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A Guide to Instagram's Latest Releases and What's to Come


Madeleine Beach

Marketing Coordinator - 02 Nov, 2021


Instagram has grown to be one of the most popular and influential social media platforms in the world. Instagram was originally launched as a photo and video-sharing social media app for mobile devices. Since its initial launch in 2010 Instagram has evolved into a social networking platform with messaging tools, and ad platforms. But Instagram has never made it easy for desktop users. However, that is no longer the case, and I would argue Instagram is even better on a desktop than on a mobile device.

Since its initial launch only eleven years ago Instagram has gained over 1 billion users, and the term “Instagramming” has officially become a verb according to The Insider. It seems everyone is on Instagram nowadays, in fact, many users are running multiple accounts. From small businesses to large corporations, photographers to musicians, teenagers to seniors Instagram is a platform anyone can express themselves on. Instagram created the ‘aesthetic’ phenomenon of turning everyday, mundane tasks into picturesque moments to create envy and intrigue amongst followers.

So, here is your 2021 Instagram updates guide. Some of these features have already been successfully launched and others you will have to keep an eye out for.

You can finally post on Instagram to your desktop!


New feature


Instagram has kept its platform predominantly mobile-friendly since its initial launch as it was built with only the mobile app in mind. But the announcement we have all been waiting for has finally arrived: you can now post to your Instagram from your desktop! And it is as easy as it sounds. You can share a photo, video, or Reel right from your desktop just as you would on the app. This can be done by clicking on the “+” button in the top right corner of the webpage. It will prompt you to select a photo(s) from your computer and then filters, captions, and location tags can be added. 

I know this is a release many of us have been waiting for, as there are a lot of advantages to using Instagram on your desktop instead of the mobile app. Writing captions is much easier on a desktop as you can use a full-sized keyboard and having access to editing browser extensions such as Grammarly is a game-changer. Photos are displayed in a much larger size allowing you to ensure they are high-quality photos, as well as it is easier to access photos and videos straight from your computer.

Managing and sharing photos, videos and Reels to multiple accounts is not uncommon amongst users. Juggling managing a personal account, hobby account, multiple brand accounts or a hide hustle account can quickly become a headache. Luckily, you can manage multiple accounts directly in the Shift desktop app, while having Grammarly built right in. Shift allows you to work with as many Instagram accounts as you like on your PC, Mac or Linux desktop computer. And now you can post directly to your Instagram account(s) in Shift, making it your one-stop spot for managing all your Instagram accounts. 

Related post: How to Manage Multiple Instagram Accounts on Desktop

Two users can now jointly share ownership of a single Post or Reel.

The new Collabs feature allows two users to co-author a post or reel to their feed. The post or Reel will appear on both accounts' feeds, sharing a comment section, as well as likes and views allowing both users to leverage and engage with each other’s communities. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Instagram’s @Creators (@creators)

How to Collab with another account on IG:

Collabs are enabled from the tagging screen, after which the second account will have to accept the invite. One user would go through the normal process of uploading a Reel or post to their feed, right before publishing the post they would tap “tag people” in the share screen section. On the bottom right corner, there is an option to “invite collaborator”, find the account you want to collaborate with, tap on their name and it will send that account a direct message (DM) with a collaboration request. If they accept, the identical post or Reel will upload onto their feed. At the moment you can only collaborate with one person at a time. 

New music-focused effects for Reels.

Instagram officially announced two new effects called Superbeat and Dynamic Lyrics. Both are designed to make it easier for users to edit and perform with music on Reels. 


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A post shared by Instagram’s @Creators (@creators)

Superbeat: Superbeat is a new music beat effect that automatically applies appealing visual edits to your Reel based on the song you choose. It's designed to help users easily create videos paced to the beat of their selected audio.

Dynamic Lyrics: This karaoke-style effect automatically displays 3D song lyrics to a Reel for users (and audiences) to sing along to.

New group fundraising feature.

Instagram now allows you to create group fundraisers for nonprofits, with the introduction of a feature that lets you start the group fundraiser directly from the “+” button. The fundraising feature itself is not new to Instagram however with the new update users can host group fundraisers. Meaning that a group of people will be able to create a fundraiser together increasing the chances of the fundraiser being successful, as it will be viewed by significantly more people. 

It's as easy as posting a photo! Click the “+” button as you would post a Reel, Story, Post, or Live but now you will see the option to choose Fundraiser. You will see an option to select a nonprofit and add the fundraiser to your feed post. Users can tap the share option on a fundraiser and invite more people to join. Making Instagram the ultimate platform for anyone who is raising funds for a person, business, or community.

There is finally a solution to having all your Instagram needs in one place, Shift. You can now manage multiple Instagram accounts, post, and send direct messages all within Shift on your desktop. Instagram is always updating and releasing new features however they remain vague on launch dates so keep your eyes peeled for these 2021 new features. Check your Instagram today to see what new features are already available to you.