It seems that every day that pesky red bubble is notifying me that one of my apps has an update. More often than not, the update is for Instagram. This is unsurprising, of course. Since the social media platform’s launch, they’ve had to keep up with the needs of their over 700 million users. This means releasing updates and new features quicker than some of us can keep up with. If you’re using your Instagram to monetize your account as an influencer or business, having a good grasp on the ever-evolving features is important. Being an early adopter is key to capitalizing on all that the platform has to offer while staying ahead of your competition.

Don’t be your mom on social media. Learn the ins and outs of the newest features as they come out to take full advantage of the benefits they can have on your business. Here are the best features released in July of 2017 and how you can use them to grow your brand.

Live Video Replay

Doing an Instagram Live for the first time is scary. If you don’t have a ton of followers watching you at that moment, you’re talking to your own reflection while staring at that little number in the corner reminding you how little people care. It’s brutal. If you DO have followers who watch you, this is an incredible feature that can be used to show off your personality.

While Live Stories disappeared prior to this update, you can now share them to your stories for up to 24 hours once the broadcast has ended. What’s also awesome is that the engagement you received during the video is replayed as well. This is a great opportunity to make the most of your content.

For example, if you’re an influencer doing a live product unboxing or a brand showing off pieces from your newest collection, you can now give the followers who missed it the opportunity to check it out.

Spam Reduction

Instagram is reducing the level of spam and offensive comments and they’re using AI to do it. How did they teach a computer to discern between a real and bogus comment? At its core, the filters come from Facebook’s AI system used to detect spam. Instagram went one step further and hired contractors to comb through distasteful or spam comments to “teach” the machine to recognize them.

This feature comes in the form of an offensive comment filter which you can choose to have on or off. It’ll block comments with things like swear words and other troll-like lingo. While it’s currently only available in English, they’ll be including more languages soon.

The spam comments are sometimes an even bigger issue than the offensive ones. This is because, as a business or influencer, having spammy-looking comments on your photos can make you look less credible. Even worse, it can make it look like your followers aren’t real. This filter runs automatically in the background of business profiles and removes comments written in multiple languages.

 

Favourites

Instagram loves slow roll-outs. Though this feature hasn’t been released to the whole Instagram population just yet, it will be soon. If you’re a brand or influencer who doesn’t have a separate personal Instagram account, this one is particularly useful to you.

With this feature, you can now choose your “Favourites” who you can share specific posts with. If you want to enter an Instagram contest or post something more on the personal side, you can choose a narrowed audience to view it. This can help you keep your feed looking consistent and on-task to your general followers while allowing you to share all the other stuff with the people of your choice.

 

So, there it is- July’s top updates for businesses and influencers. Almost every single update from Instagram has value for growing and strengthening your brand. So instead of ignoring that update for a year until it’s forced on you, grab that red notification ball by the…balls.