When Instagram wants a change, they certainly don’t hold back. Like any millennial who “needs a major change” and heads to a bottle of hair dye or the airport for a fresh start after a major breakup, Instagram has been stacking up on upgrades and changes so fast it’s getting hard to keep track of them all. As always when stalwart social platforms introduce changes to user experiences and interface, there’s a mixture of delight (60 second videos!) and utter dread (don’t you dare touch my feed!). Let’s break down all of the changes Instagram has already instituted or is testing out in a rolling fashion in the coming weeks.
60 Second Video
Probably the biggest change to Instagram that will elicit the most overwhelming positive response, the social media app now allows users to upload and post videos that last an entire minute, a drastic increase from the previous 15-second time limit. No doubt in response to the popularity and prevalence video posts have garnered (time users spent watching video on the app increased 40 percent in 6 months), the 60-second video time limit seems to be a mea culpa of sorts from Instagram to angry users who are less than thrilled with some of the other changes they’re rolling out.
While many have taken to other social media platforms to complain about said changes, the reigning queen of Instagram, pop singer Selena Gomez, is already capitalizing on the new 60-second rule, posting a minute long video teasing new music from a recent studio session. The 60-second video rollout will reach all Instagram users in the coming months.
New Search Bar
For those of you next-level Insta-stalkers, Instagram is testing out a brand new search bar that will fuel your borderline obsession even further. This latest search feature allows you to search through a particular user’s followers, as well as the users that they are following. This latest feature is also in beta testing, with only select members having access to this new and improved search bar that appears under the “Followers” and “Following” section inside the app. That sound you hear is the instrumental to TLC’s “Creep” starting to play.
And now for the bad – Instagram, like Facebook and Twitter before it, has decided to retool their algorithm, which will have a drastic impact on the type of posts that organically appear in your feed. Naturally, this is the change that has caused everyone’s under garments to get in a bunch. The algorithm change is of particular detriment to brands and influencers on the app, because it essentially gives Instagram control over the posts users see and don’t see. Many fear this will relegate posts from brands and the Instafamous to the sidelines.
Most users are none to keen on Instagram tinkering with their feeds and being able to decide what it is they can and can’t see in their feeds, though Instagram is sticking to its guns claiming that the new algorithm will show them the best photos and videos each time the app is opened. Like Facebook before it, Instagram will now especially reward brands that pay for exposure on the app, as the algorithm will have a dramatic impact on the organic reach and audience of their posts. Bottom line: you can probably kiss your carefully curated feed goodbye.
For those of you who access Instagram on the Web (for what reason I can barely imagine), you were no doubt thrilled with several changes and additions that have been added recently, including a Notifications tab and an Explore page on the website. And for all posts in general, Instagram has decided to get super accurate by adding precise date stamps to each post, rather than the vaguely frustrating “number of weeks” tag that previously defined every post. With all these changes, it’s probably time you reacquaint yourself with the image sharing app.