New features, new interface, new content—Instagram has gone full force with a pretty major overhaul in the past few weeks. If you’re feeling like you don’t know your trusty old app the way you used to, never fear, we’re here to acquaint you with these changes. Whether you like them or not, well, we leave that up to you.



Upon first glance, Reels may feel like a TikTok doppelganger but stick with us as we explore some key differences and how this addition actually makes a lot of sense for the platform as a whole.

Video has been the king of the social media world for some time now, but unless you’re a huge company with a plushy budget, fresh video content felt very out of reach for many businesses. Reels create an equal playing field. If you’ve got a smartphone, the Instagram app and some time (plus the crucial ingredient—creativity) then you’re well on your way to reaching new audiences and building brand engagement.

Users prefer to consume bite-sized content (high-value, low time commitment), and while TikTok capitalized on this insight first, it just makes sense. Variety and repurposing within one social app is the name of the game here, but undeniably, there are suddenly a lot of new and exciting features available. 

Key takeaway: it’s important to differentiate content types and develop an integrated strategy to create a robust profile that is valuable to your audience. Instagram has a lot to offer, use it wisely.

Learn more about Reels here.



The Instagram Shop feature has been around for a while now, quietly flying under the radar, until the most recent app update that is. Suddenly, BAM, the shopping icon takes over your beloved activity heart icon. 

This change has been deemed by many experts to be somewhat self-serving to Instagram, as a move that is intended to accelerate the platform in the E-commerce game. That being said, the new visibility of the shopping tab does raise new opportunities for businesses.

The first being more mileage for product catalogues. With COVID-19 swaying businesses to online options, the more prominent Instagram shopping options complement what Facebook has had in place for years. Upload product catalogues, create ads with specific products (you know, that sweater you ‘added to card’ then forgot about, following you around with a discount code) AND tag organic posts to allow users to shop in-app.

The second being the shop tab itself, which acts as a curated virtual mall for users showing Shop options from accounts that they follow, plus local and trending shops.

The third, integration of tagged product posts in Guides—keep reading.

Pro Tip: Some E-commerce platforms play nicely with Facebook (Shopify being the preferred buddy, see the pros and cons here), others have a slightly more prickly relationship. All in all, more product visibility means more opportunities for users to convert. Here’s a handy guide to get your Facebook and Instagram shopping up and running.



Dubbed as Instagram’s answer to Pinterest, Guides rolled out to users this week, but don’t fret if you haven’t come across one yet (Instagram has kept it pretty quiet). Guides live on the creator’s profile, next to the familiar ‘Posts’ and ‘Tagged’ tabs and are available in three categories: Places, Products or Posts.

Guides are essentially a curated long-form post (scrolling involved) that pulls in your own existing posts or other saved posts plus allows the edition of titles and descriptions.

Some big benefits here:

  • Existing content can be repurposed (score)
  • Users are encouraged to save posts for use in Guides, which is the holy grail of post engagement and encourages brand collaborations
  • Tagged product posts (remember the shopping feature we were talking about?) can be repurposed here for even more visibility and reach
  • Guides can be shared to Stories too, for even more mileage 

Here’s a quick breakdown of how to effectively use Guides.

And here’s an example of a Guide in action.


Keyword Search

And last, but certainly not least—a new way to find relevant content in-app beyond the beloved hashtag. If you’ve been to the search tab recently, you may have noticed search prompts rotating through: Search “keto recipes,” “handmade gnomes” or “mochi donuts”.

Experts and marketers are keeping a close eye on how this feature evolves, but as of now, this feels like a shift away from hashtags to aggregate relevant content for users. Further, this new functionality may impact how copy for Instagram (longer copy, keyword-heavy) is written and actually shift how Instagram fits into our social media culture.

Don’t panic yet, hashtags are not officially cancelled but they do have some hot competition for attracting engagement.


So, what do these updates mean for me?

All the changes we’ve touched on here are an attempt to overcome organic content saturation, so, as a business, these new features are actually a huge opportunity to stand out from the crowd (we’re talking organic growth).

So, while we’re all fumbling around, accidentally visiting the Shop tab waaaaaay more than actually intended, stay optimistic. These changes offer more possibilities for collaboration, content repurposing and innovation—for businesses, marketers and users. Happy scrolling, tapping and swiping, friends.