Over the years, Instagram has stayed fresh and exciting by continually integrated new features. So here are 4 big changes (and 2 extra) that may be coming to Instagram soon and which you might want to prepare for.
The New 4 X 4 Grid
During the last couple weeks many people have seen their Instagram accounts change dramatically. The timeless 3 X 3 grid that’s been on Instagram since the app first came out in 2011 might soon be replaced. Never would we have imagined a completely new grid this year, but this is exactly what Instagram is testing out. Only a portion of Instagram users have seen their profile transformed, so for the moment, we can’t be certain that this feature will be added permanently. If Instagram decides to make it official however, in a few months we’ll all see this change affect our profiles as well.
On the one hand, this feature provides yet again more room for creativity. We’ve seen so many original uses of the 3 X 3 grid and simply know that creatives will be able to do more with these additional squares. It’s an unfamiliar look, but with bigger smartphone screens today, scrolling down four images at a time would allow us to see more photos and might simply make the experience more enjoyable.
Not everyone got to experiment with the new profile layout and 66AGENCY’s profile got excluded too! We need to keep in mind that all of our past posts will be completely misaligned if the new grid is introduced. Users that have carefully aligned the rows of their profile would have to rework their past posts to create something new. Now don’t start worrying about this yet. The negative feedback we’ve heard about this new feature might keep this update from ever becoming official.
Live Split Screen
In August this summer Instagram gave us the Live Split-Screen feature. What the new feature allows us to do is add a friend to our live video, which shares the live stream to both our followers and to those of our friend. This too hasn’t been rolled out to the public fully, but this feature is really interesting and it certainly will be appreciated by Instagram’s community of influencers.
For one, the feature doubles the engagement on live videos, as two accounts will be sharing the same video to their audiences. It’s also an amazing new way for influencers to collaborate with brands and with each other.
With this update, Instagram could be trying to increase the use of their Live feature, which would mean a shift towards more video content on the platform. Live streaming isn’t as easy as it looks and many influencers might have to learn how to get better with it. If you’re an influencer with experience creating videos, it’s definitely a great opportunity to use your skill and increase your follower count.
IG paid partner
In March many celebrities were warned by the FTC that their paid sponsorships had to be made more obvious to their audiences. Instagram came to the rescue and created an easy to use feature that makes announcing sponsored ads more intuitive. We really like this new feature because it’s a win-win for both the audience and the influencer. Posts that feature sponsorships are clearer and influencers can now aesthetically tag brands in their posts.
Although we don’t all have access to this feature yet, many celebrities do and you probably have already come across it in your feed. For those who have access to it, the feature can be applied to posts on your profile and to your stories. If this becomes official, it might mean the end of the good old #ad, but honestly we don’t think it’ll be missed very much.
Swipe up to See More on Stories
Have you noticed ‘See More’ appearing at the bottom of stories recently? Business profiles on Instagram that have over 10k followers are now able to add links to their stories. This is actually the first time that Instagram has allowed users to add links in a place other than their bio. Influencers that have a business account, might choose to use this opportunity to promote other social media channels or new blog posts, while still keeping your bio for another link, perhaps for collaborations or for your own website.
2 More Features Currently Being Tested
The people at Instagram are obviously working very hard because those are not the only features that you might see appear soon. The first has to do with comments. Up until now, comments on Instagram are simply shown in order that they have been posted, but we might soon see threaded comments such as the ones found on facebook. Replies will appear in subsections and this new feature will make conversations in the comment section much more coherent.
The second is Instagram Stories appearing on the desktop version of Instagram. Why not? Watching stories on your desktop sounds fun to us. Now that links can be posted in stories, this new feature would make sense. It’s still much easier to look through the different pages of a website on your computer, even if most website are mobile friendly. Clicking on links in the story from your browser would make looking at the content easier and faster.
Our Final Thoughts
These fascinating changes are coming very quickly. Some are minor improvements that will provide more flexibility to Instagram users, others like the new grid layout will be a huge difference that will need getting used to. The new paid partnership feature makes it clear that Instagram is addressing the needs of their content creators and changes to Stories and Live Stories mean that we should expect these aspects of Instagram to see more improvements in the future. Overall, we think these updates will have us loving Instagram even more. What do you guys think of these changes?
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