Once Facebook bought Instagram it became a matter of when, not if, that purchase would change how Instagram functions.
Early attempts created backlash a few months ago when Instagram started promoting a Facebook-style feed that only showed the most popular posts. You may have noticed the needy pleas by brands and users requesting followers to turn on post notifications.
That change was momentarily pushed back, but Instagram promised that the feature was still in the pipeline. The more obvious and affecting change might be the recently announced Business Profiles that Instagram will be rolling out by the end of this year.
Similar to how Pages work on Facebook, Business Profiles give businesses, and independent operations like photographers, different opportunities for reaching out and interacting with their followers.
So far, Instagram has espoused three new tools on offer for business profiles. The first is a new Contact button that lets businesses choose how followers can contact them from their profiles: via email, text or phone number. The contact button is also supposed to enable users to get directions to a business.
From a branding standpoint, the introduction of Insights, basically Instagram analytics, compiles follower interaction data and information, something Facebook is pretty good at. Unfortunately, at this point, Instagram hasn’t provided much information about how and what their Insights will track.
Companies have already been able to buy and promote ads through Instagram, that happened before even Facebook, but it appears that business profiles might make it easier. High-performing posts can be turned into ads and targeted at specific demographics. Again, though, Instagram didn’t provide too many details on how this will look or work.
The United States, Australia and New Zealand can expect to see business profiles in the vague “coming months,” while a global roll out is expected to be available by the end of the year.
Will this be a boon for photographers and other creatives trying to make it as a business? What do you think? Let us know in the comments or on social media.