Photo sharing service Instagram announced the release of brand new web profiles for all users last week, some two years after the launch of its iOS app. Although this is big news for your average Instagrammer, the addition is also a major breakthrough for businesses who use the app for photo editing and social sharing. The new web profiles have already begun launching, and the majority of Instagram users can expect a new profile featuring their photos within the coming week.
Not only does the new functionality improve a business’s ability to monitor and respond to comments on photos, it also adds the ability to direct users on other networks to follow your account. Previously, it was difficult to encourage fans to follow your account within the app-only software because there was no easy way to find individual profiles without manually searching. The new web profiles add the “Follow” function directly on each individual profile, which allow businesses to link easily to their page and improve their reach. This new feature will also allow customers who do not have Instagram accounts to see your photo stream without downloading the app.
The web profile layout is extremely similar to Facebook, with one major exception: no news feed. In order to view a user’s profile, you have to manually go to instagram.com/[username] or click a direct link. It seems likely that there may be some sort of “explore” or feed feature in the future, but as of right now it can only be used to directly visit pages. You can click on user profiles of people who comment or like your photos, which would allow businesses to follow back people who interact with their brand.
The new design also includes a follow button on individual photos, so Instagram users can easily add other users to their feed from photos sourced elsewhere, such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I’ve already seen some businesses showing off their new web profile pages on Facebook, with links back to the page for maximum follow value. The integration of that button should help increase Instagram follower counts significantly for many business pages.
All in all, the new design seems destined to help more users reach your business page, and will hopefully lead to increased interaction for your Instagram photos. With a little self-promotion on other social networks, Instagram profiles can now easily reach wider audiences, and showcase your brand’s identity to more potential customers. Has your business gotten a web profile yet? Check it out, and let us know what you think!
Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2012
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