Launched in 2010, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in the market today! Since its acquisition by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has undergone drastic upgrades and developments that have made the platform better and better with each new update. Developers behind Instagram are rigorously working behind the scenes for improving and eliminating any possible bugs and glitches to deliver a smooth onboarding and user experience to everyone. Moreover, the team is always taking user feedbacks and opinions very seriously to improve existing features and adding new ones into the box with timely and regular updates.

Instagram knows that the stronger the community they can build, the more valuable its platform will become for users. Most of their updates recently have been focused on community building and security for users and marketer alike, and these changes have really stayed the course. They are aiming to offer more interactivity between both brands and users by frequently adding some new media functionalities and upgrading the existing ones.

Latest major updates!

Since 2017, Instagram developers have added some really cool features and tools that have made Instagramming a joyride for billions across the globe. Most of the new features have been added for enhancing functionalities of Instagram stories, while some have also been added for content upload and Instagram’s UI. The most recent of them all is the “Name Tag“, “Polling“, “Quiz” and “Donation” features.

The Name Tag feature was a unique addition where every user gets to create their own personal tag using their username. Other users can scan this Name tag, much similar to a QR code, upon which they will automatically start following them by default. You can choose different color schemes for your name tag and are also given the option to print the name tag for your business so that customers can simply scan the tag and land directly on to your Insta profile!

The Polling feature along with the Name Tag feature was added into Instagram in 2018. The Polling feature is a part of the story stickers and has undoubtedly been one of the best developments the feature has had since it was released a few years back. This feature is a big hit amongst brands, businesses and influences posting sponsored stories. It lets you add a polling question to the image or video they’re using during the Creatives portion of the creation process when creating a Story Ad. You can ask users a question, and give them two choices to choose between. This is very useful in finding out the preferences of your audiences.

Quiz stickers are the most recent addition to the Stories feature. This feature has been designed to allow brands, businesses and influencers ask multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to their followers and provide answers. Once uploaded in a story, users can choose an answer and see if they’re right or wrong. This feature works real time and the brands can see the responses.

Charity through social media has been the most successful way of raising funds for major noble causes across the globe. Keeping that in mind, Instagram has finally rolled out the Donation sticker feature for Insta stories. Users can add these stickers to their profile and find accredited, verified nonprofits to tag and raise money for. People who are interested can click on the stickers to donate to said charity in a few simple steps.

Upcoming Instagram Updates for 2019!

A lot of the feature updates on Instagram are greatly inspired by the ones that are already a hit on Facebook, due to obvious reasons! There are a couple of cool upcoming Instagram updates and features that are rumored to hit the platform during 2019. While some of them might be rumors, there are a couple of updates that Instagram has confirmed to be officially developing and are currently in the beta stage. The most anticipated and rather important Upcoming Instagram Updates are:

  • Scrubbing option
  • Title Option for Instagram Live
  • Co-Watching Videos
  • Hide Vanity Metrics (Likes)

Scrubbing Option

Imagine an instance when you find a particular section of a video very interesting and wish to see it again. At present, the default Instagram setup does not allow any option to scroll back the slider to rewind the video and users have to wait for the complete video to end, only to loop over again so they can see that desired part again. Speaking from personal experience, THIS GETS EXTREMELY ANNOYING AT TIMES!

To fix this, Instagram is apparently testing a native scrubbing option, which will allow users to scroll through to the point of the video that they want to watch. This I personally feel is an overwhelmingly ground-breaking feature considering that if users are able to move forward or backward in your videos to find what they need to see, they may be more likely to take action overall, helping you make every video on the platform just a tiny bit more effective.

Upcoming Instagram Updates

It’s already offered on Instagram’s own IGTV, which makes us even more hopeful and optimistic that it will hit the Instagram application pretty soon!

Title Option for Instagram Live

This update feature is in the beta testing stage and has slowly started rolling out to some users who have spotted a new title option for Instagram Live, which appears on the pre-launch screen, and could help to add more context for your viewers. In this update, the new option appears at the top of the Instagram Live launch tile, prompting you to ‘Add a title for your viewers‘ before officially going live. Particularly those who catch up with your Live streams at a later time, the title frame will be the first image shown on the Live tile in user feeds and could help you get more people to watch your Live stream.

Upcoming Instagram Updates

Co-Watching Videos

Understandably influenced by Facebook, Instagram seems to be testing a new Co-Watching feature to enhance the video viewing experience of users. Similar to what Facebook’s Watch Party currently offers, Instagram has started developing the Co-watching video feature to encourage users to interact more and in new ways on their platform. Using this feature, Instagram users may be able to co-watch videos synonymously within Direct Messaging (DM). Since this feature will be a part of DM, it will be private and probably won’t be available as a public or group-based feature like it is with Facebook’s Watch Parties.

Upcoming Instagram Updates

This feature could be a handy tool for brands offering exclusive content to small, exclusive groups. Coaching businesses, for example, may have good results with this if they break their clients down into smaller groups on Instagram.

Hide Vanity Metrics

Instagram is testing a version of the app that hides “vanity metrics”. For those who are unaware of this term, it simply means likes on posts from everyone except the person who shared it. Now the reality is that the sustenance of the update is going to be based on hit and trial in a way. If this update rolls out, it could potentially be a game-changer for brands trying to leverage social proof and I am not talking about this in a good way. Conventionally, users are most likely to pay attention to content that has strong social proof, meaning it has more likes and reactions (Positive or negative) from audiences. Because social proof can have a chain reaction effect, it is also possible that likes disappearing could sometimes discourage other users from liking the content, too.

So, this was a brief description of the most recent major updates and an insight into some of the most likely upcoming Instagram updates that may roll out this year. Which one comes when and more, WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE!