Instagram has done it again! A new Explore feed, Video Chat, new camera effects, music in Stories, and finally a look at that New Posts button we've all been waiting for. HERE WE GO!
We've got a lot to dive into, but let's walk through it nice and slow... First and foremost, let's talk about this new Explore feed. This is something that has been rolling out over the last month or so. Some of the accounts I manage have had it for a while now, but others just got it within the last couple weeks. Either way, Instagram has reorganized this Explore feed in hopes of making it easier to find what you're looking for. To accomplish this, they've given us these Topic Channels. Over 200 million people visit the Explore feed daily, so if you think it's not important what it looks like...you're wrong. These Topic Channels offer a way to see category specific content in one place. The Topic Channels you see are customized for you based on content you've interacted with in the past as well as hashtags that you've elected to follow. In addition to suggesting things you might like, Instagram is letting us point out content that we don't like by long pressing and selecting to mute certain content. Sick of the Bikini channel that keeps popping up? Press and hold on a Topic Channel, select Mute, and you won't see anymore Instamodels.
Another feature that's a little more fun than it is functional is the batch of Face Filters that just dropped. Teaming up with creators again, as IG has been purposefully doing recently, we're getting some fun new filters to play with in our Stories. These include filters from Ariana Grande, the NBA, and more. If you follow these accounts, you'll see the Face Filter as an option in your filter tray. If you aren't a follower but you see a filter that you like on somebody else's Story, just tap the option to add it to your tray and use it in a Story of your own.
Another feature that I've already spoken about in my Stories since it dropped is Video Chat. I think this may give FaceTime a run for its money, but let me explain what it is first. When you're in your DM screen, you'll notice a little video icon in the top right. When you press it, it triggers a video chat call. For whoever is on the other end, they'll see the video chat come in as a phone call, and they can answer or ignore. Then it's basically just a FaceTime call...except it's not. When you minimize a FaceTime call, your camera turns off and you can't see the other person. With Video Chat, as long as you stay within the Instagram app, you and your friend can still see each other while you browse. But wait there's more... You can also video chat with you to four people at a time! I'm excited for this feature because not only for those obvious reasons, but also because we can video chat Apple to Android. My whole family has Androids, I have an iPhone...we all live in different regions of the country, so we can't FaceTime and have to use Google Duo, which is fine, but like this is better because not only are we all on Instagram already, but because we can all 4 of us chat at once. Super cool.
NEXT! Stories just got more fun. Everybody knows you can play a song from your phone and then film a Story, but the quality usually sucks and it's kinda whack. Not at more! Thanks to that Spotify partnership that came months ago, you can now select music to play over your Story whether it's a video or a photo. You can do this two different ways. The first is to create the story and then add music from the sticker menu after the fact OR you can swipe to the new Music option under the record button, search for a song, select the part of the song, and then create the story. Either way, you can choose the song by browsing tabs for Popular, Moods, or Genres. This is still a new feature so they don't have the most up to date or extensive library to choose from, but they'll be adding and building the selection as time passes so be patient, your favorite artists will be available soon.
Last, but certainly not least, is this update to our feeds. Everybody freaked out when they heard IG might be bringing back a chronological feed, only to be smacked in the face with sorrow when we were informed that it was all just a rumor. BUT, then we got word of this new update and it's finally here. Starting this week Instagram has begun to roll out two new elements to improve our feeds. The first is this "You're All Caught Up" message. During your endless scrolling, it's easy to feel like you're missing posts. But now, Instagram will let you know when you've seen all posts from the last two days with a message that looks like this. In addition, there is a button that will occasionally pop up at the top of your screen as you scroll that reads "New Posts." This is something we've been expecting as well, and it is actually a step closer to the chronological feed that everybody seems to miss so much. As we scroll down the feed to see all the posts we've missed over the last couple days, new posts are being posted by the minute! This "New Posts" button let's you know when that's happening AND gives you the opportunity to be catapulted back to the top of your feed where the latest posts can be seen. Cool features of course, definitely useful, but I really see them as two more methods for Instagram to keep us on the app longer... Think about it: you scroll for 20mins, then you see the "New Posts" button pop up, then you're taken back to the top of your feed where there are a few new posts...cool. It takes two seconds to like and comment or whatever, then you gotta scroll allllllll the way back down your feed to find your place again and work towards reaching that "You're All Caught Up" message... Nice try IG, but I see you...
That's all for now friends, as always thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions, ideas, experiences, etc, be sure to drop em in the comments or reach out and shoot me a DM on my Instagram. Make sure you Like and Subscribe and Follow depending on whatever platform you watch me on so you can catch these videos right when I put them up and stay up to speed on the latest and greatest to keep your brand or business ahead of the curve when it comes to social media.