In the early days of Instagram, the photo-sharing service was used primarily by individuals. This soon changed as businesses began to harness the power of the social media site.
As of September 2015, the Instagram community had reached more than 400 million users. With the company continually adding new features and functionality, its user base and reach is sure to increase in the years to come.
We try to keep a close eye on what all of our data source providers are doing here at Dasheroo. Since we provide business dashboards for our users, Instagram Analytics is a biggie when it comes to tracking how that application is doing for them.
Over the past few months, Instagram has added a variety of features to improve the user experience. Here are five that deserve your attention:
Instagram rolled out the ability to connect your account to your Facebook account and use the Power Editor in Facebook to create, target and run ads on Instagram.
Ross Simmonds wrote a fantastic how-to article for Social Media Examiner.
Much like Facebook you can drive traffic to you website, you can use video or you can get mobile app downloads. And you can use three types of ads: images, video and carousel ads like the one below.
Test it out for your business today!
Instagram Direct Improvements
A few months back, Instagram made a few key changes to Instagram Direct. The two most notable features included:
- Threaded messages.
- Ability to send content from your feed as a direct message.
Much like Twitter you can include @-mentions to get noticed. So if you’re posting about something great and you want to get the attention of a person, a group or even a company this is a great way to do it!
Release 7.13 Adds 3D Touch Feature
The company rolled out this feature on December 8, 2015, and it has been a big hit from day one.
On your Android smartphone, for example, you can access all the 3D Touch features provided by the app, all without 3D Touch. By “long pressing” a thumbnail you will generate an expanded view of the image, including the ability to Share, Comment, and Like.
This makes it super easy to increase engagement with your audience!
It’s (not) Hip to be Square
An update that many people consider the most important of 2015, the company announced that users could share photos and videos in landscape and portrait orientation, along with square posts. Cool especially if those friends in your posts keep getting cut out if you don’t take the picture in square mode! Annoying huh?
Now you can even use old pictures you may have taken in landscape or portrait (which is probably most of them) and expand posts on Instagram. At Dasheroo we’ve got a ton of great pictures we’d like to have posted, now it’s time!
Up until this update in August, square posts ruled the photo-sharing service. Now, it’s hard to ever imagine going back.
We’re going to cheat a bit on this one, as Boomerang is not exactly a new feature for Instagram. Instead, it is a standalone video app launched by the company. Simply put it stitches together photos to make a video. Pretty cool.
Instagram puts it best, saying that Boomerang “lets you turn everyday moments into something fun and unexpected.” If you love Instagram, this app may be one that deserves some space on your smartphone.
It’s another great way for you to engage followers with your business!
Are You Using it for Your Biz?
Now that you know how Instagram is getting better, it is time to take full advantage. If you need help tracking your Instagram success, sign up for a free Dasheroo account!