9 New Features to Try on Instagram in 2021 (2/2)

features to try on Instagram

Continue reading to explore four more new interesting features to try on Instagram in 2021.

6. Connect with your biggest fans

Everybody needs to expand their viewers, however, you also need to build deeper bonds with the fans you already have! Nurturing these relationships will help you discover and support your brand advocates, and identify what your brand does greatest.

Instagram has launched a couple of features recently that will help you strengthen these ties, such as Primary and General inboxes for business accounts.

You’ll receive notifications about your Primary inbox messages, and may move lower-priority messages to General. In case you usually feel overwhelmed by direct messages, taking advantage of the two-inbox feature will help you ensure that your most valued followers are sorted into Primary.

option to move messages from @popwine_yvr into Primary or General

The app will even present you each story that’s talked about you in the last 24 hours with their new Stories About You feature. Resharing this user-generated content adds credibility to your brand and shows your appreciation to these followers. Now it’s easier than ever to seek out and amplify.

screens showing @ mentions on Instagram

When you tap the Following button on your profile, you’ll see new details about the people who follow you. Head of Instagram Adrian Mossi announced the feature in a tweet, showing two categories that appear at the top of your Following list. “Least interacted with” are the 50 accounts you interact with least often. And “Most Shown in Feed” is the 50 you see most frequently. The latter category is a little less precise. However, it is generally the accounts you see most often are also these you engage with frequently.

View image on Twitter

That is useful information in case you’d like to know the relationships your account has with different customers. Identifying common themes among the most-engaged and least-engaged accounts in your feed can help you refine your target market.

7. Create a customized AR filter

There was a hot minute in early January where 99% of the individuals you follow were sharing “What X Are You?” results and nothing else. These goofy filters revealed your inner Disney character, Pokemon, Pantone color, and more. A seemingly endless variety of permutations popped up overnight, including many revealing your inner dog.

Instagram Story of the author using the "What Disney Character Are You?" AR filter

The outcomes were randomized, which means you had an equal chance of being flattered (Ariel!) or horrified (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) by your outcomes. However, even though the outcomes were meaningless, the filters were still pretty enjoyable.

This trend reminded us that everyone loves a quiz, especially one that reveals something silly about themselves (that’s why all of us spent a lot of time on Buzzfeed). Additionally, they proved that the best AR format can catch fire.

Augmented reality (AR) filters are any filter that interacts along with your camera to create an altered image, like adding sunglasses or a pet nose. Instagram regularly releases new filters, however, anybody can create and share their own. Your account’s custom AR filters will live under a dedicated tab in your profile, like Aritzia‘s Super Glow filter.

Artizia glow AR filter

Interactive elements increase engagement with your Stories, however, custom AR filters have another benefit too: they encourage customers to share your content with their followers.

Here are some more ideas for getting creative with AR filters.

8. Get into IGTV

Designed for longer formats (up to an hour for verified accounts), Instagram TV was launched in 2018 as the platform’s answer to streaming content and creator channels like YouTube. Unlike Instagram Live, you might film and edit content in advance for a higher-quality experience.

However, IGTV didn’t catch fire immediately. In 2019, the platform started showing previews in the regular feed, which boosted IGTV views. Instagram also began allowing horizontal videos on IGTV, which provided more flexibility for creators. Still, long-form video isn’t exactly what the platform is known for.

However, it seems like Instagram is hoping to change that in 2021. They’re piloting a feature that might allow creators to monetize their IGTV content by including ads. They’re also expanding the Brand Collabs Program, previously only available through Facebook, which can facilitate partnerships between brands and creators. This shift will hopefully grow IGTV content, along with audiences for it.

That means in case you’ve been thinking about dipping a toe into IGTV, or starting an IGTV series, now can be the time! Instagram has shown they’re committed to rise IGTV and offering compelling reasons for businesses and people to create content for the platform.

Instagram’s recently-launched @creators account contains tips for compelling IGTV content.

9. Free yourself from the tyranny of “likes”

After removing likes from posts in several nations (including Canada), Instagram is now considering removing them from all posts worldwide. This doesn’t mean you won’t have the ability to see likes behind the screens or get a full picture of your viewers’ engagement in the Insights tab. It just means your followers can’t see that whole number.

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