Instagram’s latest updates suggest a shift in direction towards creating a more healthy, sustainable and closer community for 2020. Let’s take a closer look.

The end of Activity Feed aka the stalker feature

One of the most notorious functions of Instagram, the Activity Feed, informally known as the stalking feature, is finally coming to an end. The Activity Feed was an area where you could see how your followers were engaging with other content – for instance, you could see the pages or posts that your friends liked, followed or even commented on all collated into one place.
According to Instagram’s head of product, Vishal Shah, the function was originally intended to be a source of inspiration for content makers, however the reality was that many users didn’t even know of this function’s existence and those that did know were not being fed content that was serving the original purpose of the function.
This decision is a definite positive step towards building a safer online community for audiences of all ages, and one of the ways Instagram and Facebook (parent company) are moving towards a more secure and user-friendly environment.

Pulling strings to bring brands, fans and influencers closer together
Instagram just released a new app for close friends called ‘Threads’. This app allows users to create a secondary account that is tied to their Instagram account and share photos, videos, post a status and direct messages easier with close friends and select users.
The app serves as an Instagram version of Facebook messenger but with the opportunity of communicating to fans if you’re an influencer or big brand, which is a major advantage over messenger which users tend to connect only with people they know more intimately.
For digital marketers and influencer marketers, the update may provide more tangible relationships with users, and possibly more creative and exclusive offers to be used for activations in the near future.

Dark mode for a brighter future
One of the recent updates to Instagram has already been teased with the popular #InstagramDarkMode. This new setting can be accessed on iOS13 and Android 10 user and not only is it easier on the eyes but it can also prolong the battery life of phones and even computer/laptop screens that run on OLED display (the pixels are turned off and therefore power is not drained where the screen is dark).
Thus this is another positive change that Instagram is bringing to improve it’s community’s eye health but also the environment as less energy will be needed. It may not seem like a big difference, but when considering that there are 1 billion monthly active users the collective saved energy will surely be welcomed.