If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 400 million people who use Instagram every day. I am one of the 400 million users too. I wouldn’t be surprised if this number has skyrocketed due to the new Instagram updates and features added over the past year.

Recent updates to Instagram include Instagram Stories, Live Stories, and Instagram Direct Messages. Other useful features added in the past 6 months include:

  • Multiple photos in a single post
  • Comment moderation
  • Zoom on photos
  • Draft posts
  • Bookmarked posts

So what’s next for Instagram? I created a list of 5 useful features that I think we would all love to see included in a new Instagram update!

1. Night Mode

New Instagram Update - Night/Dark Mode
Face it, many of us are scrolling on Instagram between the hours of 11pm and 7am. In low-light environments, Instagram’s white background can be harsh on the eyes, especially at close distance. With all the research around sleep and the effect of “blue light” from electronics, a Night Mode on Instagram is a solution to this problem. And if Instagram needs inspiration, they can look to Twitter. Twitter introduced a Night Mode for Android devices in July 2016 and for iOS devices shortly thereafter. Instagram can implement a Night Mode colour scheme that uses a predominant dark grey background and white text. Accents, links, and hashtags can use one of Instagram’s logo colours. Photos will remain the focal point against a dark background. Kaan Eryilmaz has an excellent concept of what a Night Mode on Instagram could look like. Oh, the possibilities!

2. Links in Captions

New Instagram Update - Links in Instagram Caption

For bloggers, influencers, and brands, a link in Instagram captions would be a Game. Changer. Clickable links in captions would eliminate the awkward “link in bio” phrase. It would also eliminate the ugly, long hyperlink that you can’t even copy and paste into your mobile browser! This doesn’t need to be a feature where users can add multiple links, because that can go from super useful to spam – real quick. I get it. Consider this: if Instagram integrates links into the platform, it would encourage users to stay longer in the app. Users could open links from captions in the in-app browser (you can see an example of this when you click on links in Instagram profiles). Users would never have to leave the app to visit a mobile link. Links in captions is a win-win feature for Instagram and its users.

3. Are You Following Me Back?

New Instagram Update - Follows You

Instagram emphasizes the value and role of community on their platform. Except how can we tell who is a part of our community if we can’t tell if someone is following us or not? Sure we can go visit our profile, click on Followers, and scroll until we find the name of a particular account. Or we can visit that individual’s profile, but all that gives us is a short list of people we follow, who are also following the account.

Screenshot of Chrissy Teigen Instagram with "Followed By" outlined with magenta box

In a quiet March 2017 update, Instagram now allows users to click on that list (in the above photo, you would click on “+ 34 more”) to see the full list.

Screenshot of Instagram "Followed By" List

This still isn’t useful. I propose Instagram remove the “Followed By” list of text and replace it with a “Follows You” icon (once again, look to Twitter for inspiration!).

"Follows You" label from Twitter

Now when a user visits another profile, they will instantly know whether the person is following them back. Plus, this feature would eliminate all those risky third-party apps that tell you who your mutual followers are or who unfollowed you.

4. Advanced Search

New Instagram Update - Advanced Search

Let’s say you want to try some new coffee shops in your local area. You could do a search with the hashtag #TorontoCoffee. But your favourite coffee is a hazelnut latte. So you use a specific hashtag like #TorontoHazelnutLatte and…you’ll get 0 results. That’s why it would be useful if you could search posts that use #coffee, #Toronto, AND #HazelnutLatte. Or if you could search a hashtag according to:

  • Geo-location (Toronto, Ontario, Canada);
  • Time (the past 7 days);
  • Hashtags used in posts from a specific Instagram user (@starbucks).

Advanced search gives users a better way to connect with people.

5. Regram

New Instagram Update - Repost and Regam

In July 2016, Instagram updated its API. This might not be that big of a deal to the average Instagrammer. It was a big deal for anyone who uses the app “Repost for Instagram.” Repost for Instagram is an app where people can repost photos/videos with proper attribution. Before June 2016, you could use the Repost app to find photos/videos you wanted to repost. You could even save posts you intended to repost later.

After June 2016, that all changed. You can no longer use the Respot app to scroll through your Instagram and find posts to repost. You can no longer save posts. To repost a photo/video, you now need the share URL. Suffice it to say, the June 2016 API update struck a blow to the Repost for Instagram app.

How can Instagram make amends? With a repost feature, of course! They could also buy the Repost for Instagram app. Either way, a repost icon can go right beside the comment icon underneath an Instagram post. Instagram users will appreciate the option to re-gram photos/videos within the app. Other Instagram users will appreciate proper credit for their re-posted content. Everyone is happy – especially “Repost for Instagram” if Instagram offers them a hefty deal.


Wouldn’t these 5 features be useful? Overall, I am excited to see how Instagram evolves with new features to delight their growing community.

Do you agree with this list? What features would you like to see on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below!

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