Instagram Changes: New Features Wrap-Up

How to keep up with Instagram’s new changes.

It’s no secret that Instagram is trying to piggyback the popular TikTok formula by shifting its focus away from static posts to videos.

While Gen Z loves their Reels and Stories, this has left some old school millennials missing the original simplicity of Instagram’s ‘slice of life’ square photos.

Whatever your content preferences may be, the fact is that Instagram has made a lot of big changes this year. We’re going to talk you through these recent updates, helping your social media strategy to weather the storm.

What is the new Instagram update?


Source: Instagram


90 second reels

  • As part of the Instagram new features 2022, you can now make Reels up to 90 seconds long, a boost from the previous maximum of 60 seconds.
  • How these longer reels fare compared to shorter iterations remains to be seen! But the option is there, giving you more flexibility in your content creation.

“Interactivity in Stories Ads” Source: Instagram


Interactive stickers

  • You can now enhance your Reels and make them more engaging by including stickers like polls, quizzes and emoji sliders.
  • As big advocates of social strategies that deploy user-generated content (UGC), we are looking forward to the potential of this new feature.

If you’ve enjoyed interactive stickers on your Instagram Stories, then you’ll love the addition of stickers to Instagram Reels. Want to know how to use UGC to sell products? Check out User-Generated Content for Ecommerce 101.

Original audio

  • While Reels creators were previously limited to the included audio like songs and sound effects, you can now add your own original audio files.
  • With so many more creative possibilities now available, we expect to see this new feature better connect audiences and brands.

Post-engagement campaigns

  • With Instagram’s strong suit being top of the funnel marketing campaigns, it makes sense that the platform has now added post-engagement as a campaign objective.
  • This new feature will help brands to strategically build their audiences, a win for Instagram’s new features of 2022.

Algorithm changes

Original content

  • As part of the suite of changes announced earlier in the year, Instagram plans to prioritise original content in its distribution.
  • This means that content reshared from other platforms won’t get the same reach as posts that are unique to Instagram.

Source: Facebook

Algorithm-free feeds

Instagram has also trialled its algorithm-free feature, letting users choose from three feed options:

  • Favourites:
    Displays posts from accounts added to your favourites list.
  • Following:
    Shows all posts from accounts that you are following.
  • Home:
    The current default feed option with popular posts, accounts of affinity and suggested content

Favourites and Following both show posts in chronological order, which is another reason to make peak post times and outreach an essential part of your organic content strategy.

Recommended content

The tweaks in Instagram’s algorithm also aim to serve users more recommended content, similar to TikTok’s discover feature.

Responding to complaints about the poor performance of recommended content, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said that the platform is going to work on improving its recommendations feature before making any other big changes.

Can’t keep up with the new Instagram updates?

From Instagram’s early July announcement of full screen feeds, to its late July backtrack on that decision, it isn’t any wonder we’re all struggling to keep up with the changes.

Instagram started the month by beta testing a full-screen experience that would again make the platform more like TikTok.

But after complaints from high profile users like the Kardashians, IG has since paused this feature.

This shift away from Instagram’s sound-off approach is still up in the air as we all wait to see if Instagram has another crack at an immersive video feature to compete with TikTok’s.

Creative instagram marketing ideas and tips

While Instagram continues to go through growing pains, we’ve come up with creative strategies to help keep your brand afloat in the meantime.

Here’s how to survive the unpredictability of 2022’s new Instagram updates:

  • Get used to reels
    Whatever changes await in 2022, we can count on Reels becoming a more prominent feature. Get comfortable producing video content.
  • Post in 4×5
    If you haven’t said farewell to the iconic square just yet, ease your transition by posting in the 4×5 format to give your posts maximum staying power.
  • Use still photos as reels
    Got a backlog of still photos you don’t want to go to waste? Simply posting stills as Reels works too!
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