24 June 2024

Instagram adds live streams for close friends

An update that came as no surprise, is Instagram introducing the option to live stream to close friends on the app. Instagram is doubling down on more intimate group chats with broadcast channels and now live streams for close friends.

This new update allows users to stream to their close friends list. Users will be able to invite up to 3 others on their close friends list to co-host or join their streams. Essentially, this new feature gives users a video option to stream to smaller groups, further adding to user connection on the app. This update went live in June and was rolled out globally.

Previously, live broadcasts meant anyone could tune in and watch if an account was public and all followers could watch for private accounts. Now, users have the ability to decide who joins the stream–essentially it’s more similar to a Facetime call than a public live stream.

This update could be great for influencers who want to livestream to specific followers or for students to host study sessions with their friends.

Instagram has recently emphasised the importance of more private modes on the platform, introducing features such as grid posts being visible to only close friends and muting interactions from everyone but close friends. Updates like this give users the option to choose stricter safety settings as well as the ability to curate their own Instagram experience.

example of instagram live stream for friends

3 June 2024

Instagram introduces silent posting

A recent feature Instagram has implemented allows users to share content without “spamming feeds”.  Users will have the option to ‘Post quietly to profile’ which will let them publish content that will still be visible on their profile but it won’t be shared in the feed with their followers.

This feature could be particularly helpful for:

  • Building an aesthetically pleasing grid without bombarding the feed.
  • Sharing content without engagement worries.
  • When users wish to post multiple times in a short period of time e.g. wedding and holiday pictures.

While it may not be useful for everyone, especially creators and brands focused on reach and engagement, it may appeal to those who want to share content they enjoy without the pressure.

It’s great to see Instagram introducing new updates useful for the users instead of new features that only relate to bigger accounts.

26 March 2024

Instagram Updates Hashtag Search To Simplify Discovery

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, recently announced a big update changing the way hashtags can be used for discovery. In his own words, the update is as follows:


“We’re simplifying the hashtag and search experiences on Instagram to make it easier to see everything in one place. Now, when you tap on a hashtag, you’ll see the search results for that hashtag. You will still be able to follow/unfollow or report specific hashtags.


Hope this makes it easier to find accounts and posts that are relevant to your search.”


instagram phone screenshot showing follow button on hastags

Image Source: @mosseri on Instagram


The update has already been rolled out and users can connect to broader search results related to a hashtag. Now, when users tap the hashtag, instead of seeing the “Top Posts” feed they’ll have the option to see the full search results for the hashtag–like they would see in Explore.


But what does this mean for marketers? Ensure you’re using the most appropriate keywords and hashtags in both your posts and profile to maximise visibility in the Accounts display. Though profiles in hashtag searches might not always include the hashtags in every post, a lot of the time they’ve included the word in the caption, description or profile name.


By introducing this option, Instagram is hoping to improve discovery and not focus on just highlighting top content. It’s not a huge change, but it’s definitely a logical one.

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