Instagram, since its introduction in 2010, has blossomed with several updates. So much has been brought up to make the platform much better than it was when it started.
When Instagram launched, it was merely a platform to connect with family and friends and share photos. 12 years later with over a billion monthly users, Instagram has become a digital empire, for both fun and business.
As more people join the platform and as technology advances, updates are made or removed to meet user needs.
But we all know how these updates can ruin creators’ rhythm and send them into panicking mode. Your engagement could drop and so could your reach. How often should you be expecting Instagram updates and do they really affect your account? Let’s settle it once and for all.
Well, Instagram does not have a fixed update schedule. As the need arises for better features, the company makes updates or removes them.
However, to highlight the progress of Instagram and give you an idea of how often they update their app, here are instagram’s notable update milestones since its inception.
Instagram Updates In 2010
October 2010: Instagram launched on the 6th of October 2010. It became the top photography app on the Apple app store with about 100,000 users in its first week of existence. The app’s uses were quite basic – post photos, follow other users, and like and comment on posts.
December 2010: On the 12th of December 2010, Instagram hit a major milestone, gaining a million users. Though no updates were made, its new achievement showed a bright future.
Instagram Updates In 2011
January 2011: Hashtag update! To imagine an Instagram without Hashtags may seem difficult. But there was in fact a time when Instagram didn’t have those clickable phrases with a number sign. Hashtags became a thing on Instagram in January of 2011, 3 months after its launch. This update is helping users increase engagement.
September 2011: Instagram introduced Version 2.0, almost a year after its launch. This update made for a faster and better user experience. Version 2.0 made all camera effects available from within the Instagram camera view. It also included features like:
- New and live filters
- Instant tilt-shift
- High-resolution photographs
- Optional borders
- One-click rotation
- An updated icon
Instagram Updates In 2012
April 2012: Instagram found its way to 50 million users. This significant increase could be attributed to the availability of Instagram on the Android OS in April 2012. The app became open to more users, creating an opportunity to become a top social media platform.
August 2012: The Photo Maps feature which permits users to browse posts by scrolling through a map was released. This enabled users to find relevant content based on geographic location. But the feature was eventually withdrawn in September 2016.
December 2012: In December 2012, there was no feature update. However, Instagram made an update to its terms of service. It authorized itself to sell content posted by users to third parties without obtaining their consent and without their notification
This update wasn’t welcomed by Instagrammers and Instagram got a lot of backlash for it.
Instagram Updates In 2013
May 2013: Instagram made an update that permits photo tagging and included the “Photos of You” tab. This was a feature to allow people to get tagged in photos they appear in. The “Photos of You” tab is a section on a user’s profile where visitors can see photos the account owner was tagged in.
June 2013: A whole new level of content type was introduced in June 2013—Videos. At this point Instagram was not simply a photo-sharing app, users could now post videos.
July 2013: Instagram was growing rapidly, and more people were jumping on the “Insta-train”. The need to have Instagram content shared on other platforms such as websites and blogs birthed the Embed functionality.
November 2013: The Introduction of Sponsored Post changed the game for e-commerce. Instagram advertising became a thing and Influencer marketing grew rapidly. Sponsored posts help businesses reach their target audience. So, this new update was a big deal.
December 2013: Instagram released an update that unlocked a new level in communication. We are talking about Direct Messaging otherwise known as DMs.
Instagram Updates In 2014
June 2014: Instagram broadened photo editing features. Users now could make better-looking photos for their audience. The editing features included brightness, contrast, highlights, and shadows.
August 2014: August 2014 had so much for businesses on Instagram. A new update birthed business tools for analytics and Instagram insights. These features help brands to measure their Instagram performance.
Instagram Updates In 2015
June 2015: Instagram’s update in June 2015 made available more advertising options. These options allowed users to run ads with call-to-actions like sign up for email newsletters, install apps, or visit a website.
Through ads, businesses could also lead people to their website without the one link-in-bio limitation.
September 2015: With more updates on advertising, Brands could now run 30-second video ads on Instagram.
October 2015: The Boomerang feature was released. Boomerangs are exciting short looping videos that last for a few seconds.
November 2015: Instagram stopped feed-reading applications. These were third-party apps that enabled users to view Instagram feeds without using the Instagram app.
Instagram Updates In 2016
February 2016: Users with business profiles could now toggle between their business and personal profiles without logging out.
March 2016: At this point, feed posts were no longer shown in chronological order. Instead, the Instagram algorithm started promoting posts based on engagements and views. As such, more people started buying views to satisfy the Almighty Algorithm.
May 2016: There was an update of business analytic tools such as audience demographics, post impressions, and reach.
June 2016: The Instant Translation feature was released to blur language barriers.
