Updated: Oct 31, 2020
Instagram has dropped quite a few new and useful features in 2020 and it’s clear that they’re moving towards a more user-friendly environment for everyone, including business account users.
Whether you’re looking for conversions, or looking to broaden your reach and grow your influence, We’ve got a few key features that you should definitely know about...
1. Line Breaks Now Work Without Emojis or Punctuation
Delete your apps and forget the hacks because Instagram has finally answered our prayers. Previously, users had to insert emojis or punctuation to separate paragraphs. While this work-around was good enough for some, the majority of us loathed the aesthetically bleak look. However, Instagram has finally allowed line breaks that work without emojis or punctuation. Now, you can go directly to the next paragraph just by pressing the return key. Brilliant, right?
2. Transparent Algorithm
Instagram has taken several steps to add transparency to its algorithm. For instance, they are forming an equity team and improving the company’s overall policies about the content that their users see. The goal of this update is to provide users with more high-quality content and less bland content.
According to the experts, some of the content that users won’t see in their recommendations after this update include:
Sensitive or low-quality content
The new algorithm will also warn users when they’re about to make an offensive remark. Plus, it will give business owners more control over who can slide into their DMs.
3. In-app Checkout
To help businesses boost sales during the pandemic, Instagram has released the in-app checkout feature. This feature lets business owners give new layouts to their online storefronts while also allowing them to see real-time previews of their inventories.
In addition to checkouts, Instagram has released an array of useful features for businesses. For example, Commerce Manager allows you to easily open an Instagram Shop. If you aren’t comfortable with using Commerce Manager, there are plenty of other options to open an Instagram shop with platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify.
Live Shopping is another cool feature to boost sales. This feature allows brands to directly sell their items to customers through the live feed.
4. Automatic Closed Captions
Closed captions are yet another one of the top Instagram updates in 2020. This feature is extremely useful for brands as it allows them to communicate with their target audiences seamlessly. It is also super beneficial for users that watch videos on mute or have hearing disabilities as they can understand the meaning behind videos through captions.
These captions are auto-generated and may not be entirely accurate. Even still, they are more accurate than other available solutions and increase overall content accessibility.
5. Rights Manager
Rights Manager is a useful tool for the protection of copyrighted images. Previously, only Facebook had this tool but now, Instagram features it, too.
Rights Manager allows you to submit your copyrighted images to the platform for protection. After you upload an image to Rights Manager, it goes straight into its database. Here the visual search feature of this tool scans the database to find any copyright infringement and alerts the owner if the infringement is found.
This tool is extremely useful for designers and photographers as their work is commonly stolen.
6. Reels expanded to more than 50 countries
If you are a TikTok lover and the app is banned in your country, then Reels is a good alternative. Instagram has recently expanded this feature to more than 50 countries, enabling users to make short entertaining videos for their followers.
You can put your clips to Stories or share them on your feed.
The platform also gives you the freedom to add a variety of effects to your Reels to help you go viral.
Given its effectiveness, a lot of top brands including Sephora and Louis Vuitton are using Reels for marketing. However, Reels lacks Ad Placement and several other useful features. The good news is that creators do plan to add missing features in near future.
7. Crackdown on Bots
In August, Instagram and Facebook took steps to shut down fake accounts and stop further creation of bots using their latest review and ID process. After this update, if the algorithms of these platforms detect inauthentic behavior from a user, they’ll ask other users to provide information about that account.
According to the creators, mass creation of accounts, having followers from an entirely different region than the original location of the account, and signs of automation all count as inauthentic behavior.
Accounts showing signs of any of these activities will be flagged and Instagram will ask the account holder to confirm their identity.
If an account holder refuses to confirm their identity, then their account will either be blocked or have a limited reach.
8. Designated Page for Stories
Stories are great for brands, alot of whom frequently use this tool for advertising. A large number of brands and users on IG share more content on stories than on their original feed because the content disappears after 24 hours, saving them the hassle of deleting old posts.
Given its popularity, Instagram has released a new format where all the stories will appear on one page. The creators have only tested this format on a limited number of accounts to see the user response. If the feedback is positive, the feature will become a permanent part of the app.
These were some of our favorite Instagram updates in 2020. The app makers are constantly releasing new updates to the interface, algorithm, and policies to make Instagram a better place for all user types and keep up with the changing market. Whether you’re looking to connect with friends or boost sales for your brand, Instagram is looking like it’s taking steps to optimize the platform for everyone. And with the pandemic lingering on, IG can be an excellent platform to grow your following while more users are spending time online.