It's been an ongoing evolution for Instagram update releases and new features. Let's recap.
[This post has been updated to reflect all of Instagram's new releases to this day.]
The almighty app that's essentially changed the way we consume images and, let's face it, the way we live our lives, is more ubiquitous than ever. Instagram introduced new vocabulary and now dictates how we dress, how we eat, where we take a holiday. It determines our self-worth, altered how we shop, birthed new brands, breaded a new era of celebrity. It's given us so much, like a goldmine of hashtags and the era of influencer marketing, for which we are eternally grateful. Wait, is Instagram real life?
It was a classic sink or swim scenario: marketers had to adapt quickly to the ever-evolving landscape, or fail miserably at remaining relevant. Inevitably, there's been a few cases of drowning, but for the most part, brands have welcomed this new medium with enthusiasm because it meant getting closer than ever to their consumer. Instagram became a social media darling in no time, surpassing Twitter in just a few short years.
But something has been brewing at the crown jewel's HQ. Instagram's been undergoing a serious transformation since the summer of '69 2015. From Instagram Stories to promoted posts, you certainly should not feel bad if you're having a hard time grasping of all the latest features. Keeping up with the updates being pumped out is almost a full-time job (ours). At this frequency rate, even the most social savvy of marketers are still wrapping their heads around all the changes.
In an effort to keep on top of everything, here is a full list of the Instagram updates from the time they opened up their API. The first part is from September 2016 to January 2017, and the second recounts the rest.
All of the Insta knowledge, right here.
- **[Vertical ad format](http://blog.business.instagram.com/post/153045176941/vertical-ads)**. Instagram hit a big milestone in September: [the app hit 500K advertisers](http://time.com/money/4504057/instagram-ads-increase/). It's only natural that they would want to cater to that community, which is exactly what releasing vertical ads does. The portrait format certainly optimizes Instagram sponsored posts. This way to [learn more on how to advertise on Instagram](https://business.instagram.com/advertising).
The Instagram machine is certainly not resting on its laurels in spite of now having surpassed 600 million users. They're constantly updating and improving their functions to make for a better user experience, but also to support the companies that use the platform as a core part of their marketing strategies.
It's going to be interesting to keep following the evolution, and to keep trying out all of these new features in creative, innovative ways.
For more Instagram knowledge, hit us up!
[Part 2 - published in August 2016]
![Instagram ad formats social media marketing](/content/images/2016/09/Instagram-ad-formats-photo-video-carousel-marketing.jpg)
The sequence of changes at Instagram can pretty much be pinpointed back to one specific moment in time. No, not being purchased by Facebook, silly. It took years for major fundamental things to happen after that acquisition. It was last summer's unlocking of the API that opened the floodgates to phase 2.0.
Some users had been clamoring for this kind of change for a long time. And by that I mean all of those using their accounts for business, not mortal folks like you and I who enjoy cute puppies and memes. While brands were grateful for this free image vehicle and finally embracing Instagram as a legitimate marketing channel - heck, even made a priority by the most clever - one pretty major obstacle remained.
Instagram was not equipped to get the consumer (follower) from cruising through images to being able to actually interact with brand product outside the app. No active links, no direct way to purchase, no official entity collateral on profiles, not to mention nominal ad opportunities. But since last summer, the app's been making huge strides in showing some love to brands that have embraced it as a part of their marketing arsenal. Whether or not that means Instagram is adopting their mothership Facebook's pay-for-play model, it still translates to making user experience improvements on both the consumer and the company sides.
Quick Change Artist
The series of major updates that have been rolling out fairly steadily since last summer have all proved to be somewhat of a show of support to the companies that are investing in Instagram. While it took a minute for Insta to begin toying with the functionalities that benefit businesses - understandably so, people do NOT take to change very well - it appears as though they are hearing brands loud and clear and making huge efforts to bring them value - without compromising Joe and Jane's user experience. In fact, it has actually enhanced it.
Now without further ado, let's get to it! Here is the essential list of all the major Instagram changes that occurred in the past year.
![Instagram marketing guide too every update](/content/images/2016/09/Instagram-guide-updates-marketing.jpg)
In late October, Instagram launched a separate app called Boomerang, bringing diversity to everyone's feeds and galleries. It grew quickly in popularity and has now become sort of ubiquitous. "It’s not a photo. It’s not a gif. It’s a Boomerang." 'Nuff said.
Nothing could have prepared humanity for this. Instagram revealed that the app was switching the chronological feed to an algorithmic feed so that users could see the content they cared about the most, cough Facebook cough. It wasn't going to hit until a few months later, but giving fair warning was wise considering the apoplectic general response - the news was met with sheer horror, to put it mildly. Influencers panicked, while brands felt like they had been dealt a death sentence. (Breaking news: all accounts are still very much alive.)
Along with everyone else, we had lots to say about this.
Instagram changed its logo. A "new look" is what they called it (somewhere Christian Dior is rolling over in his grave). This update was met with, um, contention. Folks were not too keen on the new design, with some industry professionals taking it upon themselves to draw other suggestions. People seem to be over it now.
I have a feeling this list is going to need updating really soon... We're already hearing rumblings of a save draft feature and improvements for the Stories function have already been rolled out and should be perpetually ongoing.
As for me, I'd personally like the ability to edit a photo once it's already been posted. Here's hoping Kevin is reading this.
What do you guys think Instagram is missing and should be working on next?
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