Instagram’s new features at the start of winter

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Instagram’s new features at the start of winter

The past few weeks have held much change for Instagram and it’s a good time to get familiar with some of the most interesting and talked about new features. In addition, developers and coders have given previews of some upcoming changes. 

One of the most notable changes is that both the notifications and posting icons have been moved from the center bottom of the screen to the top right and can only be viewed from the home screen. Their respective spots were replaced by Instagram’s other newest features, Reels and Shop. 

The reviews for this change were mixed. Many users didn’t like instinctively tapping on the bottom middle taskbar for notifications or posting, as they’ve done for the past 10 years, and being greeted with these unfamiliar features.

However, this inconvenience seems to be exactly what Instagram wanted to happen. They wanted to introduce these new features as noticeably as possible so they put them right where the current most popular features are supposed to be. Why would they care if the posting button gets moved away to some annoying spot? Users have to find it if they want to post. Posting isn’t an optional feature like these new ones are. 

Perhaps Instagram made a poor decision with the placement of these features, as the location in the top right corner where the old features were moved would have made a good home for them, but they certainly succeed in getting users’ attention. 

It’ll be interesting to see if the developers listen to the community and put the notification and posting icons back in their old home at the bottom center of the screen. Some users have pointed out that social media sites are beginning to lose their diversity and uniqueness by implementing platform defining features from other social media sites into their own. 

A great example of this is how Twitter just added their own version of the Stories feature so many users are used to posting on Instagram. The funny thing about that though is that Instagram didn’t come up with stories either, they copied it from the Stories feature on Snapchat way back in 2016. It’s been so long now that most people probably can’t remember who created what features and this is a trend that may continue. 

As for the new features to be released soon, developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared screenshots of some new tools in the camera and in messaging. 

The screenshot of the new camera settings lists options for Stories, Reels, Front Camera Start, and an option to switch the camera toolbar to either the left or the right. 

The unreleased messaging features include a filter in messages to only view messages to and from Close Friends. Close Friends is an older feature where users can select individual accounts to create an exclusive inner circle that will be able to view content not available to all their followers. 

Similarly, Professional accounts now have an option for a filter in their messages to only show messages from other professional accounts. This of course won’t be a feature everyone can use, but it will certainly bring more activity to the social media site as it makes private communication between more prominent users significantly easier.

There is another new and exciting feature for everyone to use coming very soon though. Instagram is almost ready to release an animated message effect feature.  

Finally, developers have updated the IG Live feature. Before, creators or streamers of any kind were limited to only 60 minutes but now can stream video for four hours. In addition, they’re now privately archived for the streaming user for 30 days after they air.

Evan Holden
Evan Holden
Evan is the lead editor at Tree Frog Social.

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