By now we've all heard the news that Instagram will soon be removing "likes" from photos in Canada as they test a new, less quantitative system that they hope will focus more on quality content that connects users instead of sparking competition.
But just as Facebook has seen several changes implemented already, Instagram, too, has more change on the horizon.
Here are a handful of changes that Canadians can expect to see arriving in the coming year, and let me just say: I'm pretty excited about a couple of these shifts.
This might be the most exciting thing that will be coming to Instagram because it's really going to change the "influencer" game.
Like Business profiles, Creator profiles will have access to their "Instagram Insights." But the real perk of a Creator Profile? Access to Instagram Creator Studio which can be used on desktop computers and details analytic metrics, engagement stats and when audiences are online.
Creators will also be able to have access to and track follows and unfollows along with more DM filtering options so that certain messages can be prioritized or ranked by relevance.
Buy Things Directly From Influencer Profiles
While influencers have long been advertising products via their Instagram profiles, actually selling things is a whole other ballgame.
Instagram wants to make it easier for users to access the products that are shown to them by their favourite Insta influencers. So just as businesses currently have the function where you can tap tagged items in photos and then be brought to a purchasing page, influencers will soon have this power as well.
Create Your Own Insta Story Filter
Instagram has always been an outlet for creative people to express themselves, and stories have long been one of the best ways to do that.
With the changes coming to Instagram, you will soon be able to create your OWN Instagram Story filters. So if you've never been much of a cat or a mouse, you'll soon be able to design your OWN Patronus-like face filter to properly express your inner animal self. Nice.
In an effort to decrease online bullying, Instagram is tentatively planning to introduce a feature that will allow users to "take a break" from Instagram when they feel it is negatively impacting their mental or emotional health.
The Away Mode would mute notifications and allow users to stop activity on the app without having to actually delete the app or their account.
There was also talk of introducing a "nudge" feature that would question a user before they leave a negative comment.
Raise Money via the New Donation Sticker
You will soon be able to add a Donation Sticker to your Instagram story, where people can donate directly to your cause.
Hidden "Like" Counts
As we discussed in an earlier article, Canadians are the official guinea pigs of private or entirely absent "like" counts on Instagram photos. I have yet to see the changes come into effect on my Instagram account, but the changes are expected to hit this week.
Are you excited about any of these changes? Disappointed? I'm personally glad there are things being done to decrease the online bullying that is pretty rampant on Instagram, particularly for teenagers. I can't imagine what it would be like to live nowadays with the pressure of Instagram.
I'm also seriously considering my future as an Instagram influencer... I only need 1,000 more followers and I'll be on my way!