We’re not sure if this is great news or not, but you’ll soon be able to buy products you see on Instagram without ever leaving the app. The new feature is called Checkouts and is currently in closed beta for users and businesses in the U.S..
Checkouts comes into effect when browsing a brand’s shopping post thanks to an all-new “Checkout on Instagram” button.
Once you’ve hit the button you’ll get sizing and color options and go forward to a payment screen all within the app. All your details can also be saved for future purchases and shipping and delivery info will be available via the app.
Only a few brands are signed up for now, but this will no doubt increase as the feature rolls out proper. You can see a list of all the brands on the Instagram blog here.
Previous Instagram updates
New Sticker features for Stories and Instagram Live
December 18, 2018: Instagram now lets users respond to question stickers in Stories with music tracks. As well as question stickers for comments on Instagram Live, countdown stickers have also been added to Stories.
December 11, 2018: Instagram added a new voice messaging feature that works very similarly to voice messaging in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Apple’s Messages app.
The feature is easy enough to trigger — just tap and hold the microphone button when in Instagram Direct to record your voice message. You can record a voice message up to one minute in length and remains in your Instagram Direct threads indefinitely.
Nametags and school communities
October 5, 2018: Instagram introduced Nametags. Likely inspired by Snapchat’s Snap Codes, Nametags display a scannable area that includes your username. The idea is to forgo searching for people and just scan their Nametags instead.
Instagram also introduced school-specific communities for current and former college students. You can add your school and graduation year to your profile, as well as any school-based organizations you might be a part of.
Once you add a school, you become part of the university’s directory on Instagram. You and other students can then search profiles based on class year.
Support for video chat, revamped Explore page, and new camera effects
June 26, 2018: Instagram introduced real-time video chatting within Instagram Direct. To start a video chat, go to the Direct tab, open a message thread, and tap the camera icon in the right corner. You can video chat with one friend or with a group of four people at a time.
Next up is the refreshed Explore page that includes new topic channels. When you open the Explore page, you now see a tray at the top with several personalized channels, such as art, sports, beauty, fashion, and “For You.” Each channel includes posts for that specific topic.
Finally, the new camera effects feature designs from Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel, and the NBA. You will have to follow any of those accounts to get the corresponding camera effects, however.
Mute users without unfollowing them
June 26, 2018: Instagram introduced a new feature called Mute. As you might have guessed, the new setting tweak lets you curate your feed by muting certain people and brands you follow. You’re still a follower of those people and brands, but they won’t clog up your feed.
When you mute someone you follow, you will still be notified of comments or posts you are tagged in. If the person has their account set to “private,” you will still be able to view their feed. The only thing mute does is prevent that person’s posts from appearing in your personal feed.