Instagram is always rolling out new features to improve their app and help creators optimize their experience. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up! Here are some recent updates to the platform that you may not know about.
Did you just announce the cover of your book? Do you have an upcoming author event that you would like to promote to anyone who views your profile? Instagram has just added the Post Pinning feature to help! This will allow users to pin selected posts to the top of their grid profile for as long as you would like. You can choose up to three posts to pin by clicking on the three dots at the top right corner of a post and selecting “Pin to Your Profile” in the overflow menu. When you unpin a post, it returns to its former spot on your grid.
Tagging can be an incredibly helpful feature for collaborating, crediting others, and growing follower count. When working with a team of creators or fellow authors, however, a username may only go so far in explaining who is who. Instagram has introduced Enhanced Tags so that when an IG creator’s professional account is tagged, their self-designated profile category will appear with their username. You can learn more about Enhanced Tags on Instagram’s Creators site.
Image Source: Instagram
Improvements to Instagram Reels
Short-form video content has been on the rise across social media platforms. While creating content can be tricky for the uninitiated, Instagram has added some features to make the process a bit easier. One new feature is Templates, where a user can easily copy another Reel’s format. For instance, if you see a bookish video trend that you would like to re-create, Templates will auto-load clip and audio placeholders from a video so all you need to do to create a Reel is add and trim your own video clips. Another recent change is the extended playtime for Reels, which can now be up to 90 seconds long. And Instagram has also added sound effects and interactive stickers to help you boost engagement with your content.
Product Tagging for All
In the last few years, Instagram has made a distinct transition to being a marketplace as well as a content-hosting social media site. Brands could tag a product and, for some, the entire checkout process could transpire within the Instagram app. Now the Product Tagging feature has been made available to all Instagram users in the United States. This feature is a great way to plug your book to your followers. It is also as easy as tagging a friend in a photo. Search for @penguinrandomhouse, then search for your title to tag in your post. Simply tap the “Tag Products” option and click “Add Tag.” You can learn more about product tagging here.
Social media remains an ever-changing landscape and these are just a few of the many updates that are being rolled out on Instagram this year. Bear in mind that the best way to find success with social media is to do what feels authentic to you. If creating video content is not for you, it’s okay to stick with photos and stories. If you are simply hesitant to try new features, keep an eye out for other people you follow who use them and ask about their experience. If you do give any of these new features a try, let us know if you found success with any of them!
Jacky Bethea is Associate, Author Development for Penguin Random House.