Can you remember how Instagram was when it barely started? It seems so far away, yet it is not that long ago. Since then, a lot changed on the app. However one thing that stayed the same is that it has become an essential element of social media and marketing strategies. Each year comes with new Instagram features and 2020 makes no exception!
While some features are sometimes controversial, some other completely change the game and disrupt the way we shop online. Instagram announce a lot of new features coming to 2020. Some are here already like Facebook Shop, while some other are in the testing or even conception phase.
Here is a round up of all 9 exciting new features coming to Instagram in 2020 that will change how we shop online, use the app as a whole and allow creators to monetize their channel!
Instagram feature #1 – Facebook Shop
Facebook shop is the social media’s biggest move to e-commerce until now. It is a new feature that allows businesses to build an online store both on Facebook and Instagram. Having a shop makes it much easier to tag products on posts and simply possible to do so during Instagram lives.
The Facebook shop is like a brand catalogue that allows customers to shop without even leaving Instagram. You can browse, save, share and purchase. It is like an actual online storefront that brands can set up to get people onto their website much faster.
Those shops are customizable so each brand will build their product catalogue on their own term. Facebook is partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help brands bring their products into Facebook Shops.
As a lot of Instagram marketing can be done through third-party apps (i.e. scheduling, analytics), businesses will also be able to use third-party apps to manage their Facebook Shops, as well as any social ads related to those shops.
Facebook shop is a new Instagram feature that is already available and that you can set up right now! See below for an idea of what it looks like!
Instagram feature #2 – Instagram Shop
Facebook shop and Instagram shop are two different features. Instagram shop offers a complete new shopping experience to users on the app. If you look at your explore feed, you will see a “shop” tab like you would have a “beauty” or “travel” tab to look for specific content.
The Instagram shop is just in its infancy. Later on, you’ll be able to browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place.
We can also safely assume that the shopping experience offered by this new Instagram feature will be tailored to each user with the option to filter products and get suggestions. While different factors impact what images and videos show on the explore page, we can assume that brands making use of Instagram shopping and checkout will probably be featured more often.
Instagram checkout is a feature that is for now available on the US only. It pushes the Instagram shopping experience even further since it allows to place purchases on the app, without having to go on any website. Information, sizing, shipping, payment, all on Instagram.
Instagram feature #3 – Badges on Instagram live
Badges are a new Instagram feature that creates a new stream of revenue for content creators on the platform. It is similar to becoming a channel member on Youtube where subscribers pay a monthly fee to purchase public badges, emoji and access to creator perks offered by the channel from time to time.
The difference here is that badges are based on tipping. Followers can tip a creator during a live stream and purchase a badge during a Live video. The badge will stand out in the comments and unlock additional features, including placement on a creator’s list of badge holders.
The badge viewers get depends on the number of hearts they have bought, which the creator can see. Viewers can buy one heart for $0.99, two for $1.99, or 3 for $4.99. They will only be able to buy one badge during a live video.
Instagram feature #4 – IGTV Ads
IGTV has been around for a few years. Some Instagrammers use the built-in IGTV feature while other will use the dedicated app. As of now, users can now place ads on their videos, which will help them monetize their video content.
Brands were already able to place ads on stories. With IGTV ads, brands will be able to broadcast 15 second video ads on selected creator’s videos. Creators will be able to make money by hosting those ads, like Youtube users would.
This is the first time creators will be able to make money directly from IGTV since its launch in 2018. This new feature is limited to the US but will expand globally soon enough. Instagram’s COO, Justin Osofsky shares that those in the IGTV ad rollout will receive an “industry standard” 55% share of all advertising in IGTV, the same rate as YouTube.
If you are a creator and were publishing videos to IGTV, you will be able to monetize your channel.
Instagram feature #5 – Live Shopping
Did you know? Live views on Instagram have increased by 70% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have creators been using that feature more but people have been watching lives much more too.
So of course, it makes sense to make the most of this viewership and extend Instagram shopping capabilities to Live videos.
When this new Instagram feature is fully out, sellers, brands, and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop before going live. Those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.
For brand working with influencers on collaborations, this feature could offer a very engaging way for influencers to promote the product. Viewers will be able to have a live of the product testing, ask questions in real time, etc.
Facebook will be testing this new feature with selected businesses on Facebook and Instagram this month, with further rollouts to come.
Instagram feature #6 – Green screens in stories
On amazing feature that TikTok has is the green screens. It has allowed creators to publish videos with great backgrounds and make their content much more striking and professional. So, of course, Instagram has been working on a similar feature.
Spark AR Studio, the platform to create Instagram AR effect and filters for Instagram, recently updated to include a host of new tools and features for creators. Users will be able to transport themselves into any environment and place they want.
Instagram’s Green Screen effect works great on Instagram Stories. It allows you to superimpose yourself on a background. Just like a green screen would work in movie editing! This new Instagram feature will go further from just photos.
Instagram feature #7 – AR filters
Before, you needed to apply an AR filters as you were filming for the feature to work. Which was a bit of an Instagram story flaw. This new feature coming to Instagram in 2020 is changing the game.
Indeed, you will be able to add an AR filter after you have taken your photo or filmed your video. As a matter of fact, you can take a photo with your phone, upload it to Instagram Stories as you usually would, and then add the filter as you edit!
Not all AR filters will have this option. However, Facebook says they are introducing new capabilities that enable creators to build AR effects that augment photos and videos that were previously taken outside of the Instagram app.
Instagram feature #8 – Messenger rooms
Messenger Rooms allows Instagram users to create and join group calls of up to 50 people on the Instagram app. This feature mostly seems like the response to the rising demand in video calls during the pandemic as most economies were in lockdown and people working from home.
Messenger Rooms can be created whenever a user wants, are totally free, and have no upper time limits. Anyone can join a Messenger Room as you don’t need a Facebook or Instagram profile to use the tool.
Instagram feature #9 – Instagram guides
Another exciting new feature coming to Instagram in 2020 are guides. They are a new way to curate content according to themes. The new feature gives users an easier way to consume helpful recommendations and tips from trusted creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers.
Originally, this feature was aimed at travel content creator. Due to COVID-19 and people’s struggle to adjust to the lockdown, Instagram shifted their strategy. The guides became a great way to provide resources to people looking for self-care tips, ways to calm anxiety, etc.
During the pandemic, mental health advocates and organizations were using the feature but it’s likely that we’ll see more creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers getting involved very soon.
A lof of those new Instagram features are already live and being used by brands, organizations and content creators. One feature we are very excited about is Instagram shop along with Instagram checkout. Browsing on Instagram via brands tagging products on original content or UGCs, then buying directly from the app is quite an exciting new feature that will completely change how online shopping is done!