TwoSix Moments: The Most Important Features of the 2018 Instagram Updates

Do you ever feel like you’re having a hard time keeping up with all the changes on Instagram? Everyone’s favorite image-sharing platform has made a ton of changes recently including a new algorithm, and fun features to Instagram Stories. Here are some of the bigger, more important changes to keep your account on the cutting edge!

Instagram TV

Just when we thought we were done writing our blog about new Instagram features, we found out about IGTV! Have no fear – we are here to give you the scoop, and answer your burning questions.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s video-based app that features vertical video content, particularly long-form videos. It is a separate app. You can like, comment, and send videos as private messages. The videos are published through your Instagram page, meaning all IGTV content will lead back to your actual Instagram profile.

What type of content is on IGTV?

Instagram is attempting to disrupt the traditional TV experience. Currently, most accounts have the ability to share 10-minute content, some can share hour-long content, and soon there will be no time limit. At the moment it’s hard to determine high-performing content types (i.e. how to, behind the scenes, interviews, etc.) Of course, we will be monitoring content from the tourism industry to keep you in the loop!

Should I be on IGTV?

If you have yet to completely master Instagram, Instagram Stories, and a comprehensive organic video strategy – IGTV is not for you. Take this opportunity to get on top of Instagram so you can consider an IGTV strategy in the future! If you are running Instagram and Instagram Stories in your sleep, start brainstorming long-form content that would be interesting to watch! 

For more information on IGTV, read this article. Keep reading our blog to learn about all the new bells and whistles on Instagram!


We all noticed when our Instagram feed was no longer chronological. This is because Instagram adopted an algorithm similar to Facebook. Now they’ve revamped it even more and added another change to the algorithm. The platform now uses three main factors to produce feeds that are individualized to each specific user based on user interest, timeliness and relationship with other users.

  • Interest: Instagram predicts how much you’ll care about a post based on content that you’ve already viewed, interacted with, and liked.
  • Timeliness: The app will put more recent posts that it thinks you’ll be interested in at the top and posts that you’d most likely be less interested in after that. It will also reorder photos from one visit to the next based on what you liked the last time you visited.
  • Relationship: Believe it or not, the app can somewhat predict your relationships with other users and will use this to make sure you’re seeing their posts first. This is primarily based on whose posts you are liking, commenting, and searching for when you are surfing the app.

The algorithm is also driven by how often you open the app, how many accounts you follow, and the amount of time that you spend on the app overall.

Instagram also unveiled several new creative features to give users the opportunity to add a creative twist on their content! Users now have the ability to highlight their story content, use the hashtag tools to help generate hashtag strategy and add creative content like GIFs, fonts, stickers and location tags.

Highlight Feature

Instagram Story Highlights make it possible to pin Instagram Story content to the top of your profile – allowing visitors to access at the content any time! Highlights allow businesses to add up to 100 photos or videos to highlight the variety of topics that are featured, customers and client testimonials, events and more! The best part is, you will no longer lose the valuable content that you post on your story. Instead, once your story is done being posted you can add it to your highlights. This is a great way to reach your specific niche markets, as well as to separate the different things that your organization has to offer!  For example, check out how Oakland, California separates their different events that are happening throughout their city from mural art festivals to their restaurant week!

TwoSix Tip: Use your Business Analytics on your business profile to see what your audience is interested in to generate new ideas for your highlight categories!

Hashtag Tools

The addition of hashtag tools has given destinations the opportunity to be more intentional about the ways that they are using hashtags in their posts. In addition, it makes it easier to stay up-to-date on hashtags that are relevant in their location. Instagram has added these new tools for users:

  1. Hashtags in profiles – Hashtags are now clickable options when they are in your bio. So be sure to promote your destination’s hashtag by putting it directly in your bio for visitors to click on (and follow) when they visit your profile!
  2. Following hashtags – Follow hashtags (especially your own!) that are relevant to your destination to make sure that you’re staying up-to-date on what is trending in your area!

TwoSix Tip: Use these tools! It can help you determine better hashtags for posts and be more engaged with hashtags that need to be monitored for your brand! Just a reminder that this feature is only available on business profiles.

Creative Features

Instagram is also encouraging some serious creativity with their enhancements of Stories with the ability to create GIFs and stickers specifically for your brand, the ability to repost Instagram stories from users, emoji sliders and a wide variety of fonts. The new font tool allows brands to stick to their specific branding and/or add creativity to posts and the emoji slider tool gives users a unique twist on the voting buttons. Here are some of the other new creative features on Instagram!


It’s super simple to add this feature to your posts! All you have to do is create a profile on Giphy and apply to get it verified. Once you’ve accomplished this, you’ll have the freedom to create and use GIFs that align with your brand and surely make users click or swipe up more on your content.

Reposting Instagram Stories

This feature is awesome for featuring user-generated content! If you’re looking through posts and find something on someone else’s story that is relevant to your destination and you want to give them a shout-out, feature their content on your story with the new repost story tool.

There have been a lot of changes to Instagram. We all know it’s a powerful marketing tool – which is why it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends. Check out this article for predictions about more changes in the next year!

In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more updates on marketing in the travel industry!