Facebook and Instagram Tests Tons of New Features

Facebook is Working on a Range of New Features for InstagramIt seems like Instagram is testing out a whole bunch of new features if recent tweets on the matter are to be believed. According to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, one of the features that is being tested would allow you to send entire posts to people as direct messages. This is one of the more user oriented features that were spotted.

Some of the more business oriented features includes a shop tab. This tab can be included on the profile page of a business that is based on Instagram, thus allowing people that visit these profiles to buy the products that are on offer with a single tap rather than having to go through a whole process to visit a purchasing portal.

Instagram is testing Shop tab right in profile page

This is in line with Instagram’s other recent updates that provided improved analytics for business as well as a slew of other features that were designed to make the platform a bit more attractive for brands to advertise and potentially even sell their wares on the social media platform.

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, also seems to be changing up the user interface in order to make Instagram seem more like it. This includes a bottom sheet that would allow you to do a number of things. These include things like adding people to your list of Close Friends, a feature that can let you only show pictures and videos to people that you are comfortable showing them to.

Instagram is testing Facebook-esque bottom sheet UI for toggling: - adding someone Close Friends - muting someone - getting notifications from someone - unfollowing someone

You can also control whether you get notified when someone makes a new post or whether you want to mute them so that you don’t end up seeing their posts anymore. With this new bottom sheet you would also be able to unfollow people in a much easier manner than having to go all the way to their profile.

User profiles might also be getting an update. Now when you visit the profile of someone you like, you will see a “browse” button. Tapping on this button will show you a list of profiles that are similar in their activities to the one that you were checking out. This is ostensibly being done in order to make it easier for influencers to get discovered.

Instagram is testing a few shortcut buttons in the new profile UI:

Facebook has been pushing Instagram as an alternative to places like YouTube for influencers to post content, and the browse button seems like a further step in that direction.

Instagram’s creator and influencer attracting approach seems further evident when you see the tests that are being conducted for the recently neglected Instagram TV which seems to be getting brought back into the forefront. We may observe a new user interface for browsing content, profile pages that are specific to IGTV as well as in profile tabs to access IGTV.

Instagram is testing new IGTV-related UI: New IGTV Browsing UI (Pane #1) - Picture-in-Picture IGTV (Pane #1) - IGTV-specific Profile Page (Pane #2) - IGTV Tab in Profile (Pane #3)

It seems like Instagram is trying to establish IGTV as a separate entity. This makes sense since it would make the platform a more serious competitor to the monolith that is YouTube. Facebook’s attempts to make Instagram a YouTube competitor become even more apparent when you notice that one of the features that are being tested is a picture in picture mode, similar to what YouTube recently launched.

Another update to Instagram that is being tested involves the app dedicated to Android phones. In this version of the app, users will get the ability to upload photos to Instagram directly from Google Photos which is going to make the process a lot simpler for a lot of people. Apart from Instagram, Facebook also working on its main platform, Android user on Facebook app are also going to get 3D photos which are going to help boost the number of ways in which people can express themselves on the social media platform.

Read Next: Small Business Growth Hacking - A Guide to Instagram Ads (infographic)

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