To keep up with TikTok, Instagram is constantly rolling out new features to benefit both brands and creators. It seems like every time I log into Instagram, I'm met with several new tools and features to create, organize, and promote my content.
11 New Instagram Features Marketers Should Be Using in 2023
1. Reels Template
According to Instagram, 91% of active Instagram users watch videos on the app weekly — so Reels is a tool marketers should leverage if they aren't already. If creating Instagram Reels seems daunting, then the app's new Reels Template feature could be what you need to make more videos faster.Reels templates are pre-built templates anyone can use to make Reels quicker and more efficiently. To access a template, find an Instagram Reel you want to use as a template. The Reel must have music and at least three clips. Once you find the video you want, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Tap the three dots on the button right of the Reel you want to use.
- Step 2: Tap Use As Template.
- Step 3: Tap Add Media at the bottom and select the photos and video clips you want to use in your Reel. These images will replace the ones in the original Reel.
- Step 4: Click Done or Next, preview your Reel and share when you're satisfied with the result.
2. Dual Camera
Instagram's new dual camera feature allows users to record content with their back-facing camera at the same time as their front-facing camera. The image from the back-facing camera will take up most of the screen, while the front-facing image will appear in a small window to the side. The dual feature is only available when recording Reels.
3. Remix Photos
Since 2021, Instagram users have been able to remix Reels to create their own content, collaborate with creators, or react to a video. Now, the remix feature can be applied to Instagram photos as well. The best way I can describe the remix feature is that it's similar to TikTok's "Duet" feature, which allows users to attach their photo or video to someone else's.
On Instagram, you can attach your video or image to someone else's Reel or photo and upload it as a Reel. You can also add stickers, polls, and text to further "remix" the content.
4. Interactive Stickers
Many of the interactive stickers that have been available on Instagram Stories are now available for Reels. Marketers and content creators can use the following stickers in their Reels to engage their audience:
- Poll: Get your followers' opinions or have them vote on what your next bit of content should be.
- Quiz: Test your audience's knowledge or use this feature to teach them something new.
- Emoji Slider: Allow viewers to show how your content or a specific topic makes them feel.
5. Grid Pinning
Have a piece of content you don't want lost in your grid? You can pin it to the top of your profile using Instagram's grid pinning feature. To do this, select the Reel or photo you wish to pin. In the top right corner of the post, tap the three dots and "Pin to your profile." Afterward, your post will appear at the top of your grid.
The pinning feature is excellent for:
- Bringing attention to an ongoing promotion
- Showcasing an event
- Highlighting your most popular content.
6. Partnership Inbox
Gone are the days of missed opportunities because of a busy inbox. Now, brands and creators can quickly find and manage their communications in one location — partnership messages.
Partnership messages have their own sub-folder in the Direct Messages tab. These messages skip the request folder and get priority placement — making it easier than ever to find and manage branded content partnerships.
7. Find Creators
Instagram is officially playing matchmaker with a new suite of tools to help brands and creators connect.
Let's start on the creator side — users can add brands to a preferred brand list. When a brand searches for creators to partner with, those who have the brand on their list will appear at the top of the search results. This makes it easier for brands to find creators who already show an interest.
Brands can also filter creators by follower count, age, gender, and location — which Instagram believes will help brands “organize shortlists to easily manage multiple campaigns."
This feature is only available to creator accounts and business accounts.
8. Auto-Captions for Reels and Stories
Instagram's captions sticker was initially only available for stories, but the app has recently expanded it to Reels. This feature automatically converts what someone says in a video into text so that users can watch without sound.
Now, audiences can engage with your videos — with or without sound. This feature also takes a big step in making Instagram content more accessible.
9. Calendar Tool
Here's some exciting news if you have a business profile — Instagram is planning to double the data tracking period within Instagram Insights from 30 to 60 days.
Social media marketers can finally ditch the third-party apps that provide a more extended tracking period. Instead, this information will be readily available within Insights. This is an excellent example of Instagram listening to feedback from users requesting such an upgrade for months.
Instagram launched Subscriptions just this year – a feature allowing creators to charge a monthly subscription fee for exclusive content and benefits.
With Subscriptions, creators set a monthly subscription price of their choice, and a subscribe button will appear on their profile. They can offer a range of benefits to subscribers — like exclusive livestreams and Stories.
The feature is part of a more significant effort to help creators make a living on its platform – an incentive for creators to stay on it. This feature also enables creators to develop deeper connections with their followers.
This new feature comes after Twitter announced a similar subscription model — Twitter Blue — so it's safe to say more platforms will likely add subscription-based features to attract creators.
11. Visual Replies on Reels
Another TikTok-inspired feature to hit Instagram is visual replies, which means users can comment on Reels — with another Reel.
If you create short-form videos on Instagram Reels, you can now make comments, similar to TikTok's reply function. It’s a highly engaging and interactive way to engage with followers and leads — and vice-versa.
Instagram has become one of the world's most popular social media platforms. However, the platform isn’t just growing – it’s also evolving. And Instagram will continue to evolve as long as apps like TikTok continue to change the game for online video marketing. It only makes sense that your social media marketing strategy also changes to leverage these new features.