How Does Instagram Connect You with the Rest of the World?
Something that started as a free photo and video sharing application and social networking service by Facebook is now one of the best social media marketing platforms in the world. Instagram is a social media networking that connects you to the rest of the world. Launched exclusively for iOS in October 2010, Instagram became an instant hit with one million registrations in two months. Owing to its popularity, the android version was introduced within a couple of years, followed by website interface, Fire OS, as well as an app for Windows 10.
When the application was first introduced, it was designed for iPhone customers alone, and hence, allowed content to be framed in a square with a 1:1 ratio. This ratio was to match the screen of the Apple iPhones, which were later eased as the application was introduced to other devices as well. Instagram started as an image and video sharing application, which later introduced several other features such as comments, messaging, among others, similar to its competitor Snapchat.
At present, Instagram has become a household name that connects people all over the world. It has made several changes since its inception and has plans to include several other new features to benefit its Instagram followers.
What does Instagram have to offer?
Instagram has a lot to offer, from being a platform that connects friends and family to a market platform that can reach out to many users. Instagram offers both personal and business benefits to its users. Some of these benefits include:
Increased engagement with users
Having an Instagram account is one thing; using it for your benefit is another. As an individual, real Instagram followers use it for simple reasons such as to connect with family and friends, share pictures and videos that you like, follow your favorite celebrity, among others. Instagram offers increased personal engagement using Instagram likes, message, and comment features that lets users communicate with each other. As for business accounts, it is a great way to introduce their products and services to their followers and others alike.
An identity that is useful to build trust
Any business that has an identity is a business that people trust. When on Instagram, you create an identity for yourself. You define yourself, your business, your products, services, and build an image for others to see you. You can be an entrepreneur, an established sole trader, or even a large business. If people can find you and your business on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, they are more likely to trust you.
Visual content that offers more information
Imagine seeing a picture on Instagram that shows a woman flaunting her necklace or a video of a man feeling proud of his bike. Both images can be judged from personal, or from a business perspective. From a personal point of view, it might be an image of someone you know and have lost touch. From a business perspective, the necklace and the bike may be the product offered for sale by a business. A mere description of the product does not help you understand how it looks and whether it is something of your choice. Visual content is more helpful in providing more information.
The most successful advertisement is that which targets the right audience. Is this possible with Instagram? Many non-business Instagram followers are not aware that the social media platform offers automated targeting, which gives a business a head-start in creating an audience to the brand. Whether you are targeting a city or the whole country, your advertisement will reach out to the audience who are similar to those who follow you. With Instagram, you can easily approach your target audience.
You can build a community
Instagram is a social media platform where there are several communities for like-minded people to share their stories and opinion. As a business, you can build a community wherein real Instagram followers interested in your business can follow you and communicate with ease. A community brings traffic to the content you share and keeps them super-engaged and fresh. Instagram is believed to drive more engagement than any other social media platform, which has resulted in its rapid and immense growth.
Connect with people/customers across multiple platforms
The most vital benefit of Instagram is that you can connect to multiple platforms by connecting it to your website. By having an Instagram account, you can increase cross-channel engagement by connecting with customers across multiple channels. When you connect your Instagram to your website, a website visitor may click on one of the images you have posted that is linked to your Instagram. Instagram followers may decide to follow you and reconnect with you later.
Instagram is a huge platform for both business and personal connections. Whether you are a business looking to connect with prospective customers, or an individual looking for family and friends spread across the globe, Instagram helps you connect with all.
How can you connect with the world using Instagram?
Instagram is a huge platform that offers a lot of features, from posting visual content for personal purposes to business advertising. It is a social media platform meant to connect people across the globe. What many users fail to understand are its features that help to connect. Some of these features using which you can connect with the world include:
Hashtag is a feature that encourages the users to make tags, specific and relevant to the photos added, to make them stand out and attract link-minded real Instagram followers across the globe. Since its introduction in January 2011, the hashtag has become so popular that people have also started using them as an analogy. Instagram also allows users to follow hashtags that they are interested in and shows related highlights of the topic in their feeds.
The ‘Explore’ tab was introduced in June 2012, which displays photos taken at nearby locations, recent popular photos, and search options. The explore tab was updated in 2015 to feature curated content, trending tags and places, and “Videos You Might Like” channel, among others. With the explore tab, Instagram users can search for people, content that interests them, and connect. By promoting public Stories content from nearby places, Instagram makes it easier for nearby businesses to reach out to the target audience.
It is a feature offered by Instagram to business accounts that shows the viewers to contact the business by clicking on the button. The business user is given an option to provide contact details such as an address, telephone number, email address, among others, through which potential customers can connect with them.
One of the unique features of Instagram is the IGTV, which was launched in June 2018, which allows users to upload video file size of up to 650 MB, and ten minutes in length. Verified and popular users are allowed to upload video files of 60 minutes with size up to 5.4 GB. Now, can you imagine the exposure these files can get? These files can be found in the explore tab as well, and with the exposure they get, they can communicate the message easily. By using the IGTV feature, businesses can attract viewers and connect with them.
Instagram featured public-only feature where the content and comments shared were made public; everyone could view them. In December 2013, Instagram Direct was introduced. It is a feature that lets users interact with each other through direct messages. Instagram allows its users to send private messages to each other using Instagram Direct, share photos and videos. The recent updates to Instagram Direct include location sharing, hashtag pages, and many other features, making it more appealing.
Yet another way to connect with the world using Instagram is by using Instagram Stories. Depending on your privacy settings, Instagram stories can be viewed either by those following you or everyone on Instagram. It is a feature launched in August 2016, which allows the user to take photos, edit them, and share them in their story. Several functionalities were introduced that benefit both individuals, as well as businesses. One such feature was the skippable advertisement between stories. Users interested in the advertisement could connect with the business, and those uninterested could skip them.
Advertising is part and parcel of every social media platform. Instagram introduced video and photo advertisements in between user feeds that tried to connect with the user. These advertisements were mostly targeted based on user searches. For a business, this feature made it easier to connect with the target market, and for the user, it was easier to connect with the business. Several other updates were added to the Advertisement feature to make it convenient for the users, as well as the business, to connect with each other.
Other features of Instagram that are made to connect include the ‘Stand-alone App’ and the ‘Third-Party Services.’ Instagram also plans to introduce several other features soon to benefit its users.
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