It’s that time again…time for another ever-changing social media platform to change a key aspect of its interactive platform. Whispers of Twitter eliminating photos, gifs, hyperlinks, etc. as part of the 140-character count limit for tweets, and various other changes, began in mid-May. Now, it’s Instagram’s turn to be in the spotlight again! We’ve all witnessed the flood of “turn on post notifications” posts from the beloved accounts we follow when Instagram announced it would eventually be incorporating an algorithm into the feed, meaning no more reverse-chronological order photo feeds. This announcement ruffled some people’s feathers as it made them fear their accounts would no longer receive the same amount of exposure as previously, due to Instgram optimizing the order of photos based on your interactions with accounts. As anticipated, Instagram is rolling out somewhat of a “phase 2”. What’s Instagram’s next step? Rolling out business profiles and sponsored posts.

Instagram business profiles will be fairly similar to their Facebook Pages counterpart. Once released, brands will be able to have linkable contact info in their bio, allowing for users to easily call, text, or email them – whichever the business prefers! The addition of a contact feature is heavenly, no more scrolling through hundreds of comments searching for product inquiries! Instagramers can instead send your brand a direct question, eliminating it getting lost in the sea of emoji-comments. In order to create a business profile on Instagram, you will need to have a pre-existing Facebook Page for your brand. To go hand-in-hand with business profiles, Instagram is finally finally finally providing verified business accounts the ability to access key analytics, or insights, regarding their profiles – this will be familiar to those of you who have seen Facebook Pages analytics. To those of you unfamiliar with user insights, this means you can better understand the demographics of your audience, their behaviors, and what resonates best with them.

While perusing Instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen some “sponsored” posts, typically by large corporations. Along with business profiles, Instagram is introducing the ability to sponsor posts via mobile ad creation. Do you see that one of your recent posts has received significant interaction and positive feedback? A brand can then go in and turn that popular post into a sponsored ad, straight from the app. In turn, the ability to create sponsored posts will enable brands to select the targeted audience for said post. Not sure what audience to target? Instagram states it can “suggest” an audience for you…But you might want to leave that up to the experts!

Although some individuals may not be keen on Instagram’s announcements, give it time! Instagram has grown to over 200,000 active advertisers, most of which are small and medium-sized companies, how will you shine above the rest?! By introducing business profiles and insights, brands will be able to receive significantly higher exposure, and allow them to reach users who might not have stumbled across them independently. No more wasting time analyzing post data through third-party apps or scrutinizing which product in your shop to promote tomorrow. These tools help us become more actively engaged with followers, better understand audiences and tailor strategies to fit each unique brand.

Instagram business profiles and insights will be launched within the next few months. Stay tuned!