Instagram is continuously growing and evolving. Almost every month, the platform rolls out new features or removes old ones. And if you want to win it on the space, you need to keep track and stay updated with the ins and outs of the channel. To help you take your IG game to the next level, we’ve gathered the latest Instagram features and updates that you might not know about (just yet).
9 “Hidden” Instagram Features
1. Manage Multiple Accounts Easily
This one isn’t quite as new, but we still run into people who don’t yet know about it (or know how to properly use it).
Whether you’re a business owner, agency, social media manager, or influencer, this Instagram feature is your best friend because it lets you log in and manage up to five different accounts from one device. However, you don’t have to enter the login credentials for each account every time. Once you enter the username and password once, you’re all set.
Simply tap your name on the top part of your profile. Then click “Add Account” which prompts you to enter the login details of the other accounts. From there, you can switch and navigate between several accounts by holding down the profile name and selecting the account that you want to switch to.
This will save you the time and effort of logging in and out of all the accounts you’re handling (and we know there can be a LOT).
Here’s an example of what it looks like once you have multiple accounts loaded in there. We’ve grayed out those accounts for privacy.
Note how the above screen tells you how many unseen notifications each account has. Simple and clear!
As you do with your original account, you’ll receive notifications whenever there’s activity on the additional accounts you manage, even if your IG isn’t currently set to that account. And if you click on a notification, it will automatically take you to the account that it reflects. You don’t have to sign in manually. It certainly saves you a few clicks.
2. Manage Your Filters
Instagram offers a lot of built-in filters. However, it’s likely that not all of them work for your brand. Now, you have the power to choose what stays and what goes.
When adding or editing a photo, scroll to the very end and select “Manage.”
From there, tap and hold on the gray lines next to the filters to rearrange them according to preference. You can also choose to remove those that you don’t like by unchecking them.
It’s a nice way to shave a little extra time off of your posting and also create a more personalized experience. Customize your filter settings so that you have exactly what you need right at your fingertips, easily accessible. No need to go digging for what you want.
3. Edit Without Posting
If you create a piece of content that you’re not yet ready to publish, you can easily save posts as drafts without losing the work that you’ve already done.
Once you’ve added filters or written your caption and tap the back button, it will prompt you to either discard or save as draft. Choose the latter (or the former, if you want to toss it in the trash).
When you’re ready to post, click the plus sign and your draft (with all the edits) will be the first photo option. If you want to make more edits or to delete your draft, click on the little “Manage” button on the right side.
Without having to start from scratch, you save yourself a little time. Win!
4. Add Alt Text
This Instagram feature is intended to help people with visual impairments to enjoy the platform. And while Instagram hasn’t officially announced it, it could potentially help improve your visibility, impressions, and engagement.
Does “alt text” sound familiar? It’s because when you’re creating a blog post or other type of page online, your images should always have alt texts that describe them. Yes, it’s partly for user experience. But it’s also for Google and search engine optimization (SEO).
When writing a caption, simply click Advanced Settings at the bottom of the screen and then tap Write Alt Text. Remember, the alt text should describe what’s happening in the image.
Don’t be afraid to get specific. Using our example image, an appropriate alt text might be something like “brunette woman wearing black shirt smiling at camera.” It sounds dry and overly literal, but that’s exactly what an alt text is.
5. Maximize Instagram Shops
We all know the Instagram feature of shoppable tags where brands can tag products in their posts. Well, this one’s an upgrade from that.
The platform launched Instagram Shops where people can browse through brands’ IG feeds, head to their shop, explore their collections, and purchase products through the in-app browser. It’s truly a one-stop-shop for both businesses and customers.
This feature is free, easy-to-use, and available to brands currently using Facebook and Instagram shopping. This will continue rolling out to users, and eligible businesses will receive an email on how they can start customizing.
Can you believe Instagram used to be no more than an online photo album?!
6. Share Live Videos Directly to IGTV
Live videos can be uploaded as IG Stories, but they will only last for 24 hours and will be broken down into 15-second bits. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you do have another option.
This newer Instagram feature lets you post your Live videos immediately after broadcast into IGTV. Here, it can stay longer and even permanently (unless you delete it).
Jumping on this trend will help maximize your Live videos by extending their longevity, increasing their views, and boosting the reach of your message. You’ll be able to create a post title and description and even add hashtags, like you would for a regular post. This ensures that even more people will stumble upon your content — namely, those who haven’t yet heard of you.
More importantly, keeping such valuable content on your profile can attract new viewers and potential customers.
With this Instagram feature, you get the post of both worlds: the immediacy and urgency of IG Live and the longevity of IGTV. (And we happen to be obsessed with both of them.)
P.S. Don’t forget that with Stories, you can save them as Highlights so that they remain on your page.
7. Earn More With IGTV
IGTV monetization is here! We’ve now got yet another way to make money on Instagram.
When users watch IGTV videos, 15-second video ads can now appear. With this new Instagram feature, brands and creators can get a share of the ad revenue when users click on their IGTV video preview and then see an ad.
This update encourages marketers to bring more high-quality content on Instagram and direct their followers there.
8. Gain More Engagement With Stories
Get Creative With Stickers
It’s no doubt that Stories are one of the best Instagram features for interacting with your audience. And the platform makes it even more interactive with the introduction of new stickers.
From challenges, DM Me, food orders, and gift card stickers, these prompt a strong CTA to the followers and viewers. Most widely used nowadays is the Support Small Business sticker where users can tag brands and motivate others to check them out. For marketers, this is an effective way to stay connected to their customers and reach potential consumers.
Plus, bear in mind that interactive content is your best friend. When you invite users to engage with you, you make them a part of your story, your journey. People appreciate being included and heard.
IG Story Notifications
Posting user-generated content is another way to effectively engage with your followers. And that’s why reposting tagged stories is essential for your brand.
For businesses, you can now view if you’ve been tagged by users the same way you see your likes. At the top of the page, you’ll see a separate section for Stories mentions. This makes it a lot easier to navigate and repost stories you’ve been mentioned in.
9. Manage Your Restrictions
If you’re dealing with trolls or simply want to keep your profile clean, there are now numerous ways for you to adjust your account restrictions. This gives you more control over who can see your profile and what they’re able to do to it.
Filter Comments on Certain Keywords
Go to Settings > Privacy > Comments > Turn on Manual Filter. This will then hide the comments which use the words or phrases you’ve entered.
This new Instagram feature groups together the accounts that you either least interact with or don’t follow back and gives you a convenient way to remove them from your list. It’s simply a softer way to unfollow or block certain accounts in one fell swoop.
This was initially launched to counter cyberbullying on the platform. But brands can also use this to restrict certain people from commenting on posts without having to block them.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Restricted accounts > Type in the usernames you want to restrict. Alternatively, you can go to the person’s profile, click the three dots on the top-right corner, and tap Restrict.
It’s nice knowing that even though your profile is public, you still have some say when it comes to your privacy.
The Key Takeaway
Instagram never fails to surprise us. With these newly uncovered features, you can now revisit your campaigns on the platform with a fresh perspective. However, always remember that the platform is constantly changing, so you might have to test different things out and see what works best for you. And as always, we encourage you to keep your finger on the pulse of the constantly evolving Instagram features. (Or, just be sure to stay up to date with our blog, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.)
More importantly, save more time on your Instagram tasks by scheduling your posts in advance. e-clincher easily integrates with Instagram and all other social media channels so you can streamline your processes and spend more on the core of your business. Sign-up for your free trial today and see how e-clincher can help you with all your social media needs.