Instagram's New Business Pages.
Posted by Will Shadbolt
Instagram recently unveiled its newest feature. Taking note of the numerous business pages popping up—and, what's more, the numerous users following them—the company plans to revamp how small businesses operate on Instagram. A new business dashboard feature on the mobile app will enable businesses and advertisers to see impressions of their posts, the reach they had, and what time users viewed the posts to see how the numbers stack up week by week. The dashboard will also allow businesses to take posts of theirs that are doing well and make them into real ads. Thanks to this feature, brands will be able to better choose (or choose for the first time) which audiences to target and discover what speaks to those users the most. Also included in the update is the ability for companies to mark their pages as businesses, much like how Facebook offers special profiles for brands. On Instagram, these will have longer descriptions in order to list more information and ways to contact them.
Instagram hopes this will aid small businesses in learning how to advertise on the app and also encourage new businesses to join. Although the current statistical tools do not cost anything to use, there are paid advertisements on the app and this could lead to smaller companies experimenting with the medium. Currently, there are over 200,000 businesses on the platform and about half of the user base follows at least one company (60% have discovered new products on it).
The update comes after several others this past May and rumors of some more. They also changed their logo from a camera with a little rainbow to a swirl of color. The change was initially met with both praise and scorn. In contrast to this playful, colorful new look, the other updates are mostly business related. Instagram unveiled a Carousel style ad format. This lets advertisers put up five ads—either images or short videos or mixing and matching—that users can then swipe through, allowing brands to tell stories or get more creative. This has been shown to increase ad recall ability in users and to create 58% more conversations about them. As for the rumors, both the stats dashboard and ability to convert a page into a business were leaked to the press before they were officially announced, meaning that the remaining gossip piece will probably turn out to be true as well. It has also been rumored that users and businesses will soon be able to pay to increase their posts' reach. Facebook already employs something similar, where paying has become the best (and perhaps only) method of reaching followers, which has some on Instagram worried.
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