Posted on May 24, 2016 at 18:20 PM
Instagram is now a mammoth in the realm of social media platforms. With well over 300 million active monthly users, fans of this photo-centric platform have proven their loyalty with over 30 billion photos to date. That’s 5 times more photos than people on the earth, just FYI.
Following closely behind Facebook in usage, Instagram has created an eye-opening opportunity for businesses looking to connect with younger audiences. Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report last year revealed that teens view Instagram as their most important outlet over any other social media platform in their tool box.
As businesses strive to figure out how to utilize this elusive platform (after all, a Forrester study showed that interactions with followers on Instagram is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter), Instagram continues to evolve to serve both consumer and executive. Some of their recent rollouts demonstrate their ability to keep up with the times while still providing a valuable connection tool for businesses.
- First and foremost, Instagram has pulled a switch-a-roo with their algorithms and how we see posts from people and brands we follow. Much like Facebook’s recent algorithm overhaul, followers on Instagram will see a more refined feed, curated by Instagram based on interests and accounts you’re most engaged with. Don’t panic; unlike Facebook, all of your posts will still display in your feed. They just won’t be in chronological order as in the past. Instagram will determine which posts to show you first based off of your interaction with those accounts. The more you like or comment on posts by any particular person or business, the more likely you’ll see their future posts at the top of your feed. If you are worried about missing certain updates, simply turn on notifications for those accounts in your settings.
- A long overdue and hugely welcomed update is extended video length. Instagram’s former 12-second video rule had users all over the world comically speeding up playback to squeeze in all of their content, or at best, clipping a longer video into a shorter one that often left out great content. The new length? A glorious 60 seconds, which is still short enough to keep the feed transient, but long enough to inspire more creative videos for brands.
- Keeping with their improvements in video accommodation, Instagram has also rolled out a feature that allows users to post multi-clip videos. The service makes it possible to crop together several videos into one clip, all while never leaving the app. We see the wheels of creativity in motion for a lot of businesses that will use this new feature to create some extraordinary marketing and advertising posts on Instagram.
The Social Media Marketing Industry Report from last year indicates that 52 percent of marketers are planning to increase their presence on Instagram this year. This wide-open market is surprisingly ripe for the picking, especially since many businesses just haven’t figured out their voice on the platform yet. Products lead the way as far as engagement on posts, a big indication that consumers are interested in shopping via Instagram. It’s already a proven fact that videos and photos perform better on any social media platform, and with Instagram being a giant collage of both, it’s safe to say the potential for businesses to leverage it to sell their product or service is Instahuge.