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7 Features of Instagram You Need to Know

Whether you’re using Instagram regularly for your business or have a personal account, this social media platform is ever expanding on features to keep up with the likes of new platforms like TikTok.

Here’s some great features we think are essential to know.

  1. Include a link in your stories

It used to be that you had to reach up to 10,000 followers to add a link into your stories. Not so anymore. When you create your story in Instagram, and you go to add in emojis or pictures, or even a colourful hashtag badge, you can also find the ‘link’ badge.

Here you can type in your link and create a link name for it to show.

It will only allow one link per story, but considering this feature used to be for companies with more than 10,000 followers at one time, we absolutely love it!

  1. Include Stories in Highlights

While Stories usually only last 24 hours, sometimes the information or messages you’ve shared are useful to share long-term. That’s where Highlights come in. When you pin your best Instagram stories, they can be collated into Highlight Groups, where your followers or people who visit your profile can check them out. Want to share pics of your annual events? Want to keep a list of tips and tricks that people can refer to? That’s where Highlights come in.

  1. Share Your Posts with Close Friends

If you have promotions, events, or just a general story you want to only share with particular ‘friends’, you can do this too.

In Story controls in the Privacy and Security settings there is an option for adding a Close Friends list. Simply tap on the people you want to add to the list so when you next create a story you can either share it with all your followers or close friends only.

  1. Create Polls and Countdowns

There’s so many features to the Story element of Instagram. Ideally, because stories only last 24 hours, it’s good to continuously use the Stories feature. If you’re ever wondering on what types of posts to share in stories, there are some great features you could investigate.

Polls – what it says on the tin! Ask a question of your followers and include options for people to select. It could be you want to know what types of flavours people prefer for cake, or whether they’d prefer vegan or veggie – great ways to get a bit of customer research, then Polls are your go-to.

Countdown – If you’ve got a new product or service coming out in the next few hours, days or even weeks, why not create a countdown? It’s a bit of fun that people can check out! Your followers can even select to be reminded of when the countdown finishes, so they know immediately when to check out the new product!

  1. Chronological Feed

We’re not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but we sure have – you can now choose between types of home feed views. We’ve noticed that so far there is ‘Following’ and ‘Home’, but if you have Favourite Accounts you follow, you can also select to view just your ‘Favourites’.

To do so, you simply select the ‘Instagram’ link at the top of your Feed and select from the drop-down.

  1. Reels at 60 seconds

It used to be you could create Reels for only 30 seconds, but now you can upload up to 60 seconds! There’s rumours that it may increase to 90 seconds but we’ll see… we’re sure Instagram is competing with TikTok, and we must say it’s nice that we can watch and create longer Reels!

  1. Share your Stories to Facebook

There’s an option for you to share your Stories to Facebook if you’re so inclined. As Instagram is owned by Meta (the old name for Facebook), it makes sense. You can already share posts to Facebook that you post in Instagram, so why not Stories too?

That’s it for the features so far, but we’re sure there’s more great features to come.

Want to learn more about Instagram? We’ve got some great events coming up next week specifically for VCSEs in Devon and Somerset.

But keep an eye on our events page because you’re bound to find a digital training event dedicated to Instagram coming soon!