New Instagram Features Released in 2019 (and How to Use Them)

Instagram New Features 2019

Instagram has never been more primed for business than it is right now. 

After releasing over 25 new Instagram features in 2018, it’s clear that the Facebook-owned social media network is moving full-steam ahead into e-commerce territory. 

In 2019, brands on Instagram can expect even more exciting updates that minimize their customer’s path to purchase, and help increase their content’s engagement within Stories and IGTV.

Use this guide to get a leg up on your competition today by keeping updated on all the new Instagram features released in 2019. Plus, learn how best to utilize these features as soon as you can.

I’ll be covering features that have been officially released, and those that are currently in limited release or in the testing stage. If not officially released, the feature’s status will be stated in the table of contents below, and will remain updated regularly.

Table of Contents: New Instagram Features 2019


⭐️ = Mildly beneficial to brands and businesses

⭐️⭐️= Important for brands and businesses

⭐️⭐️⭐️= Extremely beneficial to brands and businesses


Instagram New Features 2019 - Sylvia Ogweng

Quiz Sticker for Instagram Stories

Instagram continues to add exciting ways for brands to engage with users!

A new Quiz sticker has been discovered on Instagram Stories, indicating that the app is currently testing the sticker as an additional way for users and brands to interact with their followers.

With Instagram Stories maintaining its tremendous growth, it’s no wonder that Instagram is testing a slew of features to keep users entertained and coming back for more.


It was reverse app engineer Jane Manchun Wong who first spotted the new Instagram feature, and according screen captures posted on Twitter, the sticker allows users to easily quiz their audience on via Stories. 


Instagram Direct Messaging for the Web

Instagram is looking to bring increased functionality to their limited set of web features. 

According to another keen discovery by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, a web version of Instagram Direct messaging is currently being tested internally

Wong’s screenshot of the feature shows an interface that allows users to chat within Instagram using the web version of the app.  

When (fingers crossed) the feature goes live, users will be able to chat on the app using their browser, which would facility one-on-one or group chat communication, especially for brands who deal with a high volume of chat requests.

The potential feature appears months after Facebook announced future plans to consolidate release messaging across Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. 



Donation Sticker for Instagram Stories

Raising funds and goodwill on Instagram is about to get a whole lot easier!

The social media network is currently testing a Donation Sticker for Stories and screen captures of the new feature have made their way online. 

First spotted by reverse app engineer Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram’s potential Donation Sticker in Stories appears to mimic Facebook’s fundraising feature.

According to Wong’s screenshots, users will be able to raise funds with a donation sticker after searching through a list of nonprofits.

The feature would likely only come after Instagram finally welcomes in-app payments. But with rumours of a standalone shopping app swirling since mid-2018, payments look to be arriving soon. 

IGTV Previews Within User Feeds

After a lacklustre launch in 2018, Instagram continues to make it easier for IGTV videos to be seen by everyone. 

IGTV video previews are now popping up within Instagram feeds — increasing visibility for brands using IGTV. Followers can now tap the preview that shows up within their feed to watch the full-length IGTV video. 

Followers will simply need to click on the “watch full video” bubble in the lower left corner of the preview to easily transition into the full vertical screen experience. 


This feature is an attempt to increase the visibility of IGTV videos and encourage brands to create more content for the newest Instagram sub-channel that hasn’t taken off as expected, in large part to its distribution issues. 

In November of 2018, Instagram also introduced the option of sharing IGTV previews to IG Stories.

Paired together, the new forms of IGTV distribution can significantly increase the reach of your vertical video.

Takeaway:

For businesses looking to publish long-form content on Instagram, the network’s latest move is a welcomed sign of their continued effort to bring more visibility to the lagging video format. 

  • If you’re unsure whether, IGTV is worth an attempt, there’s no better time to beat your competitors to the punch. The new sharing feature deems short-form videos (15 seconds or shorter) rather redundant, which will lead many to adapt IGTV as their main video deployment channel on Instagram.

  • If you already plan on publishing IGTV videos, this new feature should help your video views dramatically. If you were unsure about planning IGTV videos, this new feature may encourage you to start publishing vertical video.

How To Best Use This Feature:

  • Start posting more IGTV videos asap. IGTV preview posts remain new to users and will stand out from their feeds.

Instagram Story Link Sharing

Users looking to increase their Stories views will be happy to hear that Instagram is gradually releasing an option to share a link back to an “entire story.” 


According to Lindsey Gamble, who first noticed the update, the feature can be accessed selected users though Story posts by clicking the three dots in the lower right corner. 

The option to “Share Link to Entire Story” lies above the option to “Promote” a Story, and allows users to share a direct link to the Story post. 

The authentic nature of Stories is a great avenue for brands to quickly build trust with their audience, increase the ROI of content and encourage follower growth. 

Keep your eyes peeled for this new feature in your Story posts. 

Takeaway:

  • The new Story link feature gives brands the ability to drive even more traffic to the popular Instagram sub-channel, giving businesses even more of an incentive to devote money and time into Instagram. 

  • When this feature becomes available for your business account, do not hesitate to share a link to your Story across your social media networks. 

How to Best Use This Feature:

  • Amplify the reach of your posts by sharing the link across your social media channels.

  • Share the link to archived Stories within your blog posts.

  • Share links to reposted UGC Stories on your website to provide shoppers with social proof.

  • Entice potential customers to follow you by sharing a “preview” of your Stories.

  • Share links to How-To Stories within your product pages.


Instagram Stories & Netflix Integration

Instagram New Features 2019

Following in the footsteps of Spotify, GoPro and Shazam, Netflix is the latest platform to integrate with Instagram Stories

iOS users of the Netflix app will now be able to share the movies and TV shows they watch directly to Instagram Stories. 

The new feature appears in the Netflix app share menu and will redirect users to the Instagram app. The Stories post will consist of the show or movie’s cover art, at which point, users can customize the post as usual using stickers, text, drawings or GIFs. The post will also link back to the Netflix app, allowing interested followers to watch the show immediately, or save it for later. 

Takeaway:

While the new Instagram feature may not be a major feature for a brand’s bottom line, it will allow businesses to add more personality to their feeds by easily integrating trending Netflix content into their Stories.

From Netflix’s perspective, the integration allows them to tap into Instagram Stories’ booming viewership of 500 daily active users.

How to Best Use This Feature:

  • Tap into trending movies and shows that align with your target audience.

  • Pair this feature with Stories engagement stickers like Instagram’s poll, slider and questions, to quickly create content that is likely to boost engagement when executed within your brand’s aesthetic. 

 
sylvia ogweng