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Instagram Updates: 2021 Look Back + 2022 Forecast

social media Feb 24, 2022
Instagram Updates: 2021 Look Back + 2022 Forecast

Remember last summer when the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said that Instagram is “no longer just a square photo-sharing app?” and it rocked the social media world?

Social media is always changing, which can result in both challenges and opportunities for your business. In order to stand out, you have to be adaptive and responsive to the changes each platform makes.

However, keeping up with what’s new on Instagram can be quite a challenge, especially lately when there seems to be a new Instagram feature almost every week. To help you stay up-to-date with the latest Instagram updates and adjust your business to them, I’ve put together a list of the top 3 best updates from 2021 and what to look out for in 2022.

Keep in mind that Instagram is constantly adding and removing features, and while I’m sure you want to keep your business account at the forefront, just be patient when it comes to new features – not everyone gets them right away.

Looking Back at 2021

Let’s take a look back at 3 features that were released in 2021 that are the most impactful to business accounts: 

(1) Professional Dashboard 

This is one of Instagram’s ongoing efforts to give creators and businesses the tools they need, encourage them to turn their passions into a living and support small businesses.

This is what this Professional Dashboard can do for you:

  1. Help you discover insights and trends based on the performance of your Instagram account.
  2. It gives you access to new tools to help you run and build your business more efficiently.
  3. Provides you with educational resources like tips, tricks, guidance, inspiration to help you make the most of Instagram.

The analytics update gives businesses more in-depth data about their audience, including who is engaging with their content, whether people who engage are their followers and the total reach of their posts. Ultimately, this data gives you insight into the kind of content your audience is responding to, and what you should focus your efforts on creating in the future.

(2) Link Sticker in Instagram Stories

Instagram introduced Link Stickers – the ability to add links to Instagram stories – and removed the swipe up feature. Previously, the swipe-up link feature was limited to accounts with more than 10k followers, but the new link sticker expanded this feature to ALL users. 

This was a true game-changer for small businesses as they now have the ability to directly link to their website and promote their products & services. This feature was further improved with customization options that allow users to change the link label text. This allows you to enter a custom call-to-action text, such as “schedule appointment” or “buy now.”

(3) Add Yours Sticker 

This sticker is basically a public thread in Stories that allows users to share pics in response to a prompt. It’s a great way to expand your reach and engage with others on the platform. When it comes to your business, you can use this sticker to connect with your patients by asking them to share something related to eye care and eyewear. For instance, share a selfie wearing their new glasses, a photo of them traveling wearing their favorite sunglasses, etc.

 

What to Look for in 2022

Now, let’s talk about some upcoming features that are anticipated to be released this year, as well as trends that I predict to be popular in 2022:

(1) Chronological Feed Returns

Instagram is testing the return of a new version of the chronological order of the feed. There will be three new options – Home, Favorites, and Following – so every Instagram user can choose how they prefer to see the order of the posts on their home screen.

  • Home: this will work as it is now and will give the same user experience as we all know it… which means posts are ordered based on the algorithm's process. Basically, this algorithm ranks the content based on how interested it thinks the user will spend most of their time and is dependent on how a user has interacted with that account in the past.
  • Favorites: this will show the posts from the accounts that a user has indicated to be amongst their favorite accounts.
  • Following: this will be a chronological list of the accounts the user follows… which is the original way of ordering the posts in most of the social media apps.

(2) More Reels Features

Since Reels were added to the platform in 2020, they have skyrocketed in terms of visibility. Instagram released Reels to compete with TikTok, and in doing so started prioritizing Reels over other types of content. Video content is going to be at the forefront of the app even more in 2022, so now is the time to start implementing them into your social strategy, if you haven’t already. Start playing around with trending sounds and content types to see what fits your strategy best. 

(3) Video Memes

Video memes combine the success of memes with the success of short-form videos and are expected to be a very popular trend in 2022. 

(4) Community Engagement 

Instagram already prioritizes engagement with fun features like emoji reactions and story stickers, as well as the new Reels reply feature. I expect more of this to come in 2022, with the purpose of building connections and fostering conversations among users.


If you’re struggling with creating Reels, you’re going to love our subscription, Reels Rx! This is designed to help you create on-brand and trending videos each week.


You just learned the 3 best Instagram updates from 2021 for your business, as well as new features and trends to keep an eye on in 2022. If you incorporate these features into your social media strategy, you’re guaranteed to stand out on Instagram this year.

Now I’d like to know, which of these features is your favorite? How are you going to use that strategy for your business?