Instagram rolled out several new features in April aimed at providing Reels creators with more flexibility and options.
The process of editing Reels was revamped for simplicity with a new unified editing screen on Android and iOS that provides access to video clips, audio, stickers, and text, letting creators align and time elements in their videos through a more visual interface. Instagram said more Reels editing tools are in the pipeline.
Creators now have access to a dedicated destination where they can discover the top trending songs and hashtags on Reels, as well as see how many times a specific piece of audio content has been used, and save or tap to use that audio content.
Two new metrics were added to Reels insights: total watch time, and average watch time.
Total watch time represents the total amount of time a Reel was played, including replays, while average watch time gives creators the average amount of time spent playing a Reel, dividing watch time by number of total plays.
Instagram said the two new metrics will give creators a better understanding of where people are engaged with their content and whether they need a stronger hook to encourage viewers to keep watching.
Creators also gained an easier way to see insights while directly viewing their Reels, and they will begin receiving notifications on new followers that they gained specifically via their Reels.
The Gifts monetization option, which enables fans of creators to show appreciation for their content via in-app purchases of Stars, is being extended to countries including Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, and the U.K. in the coming weeks, and creators will be able to see which fans sent them gifts and tap the heart icon next to those fans to send them notifications.
Finally, Instagram users (including creators) can now add up to five links to the bio in their profile, enabling them to promote and provide easy access to online destinations including profiles on other social platforms, their own business site, or brands and causes they are promoting.
The feature—eliminating the need for solutions such as Linktree and Beacons, which were previously the only way to add links to bios—can be activated by tapping Edit Profile, Links, and Add External Links. Users and creators can then determine the order that those links will be displayed in.
In a nod to its fellow Meta-owned platform, links to Facebook profiles include a rounded Facebook icon and text indicating that the link is to a Facebook profile, while links to non-Meta destinations do not include any similar customization.
URLs must abide by Meta’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, and they open the destination directly in the Instagram app, not through a separate browser. People can tap the three-dot menu at the top of the page to open the links in browsers such as Chrome and Safari.
Instagram wrote in a blog post detailing the updates, “Creators like you inspire people and shape everyday culture. We’re committed to building more products to help you grow and thrive on Instagram, and (these) updates are just a few of the ways we’re investing in your success.”
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