Instagram has been on a roll this year with new updates and features. The platform has rolled out various features to increase engagement among its community and provide businesses with new ways to connect with their customers.
Here’s a rundown of all the top Instagram features and updates that have happened on the platform in 2020.
- Business Tools
Instagram started the year with several updates to its business toolbox. The platform allowed users to track their follower growth with a new growth metric included in the Insights dashboard. Through the growth metric, business account owners can track their followers’ growth through a period of seven days and even check the number of unfollows and follows. Instagram also added a secondary inbox tab for business users. Now users have two inbox tabs, primary and general tabs. Additionally, Instagram added age-gating features, letting creators and business accounts limit who can see their profiles, depending on age. The February Instagram updates included a new way to view lists of people you follow and those who follow you. In May, Instagram introduced Shops, a way for businesses to showcase their merchandise online. Later, Instagram added a dedicated tab for Shops. The platform also started allowing creators to tag products in Live videos.
- Support and Appeals Tools
Instagram added new channels for easier support. A user can now appeal if their account is closed directly from the app, and those who report accounts can follow up on the issues through a dedicated place inside the app.
- COVID-19 Information Centre
As part of its March updates, Instagram added the COVID-19 Information Centre to help fight misinformation. The COVID-19 information center provided a link to credible sources on the latest news and other important info concerning the virus. Instagram also started showing information from the WHO and local health ministries on top of the news feed.
- IGTV Ads
Instagram started testing a way for creators and influencers to monetize their long-form videos posted on the platform. IGTV ads pilot program started with a few creators, and the company shared 55% of revenue just like YouTube.
- Tools to Help Small Businesses
In April, Instagram updates added new ways for users to help SMBs. The platform started allowing businesses to add “Gift Card” and “Food Order” stickers in Stories or as buttons in their public profiles. Instagram also added a new donate button to allow their customers to support them. Instagram also started allowing users to add a donate now button in live sessions. Later, the platform added live ads and badges.
- IGTV App Revamp and Instagram Direct on Desktop
The platform revamped the IGTV app to give more prominence to creators. Also, Instagram updates arrived on the desktop, allowing users to start reading and replying to messages. The platform also started saving live videos to IGTV. Besides, Instagram expanded the length of live videos to four hours.
July’s Instagram updates introduced Reels in India, a direct competitor to TikTok, after the South Asian country banned the short-form video app. Reels expanded to more countries in August, including the US. Reels started by allowing a maximum of 15-second videos but were later doubled to 30.
- Instagram Messenger Integration
Facebook began working on integrating Instagram’s DM and Messenger. Through this feature, Facebook and Instagram users can communicate with each other without switching apps.
- Instagram UI Revamp
Instagram has recently revamped its mobile app; some of the app’s biggest changes in recent times were adding a dedicated tab for Reels and Shopping. The camera and activity buttons were moved to the top right.