Instagram Updates That Your Brand Should Consider in 2019

Thursday Mar 7th, 2019

instagram insights v2

Instagram is the Holy Grail of social media engagement. Not only does it have more than 500 million daily users, but this photo-centric platform motivates people to interact with the brands they love, as well as discover new ones. In fact, 60% of Instagrammers say they find new products on Instagram, and more than one in two users visit at least one Business Profile daily. So as to keep to user experience an exceptional and fresh one, Instagram continues to roll out updates that brands need to know. To ensure your brand stays ahead of the curve, take a look at some of the more significant changes of 2018 and 2019.

By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic.

Killing Inauthentic Activity

Right before the new year, Instagram created a post on their Business Blog that explained how they’re improving the partnerships forming between creators and brands. To ensure influencers continue to produce media that provides real experiences and genuine interactions between their audiences (as well as brands’ audiences), and to minimize inflated popularity, app administrators are scouring the site and removing inauthentic likes, follows, and comments from accounts using third-party apps. Through machine-learning tools, Instagram can identify these falsities in a flash. So, if your brand or influencers are buying likes, comments, or follows, you need to change your strategy quickly. If you’re looking for authentic influencers with real followings, contact an influencer marketing agency that has a vetted network of content creators. If you’ve been employing a strategy that utilizes fake engagement, know that this directly violates Instagram's Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. Furthermore, you may receive an in-app message noting the removal of the inauthentic activity.

Improving the Shopping Experience

Back in March 2018, Instagram made a huge international push to ensure businesses and their customers around the world could utilize the app’s shopping features. Since then, brands have not only had the opportunity to connect with people through immersive content experiences, but they’re also able to showcase and sell their products without having to be redirect to another site. Instagram then took their shopping experience one step further by adding it to Stories, in order to allow shoppers to visually explore their favorite products and find new ones to love. Additionally, brands and influencers can add product stickers in Stories for an even faster, more seamless shopping experience. According to Instagram, an astounding 400 million accounts use this visually-immersive feature daily! Interestingly, a staggering 45% of the most viewed stories come from businesses. To top off the shopping features, a topic channel in Explore (a feed that is based on a user’s interests, preferences, and frequent engagements) is also being tested. In the summer of 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, a feature (as well as a new standalone app) that allows people to watch long-form, vertical videos—and app users readily embraced it. For brands, this is one more reason to ditch traditional advertising techniques (billboards, TV commercials, newspaper ads), as by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic.


App researcher Jane Manchun Wong ignited online conversations when she discovered code and images within Instagram that hinted toward a fundraising feature. In a statement to 9to5Mac, a representative from Instagram said the brand hopes to introduce this capability later this year. The app’s spokesperson continued by saying:

We are in early stages and working hard to bring this experience to our community. Instagram is all about bringing you closer to the people and things you love, and a big part of that is showing support for and bringing awareness to meaningful communities and causes. Later this year, people will be able to raise money and help support nonprofits that are important to them through a donation sticker in Instagram Stories. We’re excited to bring this experience to our community and will share more updates in the coming months.

Posting on Multiple Accounts

Instagram now allows people to post on multiple accounts at the same time by toggling them on within the composer screen. This feature is a massive timesaver for businesses, influencers, and regular Instagram users with multiple handles. However, context is critical when it comes to social posting, so this feature should only be used if the selected accounts have a similar voice. It’s important to note that as it stands, posting on multiple accounts can only be done from an iOS device (Android shouldn’t be too far behind). If you’re feeling slighted with your Android, know that Instagram is testing some interesting shortcuts for these devices. In January 2019, TechCrunch noted that Instagram recently began testing out a feature where you can import photos from Google Photos, exclusively on these Linux-based devices.

Instagram Experts

If you’re looking for a strategy to target your audience, consider ramping up an influencer marketing campaign. Not only do you get more impressions, but rates of engagement skyrocket. Furthermore, ApexDrop clients have seen up to a 73% increase in conversation rate by utilizing lifestyle experts to represent their products. We’re here to help brands connect with authentic micro-influencers through product gifting (also known as trade collaborations). This is an incredibly affordable way to get your products featured by hundreds of influencers immediately on Instagram. ApexDrop offers unparalleled service in campaign management from start to finish, and can ensure that our clients receive quality posts and authenticity. For more information, schedule a call with an ApexDrop Influencer Specialist today.