If you use Instagram, you’ve probably noticed some changes this year.
There’s a lot more going on than just a logo redesign, too.
Instagram has been making a lot of updates in 2016, many of which are designed to provide businesses with more robust tools.
If you’re not caught up on all the changes, don’t worry.
We’ve got your back with a handy recap of all of Instagram’s major updates this year, plus some insight on how businesses can take advantage of the new tools and setup.
Instagram Business Profiles and Business Tools
This is a big development for businesses that depend on Instagram: a set of new tools and profiles for businesses on the app.
The new tools are designed to meet 3 key business needs: “stand out, get insights and find new customers.” The tools are centered around new business profiles, which have a lot more to them than a standard Instagram user profile (lots of people are comparing them to Facebook profile pages).
Business profiles will have a new contact button, which businesses can connect to their phone number, email, and physical directions. Instagram has also added an analytics tool called Insights, which provides information such as audience demographics and post performance.
Finally, a new tool called Promote will let businesses pay to boost Instagram posts, with options to select a target audience. These new tools are currently rolling out in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, and Instagram promises they’ll be available globally by the end of the year.
In November 2015, Instagram announced that it would be simplifying its platform policy and limiting the number of apps with access to Instagram’s content.
In order to use the Instagram API, apps now need to be approved by Instagram. Essentially, they want to keep people using Instagram itself to view photos from their friends, celebrities, and brands. Apps that aggregate social media content, such as Flipboard and Iconosquare, no longer have access to Instagram posts.
Instagram has also gotten rid of apps that automatically generate follows, likes, and comments. That means no more (or at least fewer) spambots.
A New Algorithm
As we reported in March 2016, Instagram is updating its algorithm and has been gradually rolling out the update over the past 2 months.
Departing from its reverse chronological order news feed, Instagram is implementing a feed that prioritizes posts based on what users care most about.
Essentially, Instagram will be organizing posts based on your past interactions with the poster, the post’s theme, and the post’s timeliness. Because the changes haven’t fully rolled out yet, it’s a little unclear how the new algorithm will affect businesses.
However, brands can no longer count on their posts showing up simply because they’re new. Instead, they’ll need to dedicate more attention to crafting targeted posts that relate to their target audience’s interests. The new Promote tool could help businesses compensate for any lost engagement they see as a result of the changes.
Manage Multiple Accounts
In February 2016, Instagram made it easier to manage multiple accounts.
You can create up to 5 Instagram accounts and switch between them without logging out and back in. The new feature should make it easier for businesses who need to manage multiple pages or who want to switch between personal and business accounts easily.
Hopefully the new tool will mean saying goodbye to the classic mistake of accidentally posting something personal to a brand page.
New Design 2016
You’ve probably seen it by now: Instagram’s new logo and design.
The app has said goodbye to its retro-inspired brown and rainbow camera icon for something simpler: a minimalist white camera outline on top of a colorful blue-pink-orange gradient.
The design team wanted a look that was more modern while staying lively. While the new logo is plenty colorful, Instagram’s interface has taken a turn for the colorless. The new app design is minimalist, with simple black and white outlines and icons. The design team explained, “We believe the color should come directly from the community’s photos and videos.” The new design is meant to put the spotlight on user content. So how will this affect your business content? Probably not at all.
Written by content manager Meghan Woolley
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