Staying updated on the many changes that Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms introduce for their apps is a tedious, full-time job that requires close monitoring. No need to worry if you weren’t keeping an eye open for new social media updates, as we are here to help you out by sharing the latest news – new Instagram updates that you simply can’t afford to miss in 2018.
Now if you are passionate about social media and interested in the current affairs, then you must be overloaded with Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn updates from the F8 conference. For those who are unclear, the conference, held in San Jose, California in May 2018, is an annual 2-day gathering of the most renowned global developers, who come together to discuss the future of technology. This year, the keynote speakers included Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram Product Managers Jyoti Sood and Shilpa Sarkar, Instagram Data Science Manager Tamar Shapiro and WhatsApp Director Mubarik Imam.
The speakers made some exciting announcements at the meet-up, regarding much-needed changes for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and AR/VR. We will be sharing more on the Instagram updates below.
Instagram has also been active in the last few months, sharing new updates that focus on making their platform more user-friendly and safe, by introducing the ‘sharing to stories’ feature and a filter that spots and removes bullying comments. Have a detailed read down below of the 6 new Instagram updates that you can’t afford to miss this 2018.
- The ‘Mute’ button
As of yesterday, Instagram announced an addition of a mute button to its app, a God sent feature that will now help you avoid certain accounts without going through the extreme step of ‘unfollowing’ them.
One of the best Instagram updates introduced in 2018, the mute button will be a lifesaver for all those who wish to avoid accounts that are extremely active and post quite often, cluttering your newsfeed with content you don’t wish to see, without letting them know of the same. With the mute button on, you will still be able to see the mute account’s posts on their page and get notified if they comment or tag you in a post, which can be considered as experiencing the best of both worlds.
The mute button, however, would be a worry for brands who consider Instagram one of their main business platforms, as it would majorly affect the engagement level on their posts.
This highly personalized experience will be first made live for a small bunch of iOS users and then be available for everyone in the coming weeks.
2. The New Explore page
Apart from the “picked for you” channel which was added in 2016, Facebook announced its biggest new Instagram update at the F8 conference – a totally new, redesigned Instagram Explore page.
The earlier explore page allowed you to search through hashtags and locations and popped content on the Explore feed that was similar to the accounts you followed and your previous search feed.
The new explore page will now also let you browse content based on your interests, with the help of its new “channel” features. You will be able to search for more content basis your hobbies such as photography, gardening or architecture; your likes such as animals, puppies, home decor; or basis an event such as BBQ, weddings, etc.
Another new Instagram update shows that you will now have more control over the content that pops up on your Explore feed. The new explore page will be driven by artificial intelligence, helping you find exactly what you need and making it an extremely personalized experience as well.
- Instagram’s own new video chat
The popularity of video chatting has grown by millions in the past year. It was announced that people held 17 billion video chats on Messenger between January and November 2017.
As Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in the F8 conference this year, people are now using video chats to reduce the physical distance between them. He shared that “It’s amazing how many of these social tools are about getting as close to feeling like we’re there with someone.” Thus, it is all about minimizing the distance between people and helping them to stay connected.
Zuckerberg announced that Instagram will now have its own video chat feature, with users having the ability to talk privately with one or more individual during the call. To start your video chat, all you need to do is go to the Instagram Direct page and tap on the new camera icon that will be placed on the top. The feature is similar to the video chat feature added on WhatsApp and is extremely user-friendly.
An additional feature to video chatting is that you will be able to minimize your video chat and continue browsing through your Instagram feed at the same time, which we think is amazing.
- AR camera effects in Instagram
It seems that this year, the main focus of the Facebook F8 conference was on the AR/VR development and innovation to make the platforms more user-friendly. Another new Instagram update that Mark Zuckerberg shared at the conference was the announcement of the AR camera effects that would be coming soon in the next few months.
Both brands and public figures will now be able to build their own Augmented Reality filters for Instagram stories using the Facebook AR Studio. This would mean that if your friend was using a filter on Instagram stories that you like, then you could now also use the same filter if you are following the said account.
Now, what if you want to use an effect on Instagram from an account you don’t follow at all? There is a workaround to this too. If one of your friends following that particular account on Instagram sends you a DM or posts a story to you using the same effect, you’ll be able to use it too.
This new Instagram update will surely change the way the world reacts to AR in 2018.
- New “Sharing to Stories” feature
Instagram Stories has proven to be a huge hit among the current Instagram users. A new trend of sharing your current favourite song with your followers is slowly becoming quite popular among many Instagram users. However, the fact that the followers are not able to listen to the said song, is making the entire experience bland.
Taking this further, Instagram announced a new update that will now allow your followers to listen to the song as well. The current update syncs with your Spotify account, to share the song with your Stories.
The ‘Sharing to Stories’ feature, both for Instagram and Facebook, will be a great step to enhance your and your followers’ experience, by expressing one’s feelings. You can easily share the songs that you love on Spotify or the action shots captured on GoPro just by tapping the “share” button. From there, you can edit or add it to your story.
It was announced that more such apps will be added to the “sharing to stories” feature, soon. This new Instagram update will be a boon for the e-commerce sector, where Influencers can share affiliate links and the products can be directly embedded in their stories.
On a quick note, engaging your followers on social media is also an art and I guess, most of us are still struggling with it. Learn 3 ways to engage your followers on social media here.
- Instagram filtering out bullying comments
The last of 2018’s new Instagram updates is the filtering of bullying comments for the global community. While Instagram did add a feature earlier that could filter comments based on certain keywords, this feature acts as an advanced step taken by Facebook to protect its users from bullying.
This feature will use machine learning to identify languages which are used to harass or hurt the sentiments of people. This can particularly be beneficial for users who are young and can be easily affected by strong bullying.
Another feature that we approve of is that by default, this filter is automatically enabled for all users. In case you want to discontinue this feature for your account, visit the Comment Control centre on your Instagram App.
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