Instagram is one of the most successful social media platforms in the world. According to Marketing Week more than 300 million people worldwide have an Instagram account, of which 14 million are in the UK. Users share more than 70 million images per day and 130,000 people join the platform every week. So, you could say Instagram is pretty popular! But the picture-sharing app is changing for users and marketers alike, and here’s how…
Last week I received an update from Hootsuite, the social media dashboard, announcing that you can now pair Instagram with their service. How exciting! Gone are the days where you had to download questionable apps just to be able to make sure your shot goes up at the right time, you can now do all your post scheduling in one place – finally! You can also manage multiple Instagram accounts, engage your audience from the dashboard and create different search streams to keep an eye on hashtags, phrases and competitors, a useful tool for growing your online community.
Instagram aren’t afraid to splash the cash on their advertising. Revenue is set to hit $595 million this year, and quadruple over the next two years to almost $3 billion! One way they are achieving this is by running brand campaigns across the site. You may have noticed carousel adverts when you scroll down your feed, where in some cases you can swipe right to see up to three images from a brand. Head of Development at EMEA at Instagram says it’s about “taking people from a moment to a product experience”. However, as a consumer this can be annoying when you just want to nosy at what your friends are up to.
As a business, this style of advertising is proven to be a worthy investment. A study conducted by Instagram revealed that campaigns on the site produced ad recall levels that were three times higher than the Nielsen Online Ads average. John Lewis showed a 10point ad recall and 14point increase in purchase intent among the demographic of 25-34 year olds.
The latest addition to the platform released with Instagram 7.0, is the updated search and explore tab. This is designed to make finding photos by location, photographer or subject that bit easier. When searching for accounts, hashtags and places that relate to each other, they are all woven into one search result. For example, if you search for Starbucks, their official Instagram page will come up, with photographs tagged #Starbucks and photographs taken at one of their locations. Pretty handy, huh?
Another exciting addition is the trending photos section. When there’s an outburst of photographs with a certain tag, you’ll be able to browse them from the tab. A lot like Twitter’s trending section, but with images! Instagram editors are also starting to choose images based on certain themes. This curated content will be rotated twice a week, keeping the material fresh and engaging. Unfortunately this update is currently only accessible in the US, but I’m sure it’ll be hitting UK soil soon.
I think these changes are going to take how we use Instagram to a whole new level. It’s now more than just posting your photogenic lunch from that fancy café, it’s about the consumer, the experience and the Instagram community.