What’s New on Instagram in 2020: New Features and Updates

Instagram has grown to be one of the most influential social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion users, it’s now known to generate the highest engagement rates. However, the platform isn’t only growing – it’s also evolving. That’s why we’re going to talk about all those new features Instagram has been rolling out recently.

It’d be quite a challenge to keep track of all the changes that occur within the app, so we made a list of all the new Instagram updates that marketers should be aware of. Let’s dive right in!

Instagram new features and updates

Posting to multiple accounts

This one can be quite the time saver, but only if you’re planning on posting the same kind of content to different Instagram accounts. Basically, you create a post using one account, and then just tick some boxes in case you wish to post it on others:

Posting to multiple accounts on Instagram

I personally don’t use this feature, as I post different types of content on the accounts that I manage. That’s why NapoleonCat’s publisher comes way more handy, as it allows me to simultaneously post to different platforms:

NapoleonCat's publisher - Instagram new features and updates
NapoleonCat’s publisher view: Creating a post for both Facebook and Instagram

New Instagram Story notifications

Reposting the Stories in which someone tagged you is getting more and more popular nowadays. Essentially, it’s part of user-generated content which is known to be a very effective form of social media marketing.

So, Instagram made it easier for us to notice whether we’ve been tagged in a Story or not. Not so long ago, we had to bother to go to our inbox, and if we’ve been tagged by someone who we don’t follow, it would end up as a message request.

Now it’s enough that we just access our likes page, and at the very top of it we’ll see mentions:

Instagram Story mentions

It’s much easier to find these mentions and navigate between them, so the whole process of reposting isn’t much of a hassle anymore.

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Create Story template

With the new Create mode, Instagram users can play around with Story posts even more. The main purpose of this feature is to combine interactive stickers (e.g. questions sticker), text, and drawings without the necessity of having a photo or video in the background.

Instagram Story Create mode

To access the Create mode, click on the camera icon in the top-left corner and then swipe right at the very bottom of the screen.

IGTV Preview

IGTV, which can be explained as longer forms of video on Instagram (longer than 60 seconds), has been getting more traction recently.

So, in order to make IGTV posts more visible to other users and increase their organic reach, Instagram decided to treat them as if they were regular Instagram posts. This means that your newly published IGTV video will be seen in your followers’ news feed as well as your profile feed. There’s only one difference. It’s going to play as a 60-second preview that will try to navigate users towards the full video.

Instagram new updates and features

You can also leverage these previews in your Story posts. When you share your IGTV post to your Instagram Story, it will automatically play a 15-second preview. Here’s our reminder on how to add feed posts to an Instagram Story (works the same for IGTV posts):

How to add feed posts to an Instagram Story

Instagram Dark Mode

Users have been requesting a dark mode for Instagram for some time now, so they could save more power on smart devices. And if you ask me, it just looks cooler. Anyhow, it turns out that you can’t turn the dark mode on from within the Instagram app. You need to go to your phone settings.

Instagram dark mode

On an iOS device:

  • Make sure you have iOS 13 or a later version of the software installed.
  • Go to your phone’s Settings -> Display & Brightness. 
  • Turn the Dark Mode on, or set it to switch on and off automatically; either to match current daylight hours or to your own schedule. Start up Instagram and save that battery life!

On Android:

  • Make sure you’re running Android 10 or higher.
  • Go into Settings -> Display and tap Advanced Select Dark from the Device theme menu 
  • Go to Instagram and enjoy the darkness!

New Instagram inbox organization

Instagram has recently divided the inbox intro Primary, General, and Requests tabs. Primary is where messages from the people you follow will land. The rest will appear as a Request, that you will be able to move either to Primary or General. 

Instagram new features and updates - new inbox organization
New Instagram inbox organization

Think of Primary as an inbox for issues that need to be addressed quickly, whereas General contains the messages that you can come back to later.

Suggested unfollow

You may be wondering why you’re losing followers all of the sudden. Or maybe you’re looking to unfollow the accounts that you least interact with. Whatever the case, Instagram introduced this sneaky little feature of suggesting which people you should unfollow.

If you access the list of the accounts that you follow, you’ll see these Categories:

Instagram new updates and features
Instagram’s new follower categories

The “least interacted with” are your suggested unfollows. If you feel like your feed is getting a little bit too crowded, you may try using it.

Remove followers

Instagram is gravitating towards ‘softer’ types of blocks. Back in the day you had to block an account and then unblock it to remove it as your follower. Now the process is way simpler and more low-key.

Simply access your followers list and then you’ll see the Remove button:

Instagram new features and updates
Removing followers on Instagram

Instagram Alt text

Instagram introduced a new option of adding alt text to images. This way people with visual impairments can enjoy the social platform more.

Instagram new updates and features - alt text
Instagram alt text feature

But maybe there’s more to it. Adding alt texts to website images helps for better SEO ranking. Maybe this time that could also be the case? Hopefully, by adding these extra descriptions to your photos, you’ll be able to rank better in specific hashtags. It’s not something that Instagram has officially stated, but still it’s worth giving it a try.

How to:

  • When posting your photo, click on “Advanced Settings” at the very bottom
  • Under Accessibility you’ll see “Write Alt Text”

Restrict accounts

This feature was introduced to fight online bullying without actually having to block an account. If you restrict someone, they won’t be able to comment under your posts.

How to:

  • Go to Settings -> Privacy -> Restricted accounts
  • Type in the username you wish to restrict
  • You can also go to a specific profile you’d like to restrict, click on the three dots in the top-right corner, and click on Restrict.

Age limit

As more and more underage users browse Instagram, it may be appropriate for certain brands to “hide” their entire profiles from youngsters.

Instagram new updates and features
Instagram minimum age update

How to:

  • Go to Settings -> Business -> Minimum Age
  • You can set a minimum age restriction for users everywhere, or/and set different limits by specific countries.

Wrap up

As you can see, Instagram has introduced quite a few new features recently – from more advanced Story features and more accessible IGTV posts, to softer forms of blocks. The social media platform is constantly evolving, and it’s always better to be in the know. Until next time, take care!

Want to learn more about Instagram marketing? Check out our other articles:

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