Instagram has introduced a set of new features over the past few days. In a series of updates, the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing platform launched several new settings for users and rules for advertisers, including an increased privacy control for young users while empowering them with the ability to take greater control of their content.
The new default ‘private’ setting for users under the age of 16 (under 18 in some countries) is designed to protect teenagers on the platform. The feature automatically sets the profile to private, which ensures that no one can follow them without their consent.
Instagram has also limited the reach of advertisers for under-16 accounts. In a statement posted on its official blog, Instagram said that advertisers will no longer be able to target people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on app activity, interests and websites. The criteria for targeting audiences will now be age, gender and location.
The feature is being rolled out in the US, UK, Australia, France and Japan, and it will be available in more countries soon.
Among the other new features on Instagram is a ‘sensitive content control’, which “allows you to decide how much sensitive content shows up in Explore”. Simply put, the feature gives users more freedom to choose how much sensitive content they want to see on their feed.
Instagrammers can access the feature from the Account option in the Settings menu. Then they’ll need to select from three options, ‘Allow’, ‘Limit’ or ‘Limit Even More’, depending on their preferences of viewing sensitive content. However, users under the age of 18 won’t have access to the ‘Allow’ option.
One of the other new Instagram features is a tool that will perhaps come as a welcome change for millions around the world — text translation on Stories. Users will now be able to see ‘See Translation’ at the top left corner of the ‘Stories Viewer’. Tapping on it will translate a foreign language on Stories into the native language. Over 90 languages have been included in this feature.
Besides general users, Instagram also launched a set of new initiatives to encourage creators to produce and share content with their communities on the platform and Facebook.
In a post from their Creators account, Instagram said that it will invest over US$ 1 billion by the end of 2022 towards initiatives that’ll help creators, especially new ones, make more money. As part of it, a new section called Bonuses will help creators measure the performance of their content and tailor their business models accordingly.
For creators who work with brands, another new Instagram feature now allows the addition of up to two brands to the ‘Paid Partnership’ label. Until now, users could partner with only one brand. Moreover, users will not have to wait for a brand’s approval before tagging it. However, the tag will appear on the post once the brand approves the partnership at its end.
The label lets creators ensure transparency by disclosing which of their content is promotional while adhering to Instagram’s policies. Besides Feed, the label can be used in Stories, IGTV, Live, and Reels.
Similarly, Badges, a feature introduced in 2020 which lets audiences support their favourite creators, has been updated to help the creators earn money if they meet defined criteria when they are Live. They will also be able to earn a bonus if they go Live regularly from either their or another account. Currently, the new incentive is only for creators invited to badges. As for supporters, the update gives them the ability to purchase multiple badges during a livestream.
Creators will now be able to display their business profiles on their personal profiles. “For creators who want to sell their merchandise, we’re making it easier to add an existing shop or open a new shop on their Instagram profile,” Instagram said in a post on Creators.
A ‘View Shop’ button, through which followers can purchase merchandise that the creator endorses, will now be visible above the ‘Followers’ and ‘Message’ buttons on the creator’s personal profile.
A custom date range has also been added to Account Insights for the ease of creators. Currently, the date range has been doubled to bring the range to 60 days and Instagram has said that it will soon be extended to 90 days. Creators can now track their accounts’ reach and approximate earnings for any period within the total day range or opt for a pre-select range of the last 7, 14 and 30 days or the previous month.
Adding to these updates, there is one on Reels. Instagram has extended its duration to 60 seconds, which means that users can opt for a longer period instead of limiting themselves to the existing 15 or 30 seconds. Captions sticker, a unique tool that lets users turn speech to text, has also been added to Reels.
(Main and Featured images: Courtesy Alexander Shatov/Unsplash)