17 May 4 Instagram Feature Updates You Need to Know in 2018
Around 71% of US businesses use Instagram. The competition is fierce. And brands need to take advantage of every tool at their disposal if they don’t want to get left behind.
The platform’s new algorithm has made it tougher for businesses to grow their accounts and boost their engagement rates. You can no longer rely on just posting great content if you want to stand out.
Fortunately, Instagram has been pretty generous with its updates this year.
The key to beating the competition is to make optimal use of Instagram’s newest features, which are all there to help brands do their job better.
Here’s a simple reason why that’s important: If you don’t use them, your competitors will.
Here are 4 of the coolest new features Instagram has introduced in 2018:
1. Add Clickable #Hashtags to Your Bio
That’s right. Instagram has made it much easier for your ‘profile visitors’ to get to know more about your brand.
The platform now lets you add live, clickable hashtags to your bio. Simply use # followed by text to display your own branded hashtag on your profile, which users can click on and navigate to other profiles and posts using that hashtag.
The best thing about this new feature is, your visitors can now not only see your posts, but also user-generated content (UGC) posted by your customers. What a great way to learn more about your brand and products!
Pro Tip: Use an automation tool like MegaFollow to make the most out of this new feature. This smart tool lets you automatically follow, comment, and like hundreds of posts and users at a time based on specific locations, preferences, and hashtags. When more of the right people view your account and get to know your brand better, it makes them more likely to follow you back!
2. Add Links to Other Profiles in Your Bio
Hashtags are not the only clickable thing you can add to your bio. Say hello to adding links to other Instagram profiles!
This is an excellent feature if you want to promote a sister company, or any other profile on the platform you have invested in.
You can also temporarily add in links to profiles who have partnered up with you in running a contest, like loop giveaways.
To add a link to another profile, just type in @, and search for that profile’s username. That’s it!
Don’t forget, when you ‘tag’ someone in your bio or in your post, their profile receives a notification. They can also choose to remove the tag if they want.
3. New Portrait Mode: ‘Focus’
It seems like all the new phones out there are obsessed with the portrait camera mode, which gives you a nice blurry background and puts your own beautiful self in focus.
Well, Instagram didn’t want to get left behind.
The platform finally decided to bring this fun way of taking pictures to every phone with a camera on it.
You can find Instagram’s very own portrait mode, known as Focus, next to the Superzoom mode in the camera window.
Simply tap on the button to take a photo, or hold to capture a video. The Focus mode is an easy way to skip advanced photo editing or hiring someone expensive to make your photos look great and of high quality.
4. Schedule Your Posts
Up until a few months ago, nearly every popular social media tool out there let you schedule your posts, except Instagram.
Good news: the platform finally realized the importance of post scheduling, and recently rolled it out for all Instagram business profiles.
However, there is a catch.
For now, you can only schedule your posts through third-party social media management software, like HootSuite or SproutSocial. This means you need to pay for their subscription too if you want to access this feature.
If you thought this feature was available before, you’re not alone. A lot of apps previously advertised about offering Instagram scheduling, but it was really possible up till now. Back then, you could only enable push notifications or save pre-written captions you could manually post later.
But that’s history. You can now easily schedule your posts for later using your favorite SMM tool, and focus on the more important stuff. Like actually creating amazing posts or growing your following/account.
Wait, There’s More!
If you thought Instagram was done with releasing new updates this year, here’s some news.
The platform is reportedly testing out several new features at this very moment, and some of them might even become a reality soon.
Rumor has it that Instagram is testing out features like muting select users in your feed, slow-motion stories, a calendar view for stories, story reactions (heart!), tagging Facebook friends in Instagram posts, and voice and video calling. Fingers crossed!
What’s your favorite new feature from Instagram this year? Let us know in the comments!