Instagram has proven to be extremely innovative

Over time, Instagram has proved itself to be quite adaptable and innovative. For example it copied and mainstreamed the Snapchat stories’ concept, and in the process increased the number of its users by over 300 million. The platform has also been quick to adopt other functionalities, including live video and Snapchat-themed selfie filters. In addition, in the past few years, it has adopted an algorithm-based news feed just like Facebook. This gives advertisers and developers more control over what users are able to view. For businesses, Instagram’s knack for continuous reinvention will potentially pay off due to the projected steady growth of its users in future.

Whereas Facebook enjoys more reach because it has more users, Instagram is peerless when it comes to engagement a more important metric. Engagement is the extent of how the user interacts with the posted content, for example how much they share, like and comment. Research indicates that Instagram’s engagement rate is three times that of Facebook. To put these numbers in better perspective, the engagement rate of Twitter is one thirtieth that of Instagram.

The difference in engagement rates is attributable to Instagram’s visual DNA. The human brain can process visual content more efficiently, and the content is retained for longer periods when compared to text content. Even better, most of the engagements is positive because Instagram does not have a dislike’ button.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram is welcoming brand content

Facebook’s decision to control brand content came about because people complained about excessive commercialization by businesses. But on Instagram, branded content does not feel as intrusive. Basically, a beautiful image remains that way, whether it is from a company or from a friend.

From recent indications, Instagram is intensifying its support for brands. Using the explore’ tab, companies and people can connect outside their circle, and this presents limitless marketing opportunities. Instagram has also ventured into the inn-app shopping arena where businesses are able to tag products in the posts they put up on the platform.

Instagram ad tools have improved tremendouslyReaching Customers With Instagram

Businesses on Instagram are now able target customers with the same precision and simplicity that made Facebook the king of targeted ads. As a result the number of advertisers, who mainly comprised of small and medium-sized businesses, increased by 100 percent last year to stand at 2 million. It is projected that Instagram’s advertising revenues will triple by the year 2019 to stand at $11 billion, which means business that get in now will be ahead of their competitors and are likely to stand out.

More advanced Instagram business tools are on the way

Recently, Instagram updated its Application Programming Interface (API), which essentially means new Instagram tools, especially those made by third parties, are on the way. Businesses will then have the capacity to post and measure results more efficiently.

A similar update in earlier times helped to turn Twitter and Facebook into critical marketing channels for businesses. User-friendly tools allowed companies to program multiple posts and measure the resultant engagement without needing to scroll through and analyze individual feeds. The new Instagram API will also be a game changer in the same manner.

However it is important to remember Facebook owns Instagram, and it still remains an important platform for companies to connect with their target audiences. Almost a third of the human race use Facebook ,and the ad revenue of Instagram is still far less than that of Facebook. But for any business that is seeking to enhance connections with its customers, it is increasingly important to adopt a complementary approach. Instagram has come of age, and its capacity to innovate and enhanced user engagement means it will continue to be an important platform in the days ahead.