10 new features on Instagram you should know about

Instagram never fails in keeping us on our toes regarding new updates. The app has been working on some exciting features in 2023 which are both interesting and noteworthy for your organic strategy.

1. Take user generated content to the next level with the new UGC tool from Instagram

 Help customers fall in love with your products through your own community of fans and followers on Instagram. The platform’s new UGC feature allows businesses to associate content that they've been tagged in with specific products on their shops, product pages and more shopping surfaces. 

How UGC works

  • Select a tagged post. Posts that are not eligible include when other products are tagged, the account is private, there are multiple brands tagged or the user has turned off permission requests.
  • Request permission. You can then request permission using the UGC feature. 
  • Content creator accepts or declines. If the content creator declines the request, you will receive a notification.

UGC is shared on shoppable surfaces. UGC may be shown on product pages such as in the "From the community" module on the product page, and across shop surfaces that feature photos and videos that have a specific brand tagged.

Mobile with Instagram profile on screen

2. You can now maximise your bio with up to 5 links

Instagram users will soon be able to post up to 5 links to their bios, according to an announcement from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. This update challenges third-party link-in-bio services like Linktree and Beacons. Zuckerberg said that this was one of the most often requested features ever.

How to add multiple links to Instagram bio

On your profile page tap on the 'Edit profile' option. Go to the 'Links' section and then select 'Add external link'. Users will be able to drag & drop, add and rearrange links in this area.

3. We now have clarity on how some key Instagram features work

Instagram have debunked some popularly held myths about key features such as:

  1. Your reel made from a 3rd party app will get bunked down if it is watermarked. For example reels with the TikTok logo will get less views.
  2. Hashtags won’t significantly impact your reach which means overuse of hashtags may be pretty pointless, only a few where appropriate is recommended.
  3. There is no magic number when it comes to how many posts/stories you should post per day/week/month.

4. Instagram is testing lead forms on business/creator profiles

A new way to engage with your customers is Instagram’s lead forms, which will allow you to add call to action buttons such as ‘Sign-up or Learn More’  to your profile.

This allows you to ask your visitor customised questions providing more information from your followers. This new feature will not only help ease your customer journey path, but you will be able to qualify interesting leads by collecting their contact information.

Instagram settings

More info can be found here.

5. Shake things up between your Avatar and profile picture plus some updates to stories

Earlier in 2023, Instagram introduced a dynamic profile picture feature. This allows users to showcase both their profile picture and their Instagram avatar. Here’s how to use this new feature: 


  • On your profile, click edit profile
  • Add an avatar 
  • Your profile photo will automatically flip between the two

Instagram is also working on the ability to pinch zoom in on Stories. This allows users to zoom in on stories giving them the opportunity to interact more with stories.

Example of Avatar on Instagram

Image credit Hootsuite Instagram Notes

6. Avail of the newest way to reach your followers on Instagram with Notes

Instagram has rolled out Notes worldwide, it’s a feature that enables you to send your Instagram followers text notes of up to 60 characters.

The note is only visible for 24 hours before it vanishes. It’s similar to Instagram Stories but it’s text only and can be found in your inbox above your DMs, a previously untapped area of the app for businesses.

7. Instagram are putting more focus on photos

Good news for users and businesses alike! After admitting they focused on video too much last year, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says that the platform has gone too hard on pushing videos, and will look to make photos more of a focus once again in 2023.

“I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far, and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos. We’ve since balanced, so things like how often someone likes photos versus videos, and how often someone comments on photos versus videos, are roughly equal, which is a good sign that things are balanced.”

8. Engage your community with Instagram groups

Instagram ‘Groups’ are similar to Facebook groups. Posts inside the group will appear in your feed, but the group posts will not show up on your personal profile page. Instagram groups can be used for sharing exclusive content, having conversation with your community, finding new customers or gaining new insights.

You can set up your own group and invite others to join, or request to join existing groups. 
How to create an Instagram group

  • In the top right corner of your profile, click on the Create (+) icon. 
  • Click “Group profile” option
  • Follow prompts to add a group image, username, description and website.

You can make your group private or public and you can set it up so that posts have to be approved if you are the creator of the group.

9.Collections have become collaborative

Instagram now offers features that will enable users to set up the option to make albums with friends. Everyone who has access to the forum can upload, download, and remove photographs, as well as forward the album or share it as a reel. Anyone that can view the collaborative collection will be able to save future posts to the collection or remove posts from the collection.

Mobile phone with Instagram log in

10. Instagram has added some new tools to help users regain access to accounts where they have been locked out

Instagram account recovery has long been a problem, with a number of publications in the past noting the challenges faced by certain victims and the platform's protracted response time.

Now, users who are unable to get into their accounts or who believe they may have been hacked can report and fix such difficulties by going to Instagram.com/hacked from a mobile or desktop browser.

Users can then choose whether they believe they have been hacked, have forgotten their password, are no longer able to utilise two-factor authentication, or whether their account has been disabled. They can then follow a set of instructions to reclaim access to their account.

Instagram wrote in the blog post, "If you find yourself locked out of your account, you will be able to choose two of your Instagram friends to prove your identity and get back into your account."

Optimise your social media strategy

We understand that marketing teams are busy keeping up with all the different facets of their marketing strategy and as a result, resourcing specialists across all these different areas is just not possible.

Our Performance Marketing team at StudioForty9 are here to offer the deep sector expertise you need to optimise your performance across each channel.

Talk to us about enhancing your business’ performance across organic and paid content on social media. Contact info@studioforty9.com for more information.

Photos by Alexander Shatov, Jakob Owens, Solen Feyissa on Unsplash and Instagram via Fox 2 Detroit

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