While many of us manage multiple social media accounts on multiple different platforms, it can be easy to miss or overlook updates on said platforms. A lot of the time, updates aren’t really on our minds. But, it’s important to stay informed about what’s changing on your favorite apps. Some of these changes can make a huge difference in how you choose to navigate the app. Instagram is proving that with many of its new updates.
In this current time, we are all using social media as a form of escape, and simply because we don’t have much else to do during COVID-19. This has created a big push for developers to make improvements to their apps. So many platforms are announcing new changes every single day, it can be hard to keep track. So, here is a comprehensive list of Instagram’s newest and upcoming updates that you might have missed.
Remix on Reels
Most are already aware of Instagram’s feature Reels, or its take on TikTok’s short-form video style. This was a bold move for Instagram to make, but many users have been enjoying the feature. Much like TikTok, Reels allows users to post up to one-minute videos. This is a great thing for fashion, food, and comedy influencers on the app who were late to the TikTok trend.
But, Instagram Reels differs from TikTok in a few ways. For one, on TikTok, users are allowed to either Duet or Stitch other user’s videos to react or reply in video format. When Reels launched, this wasn’t an option. But now, it is! Instagram has launched a duet function called Remix.
As seen above, the feature looks very similar to Duets on TikTok. This is an exciting update and will hopefully make Reels feel like more of a community. Duets are crucial to TikTok and help creators directly interact and respond to one another, and make for some of the funniest posts as well.
The process to creating a Remix is rather simple. All you need to do is click the three buttons on any Reel and click “Remix this Reel.” This will take you to a split-screen page where you can begin recording your Remix. Much like TikTok, when you’ve finished filming, you can edit the video, add a voiceover, and filters. When you’re happy with your Remix, you can publish it. It will show up on your page as a Remix under your Reels tab just like any other Reel.
While the Remix function was launched publicly to everyone’s account, users will have the option to turn off the feature or limit it to some. As explained in a post on the @Creators account on Instagram, “Whether you’re capturing your reaction, responding to fans or bringing your own magic to trends, Remix is another way to collab on Instagram.”
As most of us know, Instagram does have a feature that allows users to create drafts of posts on their main feed. This is a great feature for saving posts you might want to make or to compare two posts against each other. There was never a feature like this for Stories, though. Users have to save their stories before posting to post at a later date. Many find this to be a frustrating aspect of the app. But, that will all change soon!
Instagram announced on Twitter that Stories drafts are on the way. This is great news for all users. Soon, you will be able to record or create a Story and save it in the drafts bar, much like you already can with posts. Instead of creating a one-and-done Story, you can take several takes without having to save them all to your phone’s Camera Roll. Drafts for Stories have long been requested from users, simply due to the ease, it would bring to the app.
Whether you’re on a girl’s night out and can’t decide which video to post, or a brand waiting to post at the most beneficial time, this is a fantastic addition to Instagram. While there is no official launch date yet, it will be coming soon.
Instagram is implementing many new safety restrictions to the app. Some include the inability for adults to send direct messages to minors, as well as safety prompts in each chat when being messaged by someone you don’t follow. This comes after a push to improve safety and limit bullying on the platform.
The safety prompt feature will be activated when minors are messaging adults who Instagram has deemed have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior.” Minors will be able to swiftly block or report these users, and there will be prompts that remind users to be careful about who they are talking to and what they are sharing. Instagram will receive notifications when accounts owned by adults have been sending a suspicious or copious amount of direct messages to users under the age of 18. This will then set off the safety prompts when they message others.
Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely.org said of these new features, “There are cases where it is appropriate for adults and teens to interact on Instagram but it’s important that teens be protected against unwanted contact from adults. Requiring that the teen – not the adult – establish the connection empowers teens to protect themselves. It puts them in the driver’s seat and gives them more control over their experiences on Instagram.”
This feature is an incredible addition to the app. It will surely serve to make Instagram a safer place for teens. It’s a great step for Instagram to take to protect its users. While the feature will be available in some countries this month, it will be launched globally soon.
Explore Page change
This next update is a rather minor one that could be easily overlooked. Instagram users are all familiar with the Explore Page. This is a place that suggests each user’s posts and accounts they might like. Previously, there was no explanation for why the Explore Page shows what it does. Everyone just assumed it was created through an algorithm based on what you interact with and who you follow on the app. But, that has changed!
Now, your Explore Page offers an explanation. There are multiple new reasons Instagram offers regarding Explore. As you can see in the photo, I was suggested this post based on posts I’ve previously saved. Other prompts include “Instagram suggested” and “Based on (INSERT ACCOUNT) you follow.”
This new addition of visibility to Instagram is much appreciated by users. It’s interesting to see why exactly a post was recommended to you. It provides more insight into the way you use and interact on the app.
Auto-captions for Instagram Stories
In yet another attempt to compete with TikTok, Instagram is testing the feature of auto-captions for Stories. This is a great idea in terms of the app’s accessibility. Many users don’t or haven’t considered those who may not be able to hear or quickly process videos without captions.
Additionally, users might not be compelled to caption their videos themselves, especially if they are posting long stories of themselves speaking. This function would bring ease to captioning and make Instagram a more welcoming and mindful environment for all people.
Once you film your Story, you will find a sticker that transcribes your video in real time with your voice. You will then be able to edit the font of the transcription and add emphasis to certain words you choose.
While the feature is currently only in testing and available to few users, it will soon be launched to all accounts. This is an incredibly exciting move by Instagram that will hopefully be widely used.
Keep your eye out for more Instagram updates!
Social media is constantly evolving to fit with changing needs. Whether it’s in terms of accessibility or safety for minors, these are all objectively positive additions. Many of which you might have missed! It’s important to keep track of what is being changed or added to your favorite apps in order to up your social media game. Keep your eye out for more updates from not only Instagram, but every app you use!
Feature image credit: Unsplash