Struggling to keep up with Instagram’s updates? Here’s everything you need to know.

18/May/2016 · 2 MINS READ

With social media networks constantly evolving, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends.

Instagram’s no exception. Over the past couple months, the photo sharing platform has announced what feels like a never-ending stream of new updates.

From an unexpected rebrand to a controversial algorithm, Instagram’s gone through some pretty big changes lately and not everyone’s happy about it.

But what’s going on exactly, and is it all bad news? To keep you in the know, we’ve summarised Instagram’s latest updates and announcements, explaining how they’re likely to impact your marketing efforts.

1. The infamous algorithm change 

On March 15th 2016, Instagram dropped its biggest bombshell yet: a new algorithm.

Bye bye chronological feed. Posts will now be prioritised according to what Instagram thinks you care about the most.

Needless to say, the announcement didn’t go down so well. Users are upset and brands are freaking out, worrying engagement levels will plummet overnight. More than a quarter-of-a million disgruntled users even signed a change.org petition against the algorithm, because #firstworldproblems.

How will it affect my business?

Consider this: according to Instagram, users miss out on 70% of their feed. As the platform keeps growing, this number will continue to rise. So instead of asking followers to turn on notifications for your posts, a better approach is to focus your efforts on creating content users actually want to double-tap. When the algorithm finally takes effect, it could work in your favour. As long as you do the work.

2. The upgraded profile pages for businesses 

As Instagram expands its advertising capabilities, new business tools will be rolled out in the upcoming months. This includes business/brand profiles, a feature that’s currently being tested out by a small group of users. Complete with call-to-action buttons, contact details, business categories tags and maps, these brand profiles have a lot of potential, especially for small local businesses. Here’s a sneak-peek of what they look like:

 How will it affect my business?

While these features are relatively basic, they could prove to be extremely useful for brands. The current Instagram bio has many limitations, including character count and the inability to link out more than once. The new business profiles would tackle some of these challenges and help turn your followers into paying customers. What’s not to like?

3. The analytics tool you’ve been waiting for

Unless you’re paying for a third-party tool like Iconosquare, your analytics game probably isn’t as strong as you’d like. While Facebook’s Insights tool gives businesses the ability to deep dive into demographic audience makeup and post performance, the same cannot be said for Instagram. Until now, that is. The platform will finally roll out an analytics feature, giving brands access to follower demographics and post analytics, including followers’ location, age and gender.

How will it affect my business?

This new feature will allow you to be more strategic about what you post. No more speculation about your audience and post performance – the data will tell you (almost) everything you need to know.

4.The dynamic ads for better targeting

If you’re advertising on Instagram, you may have noticed the targeting tools aren’t as intricate as on Facebook. This is likely to change as the platform grows. In fact, Facebook’s already announced its dynamic ads will soon be coming to Instagram too. Dynamic ads display products users are already interested in, based on their online activity and interests.

How will it affect my business?

As studies show Instagram users like to shop and share product photos with their friends, more detailed targeting tools can help brands reach their audience more efficiently. If you’re running an e-commerce business, Instagram’s dynamic ads could prove to be very valuable indeed.

5. The rebrand that almost broke the internet

When Instagram casually unveiled its new look, it sent the internet into meltdown mode. Instagram’s iconic retro logo is no more, having been replaced by a purple, orange and pink gradient design with a 90s feel. And let’s not forget about the user interface that received a sleek black and white makeover. Whilst Instagram claimed the new design was inspired by the community, the internet didn’t quite agree.

How will this affect my business?

It doesn’t. Unless all your followers are now boycotting Instagram, in which case it might be time to rethink your target audience.