It has reached 1,221 million users in its first 10 years of existence, but Instagram still has a long way to go, especially in the corporate sphere. At SMOS we are aware of the potential of this platform and we want to share it with you.
Instagram was born in the city of San Francisco (United States) in 2010 when Kevin Systrom (Massachusetts, USA 1983), a Stanford graduate and former Google employee, decided to start a business and creates a network of location records with a high gamification component. At a party, Systrom presented this network called “Burbn” to Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, venture capital investment firms focused on small Tech companies. Their feedback was good, so he decided to quit his job to explore whether Burbn could become a company. Mike Krieger (São Paulo, Brazil 1986), a former Standford classmate of Systrom’s, then offered to co-found the project. Soon after, the young partners received a seed round of funding from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, $500,000 to work on their project. However, Burbn was too complex as a network for the end user and they decided to drop most of its features and stick with one only: pictures. This simplification gave birth to Instagram, coined merging the words “instant camera” and “telegram”. The first image posted on Instagram on July 16, 2010, showed a dog and a human foot wearing a sandal.
Instagram’s official launch was on October 6, 2010, and by early 2012, the platform had reached 27 million registered users. On April 9 of the same year, it was bought by Facebook (reportedly for a billion dollars), which certainly provided the boost to reach 100 million users just 5 months later.
A picture is worth a thousand… likes
Today Instagram has got 1,221 million users (over 15% of the planet uses this social media network). According to the latest report on digital trends by the agency We Are Social, most of its users are concentrated between the ages of 18 and 35. The countries where this social platform is most popular are India and the United States, evenly ranked with 140 million users.
According to Juliana Koch, graphics editor at SMOS and a specialist in this tool, “the fact that it is a highly visual and easy-to-use platform makes it a very powerful tool: Instagram has got very interesting features to increase brand visibility, such as hashtags, which can provide better results on social channels than the traditional SEO approach that improve Google rankings”. On the other hand, it actually rewards good users: “the more posts you create, the better engagement and traffic become through the application. In addition, thanks to Instagram’s algorithm, the posts with more “likes” of a profile jump up to the front of users’ feeds, which provides even more visibility”, explains the expert.
Instagram and business: is there a crush?
Just like Facebook, Instagram started out as a personal social media channel, and over time, it has increasingly given more space to businesses. When enquired if this platform is an attractive platform for business, SMOS graphics editor has no doubts: “Definitely yes! It is a great showcase for any brand: anything from advertising services or content, to product sales, Instagram is a great platform for doing business”. Some companies have reached 10 times more engagement on Instagram than on Facebook.”
Instagram’s audience is also very important in the business world: “Although this platform covers all types of audiences, according to the website Statista, their users have greater purchasing power than those of other social media. On the other hand, Instagram’s means of payment is much better at segmentation than others in the market. To do business on Instagram, the key is precisely to identify the target audience, understanding how they relate to this social channel, what content they are looking for and why, how it is relevant to their interest. And with that information in mind, creating those posts that this audience will relate and engage with” says Koch.
Regarding the most attractive Instagram tools for business, according to this expert, “the two best options for businesses are Stories and videos in real time. In my opinion, Stories are great to interact with your audience and understand what they expect to see on your page, so you can generate more appropriate content. I also like to highlight videos in real time, because they provide consistency to news and they also favor CTAs (Call To Action), which are very beneficial for growing a business”.