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The changing face of Instagram: What businesses need to know


Instagram is a highly engaged global community with more than 500M active accounts worldwide. According to the Global Web Index, over 60% of those Instagram users log in daily, making it the second most engaged network after Facebook. But how can businesses get on-board?

Facebook snapped up (pardon the pun!) Instagram in 2012 and in the last 6 months, they’ve really changed the way the platform works. They’ve added in a number of new features, changed the algorithm of their news feed and even introduced analytics.

If used correctly, Instagram can be a highly-targeted, visual advertising channel for your brand that can be extremely powerful.

So, are you considering Instagram for your business? Here are 6 of the biggest opportunities to be aware of:

1. Business accounts and analytics

One of the many recent changes has been the introduction of business accounts. They provide you with analytical insights, much like Facebook does, and you can also have a ‘contact’ button on your profile page to encourage customers to get in touch.

2. Instagram advertising

With a choice of photo, video or carousel style, you can create advertisements that will be filtered through your target market’s newsfeed. If you’re familiar with Facebook advertising, it’s very similar and you can even control your adverts to span across both platforms.

3. A new algorithm

Just like Facebook, Instagram now shows posts “ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most” i.e. the ones you engage with the most. This means an initial, small organic reach for businesses new to Instagram but if your target market is on the platform and you use plenty of hashtags, you’ll eventually get your feet off the ground.

4. Share your stories

Stories let you share moments of your day through photo and videos that appear in a slideshow format. People who follow you will be able to see your stories in a bar at the top of their news feed and vice versa. At the end of the day, all media shared disappears.

Sound familiar? Yep, you’ve got it… It’s just like Snapchat’s stories feature! And it comes with filters, the ability to draw on images and add text.

5. Live streaming

Just like Facebook you can now post live videos. Your followers may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in. When someone you follow starts a live story, you’ll see “Live” under their profile photo in the stories bar. You can also check out new live stories on Explore. Tap “Top Live” to see exciting live stories happening at that moment and swipe right and left to easily skip around.

This feature was only launched a few weeks ago but it holds ample opportunity for businesses. You could show your customers behind the scenes, make announcements and host live Q&A sessions.

6. Use Boomerang to help add something extra

Boomerang creates something that’s not quite a photo or a gif. It takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. This one’s just a fun feature but it’s good to be aware of it as it’s quite of the moment.


So, has that helped in your decision making? If you’re interested in using Instagram for your business and have any more questions, feel free to get in touch. Or, if you want to find out more about how to make social media work for your business, then check out more on our social media workshops.

We think Instagram is a great way to inspire people visually with your business’ story and we know works very well with companies whose products are visual. Why not follow us for more inspiration @mcarthurdavies

Contact us

If you’d like to find out how we can help you with your marketing please get in touch. We would love to help.

Give us a call on

0117 214 0471

Visit us at

Simitive Innovation Centre,
4th Floor, Newminster House
27-29 Baldwin Street

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© McArthur Davies 2020