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2018 Instagram Updates You Need To Know About To Grow Your Business

When it comes to Instagram updates, we’ll sometimes get one big new feature (if we’re lucky) and a lot of little ones.

That is not what happened this year.

In June and very late May, we’ve got four new really big updates that will majorly impact how we’re marketing on Instagram.

Each is significant, ranging from news about the algorithm to the much-talked-about IGTV (yes, that’s Instagram Tv!).

In this update, we’re going to go in-depth into each one, taking a look at how to use the new features and what they mean for your business.



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Let’s start with the star of the show this month: Instagram Tv or, as you’ll learn to call it, IGTV.

#1 – Welcome IGTV

IGTV is a new stand-alone app that can be accessed on its own or from within Instagram.

It just rolled out last week, and it allows content creators to upload videos up to an hour long and share them on this platform.

Think Instagram-meets-YouTube.

When I heard about this, my first thought was “Awesome. Hour-long videos on Instagram.” Then I thought “Who would use that? We already have YouTube.” But then I thought about Instagram’s Snapchat-takeover, and I reconsidered.

This app is going to prioritize long-form video content that’s vertical and full-screen, kind of like a much longer Story.

Because it integrates with Instagram, your followers can be notified about your new videos, and your video content will show up in their IGTV feed.

Remember though, that just because your videos can be an hour long doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be, or that they should be.

Keep your video as long as you can keep it valuable and you’ll be good to go.

#2 – Instagram Shares Algorithm Information

Instagram’s algorithm has puzzled marketers and brands alike since it’s been released, shifting the feed from strictly chronological to showing users “prioritized” posts.

While we don’t exactly have a formula for this new algorithm, we do have new insight into how it works and which factors are most important.

First, Instagram clarified why it was so important for the algorithm to be created in the first place.

According to Instagram, users were missing 70% of all posts, and about 50% of their friends’ (non-branded) posts. They claim that the switch has allowed users to see 90% of their friends’ posts, subsequently increasing time spent on the app.

Instagram has also shared that there are three main factors that most heavily effect algorithm placements.

These are:

  • Interest the user has in content like yours,

  • Recency of your post, with more recent posts being given priority over older ones

  • The relationship of the user with the person sharing the content; if they interact with a lot of your content, they’ll be more likely to see more of it moving forward.

Looking to leverage this information moving forward? Here’s exactly what this algorithm means:

  • Engagement-building techniques on the platform are essential. Get more likes and comments to show Instagram that your content is high-quality. The more users interact with your content, the more likely they’ll see it moving forward. This means more potential engagement and more users, and it’s all a big upward spiral.

  • Timing still matters. New posts are given a  bump over older ones, so try to find peak posting times and see which yield the best results.

#3 – Shoppable Tags Extended to Stories

Shoppable tags are an excellent feature that allows qualified business profiles to tag products in their images and videos, which makes purchasing a quick and easy task for customers.

When users see a stoppable tag in a Story, they’ll see a shopping bag icon, an image of the product, and a “See details” note. When clicked, this will take them to the product page, which will include price and description.

Right now this feature is still in testing and only available to a few select, big-name brands, so we don’t have a ton of info on it or a tutorial just yet. Still, this offers huge potential to businesses, and is hopefully going to be accessible soon, so stay alert.

#4: Group Video Chat

As Zuckerberg noted in his F8 keynote, he’s discovered that a lot of people use live video just to hang out when they can’t physically be together. “It’s amazing how many of these social tools are about getting as close to feeling like we’re there with someone,” he said.

To make this even easier, Zuckerberg announced that Instagram is launching its very own Video Chat, giving users the ability to talk privately with one or more people over a video call. 

Final Thoughts

Each of these features offers immediate new functionality to brands who are trying to get the most out of Instagram marketing, and understanding the algorithm update is an enormous advantage, too.

Instagram can still be very confusing and time consuming for business owners. We would love to discuss our powerful growth tools that we have used over 30 Industries and have helped increase their traffic, engagement, and sales! Reach out to us today!

Learn how you can grow your business with our powerful Instagram Engagement and Direct Message services - Learn More


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