July 2016: A new update that allows users to control their comment sections by either filtering out certain comments or completely turning comments off.
August 2016: One of the favourite Instagram features, Instagram Stories was released. Instagram Stories are photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours.
Also, The Image zoom feature which allows users to look closely at photos was introduced.
September 2016: Removal of the Photo Map feature.
November 2016: A unique way of interaction was introduced with the Instagram Live feature.
Instagram Update In 2017
February 2017: Instagram Carousels were unveiled. Carousels allow the publishing of multiple photos (up to 10) in a single post.
Instagram Updates In 2018
May 2018: The mute feature was released. It gives users the chance to stop seeing posts from an account without unfollowing them.
June 2018: Instagram brought us IGTV. It allows users to post videos longer than 60 seconds.
Instagram Updates In 2019
October 2019: The only update in 2019 was the removal of the “following” tab. This tab allowed users to see what activities their followers were doing on the platform. Its removal fostered privacy.
Instagram Updates In 2020
January 2020: Business profiles got an extra inbox tab and can now toggle between primary and general tabs.
Also, growth metrics were added to Instagram Insights
February 2020: An update introduced “following,” allowing users to see which users they interact most with and which ones they don’t follow back.
Additionally, support and appeals tools were added to curb harassment.
March 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram put in a Stay Home and Thanks Health Hero sticker.
To stop misinformation, the COVID-19 Information Centre was launched.
April 2020: Another update for businesses to have food orders, gift cards, and donation tools.
Instagram also introduced Instagram Direct Messaging to the desktop version of the app.
May 2020: There were several updates including:
- Instagram guides
- Instagram shop
- Instagram GIFs stickers
- Monetization for IGTV
June 2020: Pinned comments were now possible.
August 2020: Instagram Reels were unveiled. Four New fonts for Instagram Stories were added.
Also, Messenger and Instagram Direct merge began
September 2020: Checkout and Live shopping features became available across the U.S to help businesses boost sales and make more money.
October 2020: To make videos more accessible to non-hearing audiences, Instagram released automatic closed captioning to IGTV.
Reels length was increased from 15 to 30 seconds.
Instagram Updates In 2021
January 2021: New update introduced a professional dashboard for creators and business profiles.
February 2021: Introduction of Cross-app messaging between IG and Facebook.
Live rooms to chat with up to 4 friends simultaneously.
Also, a recently deleted feature that allows restoration of deleted content for up to 30 days
March 2021: Hang out with up to 3 people on video in live rooms.
April 2021: Instagram insider digital magazine from Instagram.
Also, remix option to reels and the capability to turn off audio and video on IG Live.
May 2021: Release of Reels and Live insights.
The turn off like counts option (still under test)
Instagram equity update to address racial bias
June 2021: Introduction of security checkup to safeguard accounts.
July 2021: Introduction of text translation in stories
Expansion of data tracking period within Instagram insights from 30 to 60 days.
Introduction of “Limits”, a feature to hide abusive messages.
September 2021: Release of Map search to find the location of businesses.
“swipe-up” links for stickers were launched.
October 2021: Addition of Share link on Instagram stories.
Release of the Instagram collab feature.
November 2021: Introduction of Instagram Badges for Live Videos and “Add Yours Sticker” to create a public thread in Instagram stories.
December 2021: Release of Link stickers to Instagram stories.
Instagram updates In 2022
January 2022: Introduction of Instagram Live Scheduling.
February 2022: Release of 3D Avatars by Meta. Avatars are a visual representation of users.
March 2022: Introduction of Enhanced tags that allows you to tag all the collaborators and contributors in your post.
April 2022: Availability of Product tags feature to every Instagrammer.
Also, New messaging features e.g quick sent, Hashtag feeds, and editing tools for Reels.
It’s a tricky one. Instagram makes updates to give better user experiences and even facilitate engagements. However, in the process, some accounts may take a hit.
For example, Instagram recently declared that it would promote original content across the app, preferring original Reels and feed posts above re-shares. If your account had been thriving on re-shares previously, your reach will likely decline with this new update, and so will your engagement. The solution? Dance to Instagram’s tune and upgrade your Instagram marketing plan.
While some account’s engagement is currently declining as a result of algorithm changes, new features, and other upgrades, brands and influencers can still find strategies to enhance their engagement. As with any marketing endeavor, producing high-quality content tailored to your target audience increases the likelihood of it being viewed. Instagram wants its users to be happy. Thus, the more Instagram thinks a post would appeal to them, the higher it will appear in their feed.
Instagram updates bring to your doorsteps better features to help you navigate the app. If you are having any trouble with your Instagram app, you should try and update it for a better and faster experience. You may also have to upgrade your Instagram strategies, so you can get the best from these upgrades.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.