Instagram now has over 2 billion monthly active users with 1.3 billion daily Instagram users per day, making it the most downloaded social platform, with TikTok coming in close in 2nd place. With an ever-growing user base, Instagram continues to expand their offerings. While it began as an app for posting photos, it is now so much more than that.
This year, we’ve seen the addition of collabs, subscriptions, digital collectibles, new editing tools, and more! Let’s hop in on how you can most effectively be using Instagram!
Instagram has launched the ability to generate QR codes for profiles, tags, locations, Reels, song pages, and more from desktop. This will allow you and your artists to share specific Instagram content off-platform and in real life. You can create QR codes by simply appending “/qr” to the end of any URL.
With the opportunity that blockchain technology brings, artists can now leverage new tools to earn income, and fans can support by purchasing digital collectibles – art, images and videos, music, or trading cards – as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Please note that this feature is currently being rolled out and is not available to everyone.
- Connecting a digital wallet. Once connected, creators and collectors will have the ability to choose which NFTs from their wallet they would like to share on Instagram.
- Sharing digital collectibles. Once a creator or collector posts a digital collectible, it will have a shimmer effect and can display public information, such as a description of the NFT. Posts will also be visible on their profile.
- Automatic tagging of both the creator and collector. The creator and collector can be automatically attributed in the digital collectible post (subject to their privacy settings).
Instagram Subscriptions allow you to monetize by offering exclusive content and benefits to your most engaged followers at a monthly fee. Your followers can subscribe through an in-app purchase on their mobile device.
You can create exclusive Instagram content and offer benefits with:
- Subscriber Lives
- Subscriber stories
- Subscriber badges
- Subscriber posts
- Subscriber reels
- Subscriber group chats
- Subscriber broadcast channels
Tap into short-form content by using Instagram Reels. You can record and edit multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share Reels with your followers on Feed and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. This is an opportunity for any artist to reach new audiences on a global stage!
New Reels Features:
Superbeat & Dynamic 3D Lyrics
Superbeat is a new music beat effect that applies appealing visual edits to your reel based on the song you choose. Dynamic 3D Lyrics are two new lyric effects that apply song lyrics to your reel so you can perform to the music and connect with your audience.
How To Use:
- Open the Reels Camera
- Open the effect tray/gallery
- Select Superbeat / Dynamic Lyrics / 3D Lyrics effect (You can always search for these effects and save them for future use)
- Use the music picker to select a song
- Then start recording and see the effect kick in!
Import your Own Audio or Add a Sound Effect
You can import your own audio directly within Instagram Reels to add commentary or background noise from any video that’s at least 5 seconds long on your camera roll.
Many of the interactive stickers you know and love from Instagram Stories are now available on Reels, offering more opportunities to engage with your community. Try out these stickers in Reels to help pull in new viewers who can become part of your storytelling:
- Emoji Slider
You can now tap on ‘Templates’ in a Reel with 3 or more segments and the format of that Reel will be copied over to their camera, allowing them to upload or film content using the same template as the Reel they were viewing. The audio will also transfer to contribute to ease of creation.
For even more immersive storytelling, the new Dual capture mode in the Reels Camera lets you record with your phone’s front- and back-facing cameras at the same time. Now you can capture the moment in 360°, without any crazy camera tricks or difficult workarounds.
If you’re looking for ways to increase viewership and engagement on your Reels, use text overlays!
Instagram Filters launched in 2018 as a way to bring something special to a user’s Stories, and have continued to pick up speed ever since. Today anyone can create and publish their own augmented reality Filters through Facebook’s studio tool, Spark AR.
Once your filter is uploaded and approved through Spark AR it will appear on the designated Instagram profile and you’ll see a new Filter tab appear on your profile. Fans do not receive any notifications about new Filters, so it is always important to have a good rollout plan to launch your new filter.
Going LIVE on Instagram lets you to broadcast video to your audience in real-time, allowing you and your audience to have a shared experience. Users have the ability to go live for up to 1 hour, then save their experience as a Reel. Also, when you go live all of your followers will receive a notification to tune in.
To go use the feature, pull up the photo screen you’d use to take a picture. From there, use the bottom menu to select ‘Live.’
Badges is a new feature rolling out to Business and Creator accounts that allows users to show their appreciation for their favorite creators through monetary hearts. When fans purchase a badge they will gain access to a special heart during the Live, have a special badge appear next to their name in the comments, and be featured on ‘supporter’ list that goes to the artist for up to 90 days.
Current Badge Rates in USD:
- One Heart – 99 cents
- Two Hearts. $1.99
- Three Hearts: $4.99
Live now lets you go live with up to 3 additional accounts! Just like your fans get notified when you go Live, they get notified when you go Live in a Room – that makes 4 potential audiences getting notified!
To Start a Live Room:
- Swipe left and pick the Live camera option
- Add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add your guests
- You’ll see people who have requested to go live with you, and you also search additional guests.
- As a broadcaster, you can add up to three guests at once or one by one
Schedule Your Live
Live Scheduling tool to help you promote, plan, and prepare for upcoming Lives. You can now schedule your Lives with a feed post up to 90 days in advance, and promote them more via a new Stories Sticker for Scheduled Lives. Additionally, viewers or followers will be able to sign up for reminders to tune in.
Shop is a new destination in Explore that makes it easier to shop from brands and creators. Here you can discover the latest trends, get personalized recommendations, and preview exclusive launches.
Instagram Shop will have fresh collections and products from brands and creators, as well as special curations from their social shopping channel. You can also use Facebook or Apple Pay to provide a seamless, secure way to shop and make donations to causes you care about across apps.
With all the constant updates to Instagram, it’s safe to say we still consider this app the go-to space for photo sharing. Even though it’s changed a bit over the past year, it remains the leader in the social media space and continues to be a crucial tool that artists and creators can leverage to further network and build their brand.