On Tuesday, August 2nd, Instagram revealed Instagram Stories. The new feature allows users to upload photos and videos to the platform that have a shelf life of only 24 hours before disappearing. Sound familiar? That’s because Snapchat pioneered the same vanishing feature we’re discussing.
Now it’s no secret that back in 2013, Facebook (which owns Instagram) attempted to purchase newbie Snapchat for a reported $3 BILLION DOLLARS. Snapchat declined the offer, and has grown to become one of the giants of the social media world. That hasn’t sat well with Facebook, and it has tirelessly attempted to clone, or, let’s get real here, rip off Snapchat’s most popular features. Think back to Facebook’s Slingshot and Poke apps…they failed miserably. So if Facebook can’t land a punch on Snapchat, it’s hoping for success with Plan B: Instagram.
Let’s break this down. According to Bloomberg Technology,Snapchat has over 150 million daily users, and has amassed huge advertising revenues that places its valuation at over $18 billion. However, Instagram currently has 300 million daily users, and has a much larger valuation at roughly $37 billion.
Given these numbers, why would Instagram be taking such a bold move?
Simply, Instagram’s parent company Facebook has enjoyed the view from the top of the social media ladder for years. If Snapchat’s growth trajectory continues, it could begin to chip away at Instagram’s daily user numbers and, most importantly, its advertising revenue. To be fair, Instagram’s chief executive did give credit to “other companies” for creating the popular disappearing content feature. However, it’s doubtful Snapchat will be humbled by Instagram’s “imitation is the highest form of flattery” attitude.
Instagram also started their gradual roll out of business profiles in the U.S this week. These new profiles are free for accounts that want to be recognized as a business on Instagram, and offer a entire host of new tools. According to the Instagram for Business blog, business profiles allow companies to choose how they want customers to contact them, either through call, text, or email and add a contact button to their profile. Plus, customers can get directions directly through the app. Business profiles will also allow those who have them to access insights about who their followers are and which posts are top performers. Best of all, these insights can be accessed through the mobile app.
Finally - and this one’s no surprise - users with business profiles can promote their posts from within the app. That means no more having to use Facebook Ads Manager to get your ad content on Instagram. You can even choose a target audience, or let Instagram suggest one for you.
Want to get an Instagram business profile? It’s simple, as long as you already have a Facebook Page for your business. Just head to your settings in Instagram, choose “switch to business profile,” and connect your Instagram account with your Facebook Page. But keep in mind, business profiles aren’t available to everyone yet - so you might be waiting awhile.