Top 4 Instagram Updates & Features to Use in 2021


The ever-changing digital landscape impacts us all. Are you ready to take your Instagram presence to the next level? Keep reading to learn how you can up your Instagram game and maximize your following with these 4 new 2021 Instagram Updates and Features you may not have heard about. 

1. Updated Analytics: 

Earlier this year Instagram announced the Professional Dashboard, which is one of the most useful features we’ve seen so far. This tool, available for both Creator and Business Accounts, has three key features aimed at assisting people in making a living from their passions and supporting small businesses. 

  • Track Your Performance – Discover insights and trends based on the performance of your account
  • Grow Your Business – Gain access to a multitude of tools to assist you in building and running your business more efficiently, as well as checking monetization status and eligibility
  • Stay Informed – Curates resources such as tips, tricks, and inspiration to help you make the most of your Instagram time

The Professional Dashboard has been updated multiple times throughout 2021, adding three more useful insights for creators, 

  • Reel Insights – Showing your plays, accounts reached, likes, comments, shares, and saves 
  • Live Insights – Showing accounts reached, views, peak concurrent viewers, comments, and shares
  • Reach Updates – More transparency into your audience, who you reached, and how you reached them 

These three updates to the Professional Dashboard are integral for increasing your Instagram presence. They allow you to analyze, and research your target audience, as well as view areas of improvement. 

2. Reels Updates: 

Instagram Reels were introduced in 2020 as a response to the extremely popular video-sharing app, Tik Tok. They quickly became a fun way for creators to share short snippets of their daily life, funny videos, or products they love to gain views. Depending on your content the Instagram algorithm may put your video in front of potential followers.  

A few factors to consider when trying out Instagram Reels include: 

  • Avoid recycling content or videos with visible watermarks
  • In February, Instagram announced that reels using reposted or blurry content would be less discoverable and therefore not have the same amount of engagement original content does
  • Instagram stated that “content that is visibly recycled from other apps (i.e. contains logos or watermarks) makes the Reels experience less satisfying”
  • Create content that is inspiring, using creative tools like text, camera effects, and filters
  • People watch reels for entertaining, funny, and interesting content in places like the Reels tab. Having content that brings a smile to your viewer’s face will make the Instagram algorithm more likely to recommend you to a wider audience.
  • Save your serious and in-depth posts for IGTV or feed posts

In the coming months, the Reels algorithm is expected to become more targeted towards specific audiences, so it is important to start producing high-quality content before then. 

3. Instagram Story Update:  

Instagram Stories have long been a popular way to share content “At the moment.” Since its release in 2016, stories have changed the way people interact and shop online. 1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z-ers look for Stories of the products and services they want to buy. 

In May of 2021, 5 years after the release of Instagram Stories, a new sticker with the ability to automatically caption your stories was released in English. The new captions are auto-generated but can be manually edited, the color of the text can also be changed during the editing process. 

With Instagram stories becoming increasingly common and an estimated 500 million users now utilize them every day. This update is the perfect way to help you amplify your voice and deepen the connection with your audience. Captions also make content more accessible for viewers with hearing impairments, language learners, and people watching without sound. This Sticker Caption will soon be launching on Reels as well. 

4. Instagram Live Updates: 

Go Live with the brand new Instagram Rooms. This new feature lets you start a live show with up to 3 guests. Use this space to connect with your friends, and collaborate with others. 

These Live Rooms are a great way to help you get discovered by new audiences because your live guests’ followers can follow you during the Live. 

With the addition of Instagram Live Rooms, users can now be even more creative when going Live, whether it’s showing a product demo, hosting a panel discussion, or collaborating with similar brands for a fun giveaway. 

For more ideas on how to up your Instagram and social media strategy, Download our FREE 2021 Social Media Guide. Check out our helpful tips, application suggestions, and business strategies that will help you increase your social media engagement, utilize your content, and optimize your game plan to produce immediate results.