It’s not a secret that Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there.

Rolling out new features and updates to keep users engaged and ensuring their platform stays relevant.

We have new updates for you to keep you up-to-date.

We only have been given full access to two of the new Instagram features, but we’ve got close looks at several exciting innovations that are currently in testing and hopefully coming our way soon.

First on the list is a big one: a new integration for IGTV and Instagram.

Let’s get started.

Instagram Releases IGTV Previews In Main Feed

Quick recap: IGTV is a standalone app that allows users to upload long-form, vertical video content that takes up the full screen.

The idea is that there are different user “channels,” and like on television, something is constantly playing while you go from channel to channel.

Though it’s a standalone app, there is an integration with the main platform, and your followers on Instagram will be notified if you share new content on IGTV.

This integration was just taken a step further, allowing users to share previews of their IGTV videos in the main Instagram newsfeed.

As Instagram has high engagement and viewing rates, this provides an effective way to drive more relevant traffic over to watch the rest of your content.

Want to maximize the visibility of your content? You can share a one-minute preview of your IGTV video when you upload it. Users will clearly see the prompt to “Watch Full Video,” allowing them to click and be taken directly to the full content.

 

Instagram Removes Self-Harm Images

Instagram just announced that they’ll be removing any images that violate their new self-harm regulations, with the goal of protecting vulnerable users from seeing and being affected by the images.

Most brands won’t be heavily affected by this, and likely (read: hopefully) aren’t using any sort of images or captions that would make light of any sort of self-harm, but sometimes edgier brands can take things right up to the line and should take note.

Please note that this does include healed scars from self-harm or suicide attempts, so if you’re sharing an inspirational story, be careful here. 

Again, this is good on its own, but it also indicates that Instagram is becoming more socially aware of how their platform impacts users and they want to make it safer and improve the user experience.

This falls in line with the ban against content that glorifies eating disorders a few months ago.

In Testing: Direct Messaging Online

Last month we saw an announcement sharing that Facebook may eventually merge their WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram direct messaging platforms into one integrated system, allowing users to potentially connect cross-platform. This won’t be rolling out (if it does happen) until end of the year at the absolute latest, but it looks like we may be seeing one step towards it very soon.

Instagram is reportedly testing direct messaging online, which was a feature previously only accessible through the mobile app.

They confirmed to TechCrunch that the product isn’t available for public testing, so it’s likely in early stages. But it’s still a big deal.

Instagram has been slowly shifting to a desktop-friendly experience over the past year, and as direct messaging is available to users, it will create one more direct interface that brands will need to respond to.

Hopefully, in the process, the API will be released so that third-party tools like Hootsuite will be able to add private messaging to their dashboards to make this a little easier for brands.

It’s good news, and I feel we’ll learn more soon.

Conclusion

The IGTV previews are easily the biggest development this month, but the knowledge we have of new features like the coming-to-desktop direct messaging are incredibly exciting.  

We’re getting new hints at where Instagram may be going in 2019, and so far, it’s looking great.

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