Instagram never stops to surprise us. While the world is trying to stay positive through these challenging times, it is exciting to see how Instagram rapidly develops new features and functionalities to tackle main business issues and help users support their favourite brands.

And now, more than ever, keeping up with what’s new on Instagram can be quite a challenge. There are new Instagram features almost every week. We know it is essential to stay up to date with the latest changes on Instagram, so we put together a list of important updates announced by Instagram in 2021 so far.

More Security for Users Under 18

The world of the internet can sometimes be overwhelming for young users. Providing them with protection online is the real need of the hour. 

Here are some latest safety features for young users by Instagram:

  • Private account by default for everyone under 16

Instagram’s main priority is to stop strangers from making unwanted contact with young users. Private accounts for users under 16 is the best way to deal with it. It lets you control who can see and comment on their content, and it won’t be possible for unwanted users to see their content on Explore or Hashtags.

  • No unwanted contact

Having a private account is the first step to avoid unwanted contact. But that’s not all! Instagram goes above and beyond to ensure young users aren’t exposed to unwanted contact from adults they don’t want to hear from. 

Instagram has developed a new technology to keep “potentially suspicious behaviour” away from users under 16. Accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young user is defined as potentially suspicious behaviour. 

With this technology, these accounts won’t be able to see any young users’ accounts or content in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested for You’. They won’t be able to follow them even if they find these accounts by searching their usernames. So much so that they won’t be able to see comments from young users and won’t be able to leave comments on their posts. 

We think this is one of the best features Instagram has introduced so far!

  • Advertising limitations for targeting young people

Another game-changing feature that Instagram introduced is how advertisers can target young users with ads. The platform now allows targeting ads based only on their age, gender and location, which means that advertisers no longer have the options to target based on their interests or activities. 

When these users turn 18, Instagram will inform them about the advertising policy change and the tools to control their ad experience. 

No Place for Hate Speech

Protecting its users from abusive comments and DMs has been of the biggest concerns for Instagram for a long time. It seems like Instagram is working hard to deal with the situation, and the company rolled out an excellent feature called Limits

With this feature, you can now limit or hide comments and messages from users that are not on your followers’ list or have recently started following you. The purpose of Limits is to help protect public figures from offensive comments and DMs. 

It is no ‘Breaking News’ that Instagram creators and influencers often receive hateful comments from random profiles. Since the pandemic, it only seems to have gotten worse. A step in the right direction, we say!

A New Tab - Audio

Instagram is looking to lean into video-form after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. The company announced that it is no longer a photo-sharing app and promotes users to use reels and short-video form posts. 

 

Recently, a new audio tab has appeared in the app. This tool gives users the ability to search for reels by song. Like any other music app, Instagram will provide a list of songs when users swipe and search. 

Users will then be able to see 30-second reels with the song. Users can save any music they like for later, or there is also an option “use audio” to create a reel if they wish.

Translation Features

The company announced that a new accessibility feature would be added on Instagram – Translation. This feature supports 90 languages right now, and however, it is only possible to translate written text. 

This new update will translate the text in Instagram Stories. Instagram will give you a “See Translation” option to translate the overlayed text in Stories. When the users click on it, they will be presented with a translation panel. 

Brands in global markets will love this new update as users globally don’t have to miss stories from their favourite international brands. A similar option is also available for feed, comments and profiles.

Exciting News for Businesses

Data Tracking is made easy with the latest update. Instagram expanded the data tracking period for insights from 30 days to 90 days. Companies can quickly analyse their quarterly insights on the platform to create a better strategy. Something to look forward to for small businesses!

Additionally, the company announced testing a new feature that provides businesses options to display ads in the shopping tab. The ads can vary from a single image to a carousel. 

Marketers can even use Reels as ads that look no different than any usual Reel, with a difference of ‘sponsored’ tab on it. 

Research shows that users on Instagram are looking for more video, messaging and shopping content rather than images. There is no doubt that the platform will be making many changes to entertain its users more. 


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