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Instagram’s Latest Features and Updates for 2021

Instagram features

As one of the leading platforms for social media and content creation, Instagram has been full of changes and updates in 2021. This year, we’ve already seen many of these changes implemented. We’ve also heard signs of new Instagram features and updates on the horizon later in 2021 and beyond.

With so many changes to Instagram, from how creators make money to affiliate tools, how do you keep track? This guide to Instagram’s latest features and updates is an important resource whether you’re a business owner, blogger, marketer, or influencer. Let’s dive deep into what you can expect from Instagram in 2021 and in the near future.


Professional Dashboard

Early in 2021, Instagram launched a special tap for professional analytics. This is a way to track your account performance in even greater detail. While you could see your account analytics before if you had a Creator or Business account, this update has even more features like:

  • Promotion insights
  • Account performance
  • Instagram shopping performance
  • Branded content approvals

These tools are important for content creators and brands. As influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity and reach, it’s becoming more essential for account owners to tap into their analytics at a greater level.

Instagram features and analytics


Hidden Likes

Instagram creators have complained about likes for years, and Instagram finally switched it up. Instagram no longer will publicly display the number of likes with posts. The exact number of likes is only seen by the individual who posted it. Though this has been slowly happening since 2019, the majority of accounts will experience this update to like counters by the end of 2021.

How do you see your likes? Simple log into your account, go to your analytics, and view each individual post. Alternatively, click “Insights” under each post to see individual stats like shares, likes, saves, and comments.


Interactive Stickers

Interactive stickers have been around for a few years, but this is one of the more exciting of Instagram’s latest features and updates. There are a few different types of interactive stickers added like:

  • Donation: Easily choose a nonprofit to encourage your followers to make a donation easily. All of the profits through this will go to your organization of choice.
  • DM Me: While you could ask questions through Stories for a while, this DM Me sticker makes it easy for users to directly message the account in just a single click. This is just another way to encourage interactivity.
  • Challenge: Join a challenge which is named by a hashtag to increase your reach. Nominate other uses to join with you, creating a fun activity of togetherness.
  • Food order: If you’re a restaurant, you can easily encourage food orders through your online ordering platform.
  • Gift card: If you’re using the Instagram shopping feature for your online store, the gift card button easily sends users to your gift card order screen.

Instagram features


Inbox Organization

Lastly, Instagram added changes to the way it organizes users’ inboxes. Your inbox has been divided into Primary, General, and Requests. Primary is where your normal messages go, these are from those you follow. Then, you have General which is where messages that appear as Requests (and are approved) go. These are from people you don’t follow.

You can also organize your inbox yourself, sorting things into Primary and General. This is a great tool if you’re focusing on the most important messages at once, and you might want to postpone some for later. Having this organization tool makes it easier to stay on top of messages quickly.


Making the Most of Instagram’s Updates

Over a billion people use Instagram each month. While it might be frustrating when your favorite social media app changes and updates, this is a great way to explore new, exciting features. Instagram is one of the most popular platforms, and it’s always growing and evolving to adapt to user expectations.

Though social media apps come and go, it’s important to stay on top of the latest features and updates to promote your business. No matter your following size, having an engaged list of people who follow you is key.



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