Instagram's Features Explained - 2021
With the tech world moving fast and social media moving even faster, the features offered by Instagram in 2021 can easily confuse a new user! In 2020 alone, Instagram introduced a few new features along with their normal annual updates and changes to the ever-morphing platform.
Facebook prides itself in providing the most unique and premium experience to its billions of users. To deliver this, they keep up with all the latest trends and needs! The downside of this is that it changes so fast and often that it takes a professional to monitor and optimize these new features and changes every year. Yes, it's a full-time job! In this article, I am going to highlight a few of Instagram's features that most people should be utilizing to get the most out of their businesses on social media!
1. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are one of the oldest, but most valuable features Instagram has to offer! Stories are 24 hour, expiring media that stays at the top of every user's homepage! These "stories" can be videos, images, graphics and more! The most beautiful and helpful part of the stories feature is the ability to repost your own, and other peoples' content onto them! This is very valuable as it highlights these posts when a user scrolls through their stories feed!
A large percentage of users on Instagram ONLY scroll through their stories feed! Most creators post their new content on their stories anyway so it's easy to just spend a few minutes going through stories and seeing everything new with the people you follow! Every business on Instagram should be on stories!
2. Instagram Reels
Reels on Instagram is a fairly new addition to their fleet of features, but probably the most lucrative right now! Since TikTok recently blew up in the social media world, platforms have been scrambling to jump on the trend of quick, 30-second videos that grab the user's attention and end up keeping the user on the platform for a longer time than just feed posts! Instagram reels have become the hottest and easiest way to go viral on the platform to date. The number of people using reels daily gives a crazy amount of eyes on your content! People who don't follow you will even be fed your content if they are interested in the topics that you post about. That's incredible visibility potential!
3. Instagram TV
Not a new feature by any means but still useful! This feature was released as a potential competitor to YouTube. IG TV allows for longer-form videos over the normal limit for a feed post. The platform has yet to incentivize creators to post longer videos (no real benefits over a normal feed post) but that seems to be changing soon! IG TV is especially beneficial for those who want to post longer tutorials and helpful content! The future looks bright for IG TV if new features are implemented soon!
4. Instagram Store
Similar to Instagram TV, the store section on Instagram hasn't felt much love in the last year or so. Creators and businesses can use the store on their profile to tag their products and even give their customers a full-form retail experience without leaving the app. However, the process itself has been a little clunky and not worth the trouble over just selling products on your third-party website or retail space online. Facebook recently announced that there will be some changes to this feature soon that will revamp and give users more of a reason to use it. The platform is trying to be more retail-friendly and is taking steps to implement these ideas!
This is a heavily simplified description of these features! Instagram goes into great depths with all of these features that we're learning more about their capabilities every day! Luckily, social media managers, like myself, explore these rabbit holes every day and learn all there is to know about Instagram's awesome features!
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