” and follow the continuing instructions to create your reel.
- Dual Video
Another interesting and quite useful new feature is the ability to take dual videos. Users can now simultaneously use the phone’s front and back cameras to record a video from both perspectives.
This is perfect for commentary on events as they actually happen. A great example of how businesses could incorporate this feature is by using it to comment on a recent sale they are having or some other event in real time.
Seeing all the action as it happens may entice new followers.
- Instagram Maps
The new function on Instagram Maps allows the user to search for local businesses by category. This feature is especially useful as it allows potential clients and customers to find businesses near them and information about the business.
To use the new feature, all you have to do is:
- Search for a city or nearby location
- Once you are on the map, zoom out and click on “search this area”
- The results should bring up local businesses categorized by their industry or type
- You can then click on whatever you need, such as, “hotels,” “cafes,” “automotive,” “bookstores,” etc.
Therefore, if you are a business or brand, you want to make sure that your information is up to date to be a part of this feature.
Subscriptions are one of the newer features on Instagram, in fact, it was announced back in January and it may or may not only be available to beta users. Subscriptions are a great way to aid creators in getting stable revenue.
Such new features on subscriptions include:
- Subscriber Chats: Creators can invite subscribers into a group chat
- Subscriber Reels: Exclusive reels that are only available to subscribers
- Subscriber Home: A new tab in the profile that displays content that is exclusively for subscribers
Exclusive content can potentially be a great way to earn more followers and income by creating great content that people would pay to get access to and potential new followers will want to get a piece of the action.
- Auto-Generated Captions
If you post a reel on Instagram, auto-generated captions will now be automatically turned on. This makes the process of creating a caption easier for creators and cuts down on the time that creators would spend doing so.
This is also great for people who are hard of hearing or deaf that usually watch videos with the sound off. You won’t be isolating this demographic by utilizing captions.
If you prefer to write your own captions, just click on “advanced settings” in the upload flow and switch captions to off.
Sometimes writing your own captions is still the best option because no one knows your brand and content as you do.
- AR Closed Captions
Another new, fun feature that Instagram is doing with captions is AR closed captions.
This is a stylized option to make your captions look “comic book style” or look like their coming out of your mouth as dialogue. There’s even one that looks like a text message.
To access them, just open the Instagram camera. You can either add them in before recording or after. Just tap the effects icon and choose the effect you want.
These can really make your content pop to viewers.
- Audio Features
Instagram is absolutely buzzing with new features for their reels. This is understandable as they are an excellent way to get viewer attention and seems to be one of the most popular features on the platform.
In addition to pre-built templates and automated captions, Instagram also has new audio features for reels.
Creators can now:
- Adjust the volume and add a voiceover: You do this by clicking the song note icon on the preview screen after you upload your reel.
- Import audio: You can import audio from any reel that you have in your library and overlay it into another video
- Text to Speech: For people who don’t like hearing their own voice, you can assign another voice instead of your own for content.
Here is an interesting one that can prove useful for both creators and brands. If Instagram starts seeing that you post too many posts on the same topic, they will “nudge” you to explore other topics.
This may not seem like much, but it is actually very useful as it saves your readers from being bored with your content. This feature pretty much forces the user to break out of their comfort zone and broaden their horizons.
Some viewers may even appreciate the change and be all the more excited about it, which could lead to more shares and eyes on your profile.
“NFTs” or “Non-fungible tokens” is a current marketing internet trend that has seen a boom, despite having its own bit of controversy.
Despite that, Instagram has found a way to cater to those that take part in them. To become a part of the NFT community on Instagram, you can share NFTs you have bought with other collectors by sharing them in stories, messenger, or your feed.
If you are a part of the NFT niche, this will allow you to explore this passion with other like-minded individuals, as well as, potentially find you new leads to add to your collection.
This may be a smaller niche to some and it is pretty interesting that Instagram chose to cater to them. It really shows how Instagram is dedicated to content for everyone. It also provides a good example about breaking out of your comfort zone and targeting smaller niches for followers.
Another way that Instagram is revitalizing their platform and showing users that they are socially aware is through new features in hashtags. These new options allow users to support, fundraise, and spread the word about social causes that are important to them.
By partnering with relevant organizations, Instagram is able to weed out hashtags that are actually relevant and represent the actual cause.
These hashtags will link to a page that allows users to create fundraisers and spread awareness of the cause all across their network.
Content and Scheduling
With all of these new updates, Instagram has made it easier than ever for brands and creators to post regular content and keep their followers engaged with their content.
Additionally, having more ways to play with your content could provide you with ways to produce even more content. That is why having a regular content schedule is very important.
Experiment with different times for posting your content and see what time slots work best for you.
Bring it all Together
Incorporating all of these new features ( Instagram updates ) with a regular and timely posting schedule could help you gain a significant amount of followers. Just remember to utilize them to the best of your ability in order to positively promote or sell your brand.
It is also important to try to break out of the box once in a while and post something new and fresh that your followers won’t expect. As you can see, Instagram is constantly coming up with new ways to improve the way that brands and creators interact with and reach their audience.
Whether it’s through reels, images, captions, maps, or subscriptions, creators and brands will always have something new to try to boost their followers.
Since December of 2021, Instagram has reached 2 billion active users and with that boom of new users come opportunities for innovation.