Over the past year, Instagram has made many changes and updates to the platform, some of which have been loved and embraced and others, not so much. Today, I want to cover some of the more recent updates and features that have rolled on Instagram so that you can keep up with the latest trends and be an early adopter of these features.
Feature 1: Music In Feed
The first new feature I want to share with you today is Music in Feed. On their creators page, Instagram announced that “Music is a huge part of expression on Instagram, and we’re excited to provide the ability to add music to Feed photo posts like you can with Reels and Stories.” Basically, this just means that you can now add 90 seconds of music to your static feed posts.
Personally, I don’t see this providing a huge advantage for business owners, other than allowing you more creative expression. I could see this feature helping to capture people’s attention and stop the scroll so for that reason I would suggest testing it out and seeing what happens!
Feature 2: Direct Scheduling in Instagram
The next new feature announced by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, in a post on November 9th is that scheduling, direct from the app, is FINALLY coming to Instagram! This feature is long overdue and will allow users to create a post and then schedule that post up to 75 days in advance. As of today’s date, I don’t have this feature on my account but it’s available on most of the Instagram accounts I manage in my agency, so it’s definitely worth having a look to see if you have access to this feature. It’ll be located in the “advanced settings” section of your post or reel, below where you would write your caption.
I love this feature because scheduling your content in advance is a great way to save time and ensure you’re being strategic with your content. Having this available within the app is great because it saves having to sign up and pay for other content scheduling tools!
Feature 3: Notes
This next feature is a stark contrast to Instagram’s recent obsession with video. This feature is known as ‘Notes’. Notes are short posts of up to 60 characters, using only text and emojis. In a recent blog post, Instagram shares that “During testing, we learned that people liked having a lightweight, easy way to share what’s on their mind and start conversations. From asking for recommendations to sharing what they’re up to, Notes give people a casual and spontaneous way to express themselves and connect with each other.” My guess is that this is Instagram’s way of keeping up with apps like Twitter where you can quickly and easily share your thoughts.
You’ll find notes in the direct messages section of the app. In a similar manner to stories, you’ll see the profile picture of accounts you follow with their notes in a speech bubble just above the picture. Your followers can reply to your notes, with those replies appearing in your DMs.
I think this feature is definitely worth testing. Especially while it’s still new and not overly saturated. By being an early adopter of this feature you’ll have the opportunity to capture your audience’s attention, share important messages with them and connect with them in the DMs.
So how can businesses use notes in a strategic way? Just a few ideas for how you can use notes include, promoting a new product or service, making an exciting announcement, sharing a sale or offer, and asking your audience a question (this one is especially great if you want to do some market research). You could also use notes to promote content (for example, a new reel, story or post you’ve shared). I’ve even used notes to promote a new episode of the podcast. If you test this feature out, send me a message and let me know how it goes!
Feature 5: Account Status
The next Instagram feature you need to know about is the Account Status feature. In an attempt to increase transparency, Instagram has released this new feature with the aim of allowing creators to see if their content is eligible to be recommended by the platform in places like the explore page.
Adam Mosseri says “We’re expanding Account Status so professional accounts can understand if their content may be eligible to be recommended to non-followers.” Obviously, this is important because as business owners we want to ensure that our content is getting seen by as many people as possible, so if there’s any reason Instagram isn’t recommending our content, we would want to know!
Here’s how you can check your account status. Go to your profile then click menu >> settings >> account and then account status. Here you will see if your content is eligible for recommendations. If there’s anything that has violated Instagram’s community or recommendation guidelines, it will appear here so you can remove that content or appeal it if you think there’s a mistake.
Feature 6: Quiet Mode
The final feature you need to know about is Instagram’s quiet mode feature which was announced on January 20th this year. Quiet mode allows you to silence your Instagram notifications for a period of time so that you don’t get alerted to activity on the platform. Once quiet mode is turned off, you’ll receive notifications of the activity you missed, during the quiet mode period, so that you’re still kept up to date. Your profile’s activity status will be changed to “In quiet mode” and an automated message will appear in chat to anyone who DMs you during that time. To turn on quiet mode, go to settings >> notifications >> turn on quiet mode.
I think this is a great feature purely for the mental health benefits! As someone who manages many accounts within my agency, it can be really hard to switch off! Having the ability to turn quiet mode on for a few hours during the day, when I’m working on an important project, is game-changing for my productivity and I know my hubby will be happy that I can actually silence notifications when we go away on holiday.
As business owners, it’s really important that we look after our mental health because burnout is real and you’re not going to be a help to anybody if you’re in a state of exhaustion, which is unfortunately a lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way!
If you found value in this post and want to learn more about how you can work 1:1 with me to master Instagram marketing so you can reach more dream clients and customers, without the overwhelm, click here to apply for a free strategy call with me where we can chat more about what it would look like to work together!
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