Since Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, Instagram has been known for adopting and emulating our favourite features from parallel apps. Taking on video content, direct messaging and advertising early into the buy, the social media platform has been squeezing out competition ever since. In August 2016 Instagram added Stories as its answer to Snapchat. In December 2017 Instagram added the ability to archive these stories, and more recently the adding of the Memories feature has rid users of the need to turn to Facebook and Timehop to drizzle themselves in nostalgia of years gone by. On July 9th 2018, it was stated on Forbes.com that Timehop had more than 21 million users. It makes sense that Instagram, a company owned by Facebook itself, would like to get in on that attention. Then in June 2018 IGTV took on YouTube, increasing video content length limits to 60 minutes, all in-app on Instagram.
Instagram appears to be testing out a new in-app local business profile page feature. It looks like a cross between the ‘About’ section of Pages on Facebook and the information of local businesses on Google Maps.
If you’re one of the lucky few who are able to view this feature, here’s how you can find it:
- Go to a business profile.
- Click on the address at the top of the profile page.
- Click ‘View Location Info’.
- Click ‘View Information’.
Why are they doing this?
The monopolisation of the online space is the game these big social media fish are playing, so the minimisation of diverted attention and the need to use any other platform(s) are up there as the main reasons. Of course the top dogs aren’t going to want you to have a reason to go anywhere else if they can provide a solution for your needs.
It’s interesting witnessing Instagram taking on more roles in order to maintain attention and stop users needing to go onto other platforms to access both information and entertainment. Attention is always key online. If users have to go onto another platform to find the information they want, then they are being taken away from the platform. At the end of the day, Instagram is a business that wants to make money, and the currency in social media is governed by the need to dominate attention. If there’s no attention on the platform, there are no business opportunities.
Why is this good for your brand on Instagram?
With fewer reasons to venture off Instagram and onto YouTube, Facebook and now — in part — Google, Instagram may expect to see a lot more action from their current users. More attention to the platform potentially means more eyeballs on your own brand’s Instagram page. More eyeballs means more awareness, and awareness is the building block of growth.
According to statista.com there is a higher percentage of 18–24 year olds Instagram users than there are of the same demographic of Facebook users. If your brand’s target market is an audience that fits within this bracket, you’d be wise to embrace changes that keep your audience in one place.
Additionally, it opens up the option for your business to have more information on the app. With these online business cards being built into the platform, if they do roll out worldwide, you’ll be able to claim yours and link it to your location. This is good news for potential customers.
Something to keep in mind…
Instagram does test a lot of features. While some users will have access to all the latest features, others have to wait for a global roll out. You’ll most probably need to have the latest version of Instagram and any applicable updates, and you may still find that you can’t access every feature. This doesn’t stop me pondering the end result of the evolution of Instagram. Will it end up squeezing out a substantial amount of apps in its continual development? Could Instagram be the one-stop-shop for millennials and generations to come? Or will it become irrelevant by taking on too many roles?
One thing’s for sure — it’s not going anywhere just yet.
As a brand, the more information you have to hand, the more control you have to take your business to the next level. Whatever developments that are to come from Instagram in the future, use the features you have at your disposal and be willing to adapt your strategy. Keep tabs on your KPIs, learn what is working for your brand (and what isn’t) and optimise your posts with Minter.io. Start your 14 day free trial today, to see how we can help you get the most from your brand on Instagram.