Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter,Tumblr, and Flickr. Originally, a distinctive feature was that it confined photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid SX-70 images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. In August 2015, version 7.5 was released, allowing users to upload media captured in any aspect ratio. Users can also apply digital filters to their images. Videos on Instagram debuted with a 640×640 fixed resolution and maximum 15-second limit in June 2013; resolutions now include up to 1080p since July 2015 and length is now up to 60 seconds since January 2016.
Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 as a free mobile app. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012 and over 300 million as of December 2014. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Support for the app is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android handsets, while third-party Instagram apps are available for BlackBerry 10 and Nokia-Symbian Devices.
Here are 5 reasons your business should use Instagram
1. Instagram puts visual content first.
Sources show that visual content is key to a successful marketing plan. But Twitter doesn’t always make uploading pictures easy. The photo takes up part of your already-short character limit, and Twitter will resize or cut off the image if it doesn’t fit its dimensions and ratios. Facebook gives you room to play with images, but if you want to describe your image, it puts the text before the picture, which the viewer has to wade through to see if they want to consider liking the picture. With Instagram, it’s simple. It’s all about the visual. Instagram is built for engaging, pulling the viewer in with visual content, and now that it doesn’t limit you to proportional, square dimensions, the world on Instagram is your visual oyster.
2. Instagram is less cluttered.
Instagram, as addressed above, is a medium where the format of posts is predictable. You don’t have to sort through your Facebook feed of text posts, shared articles, check-ins, etc., to be able to engage with visual content in a way that’s as simple as double-tapping. Instagram makes it almost effortless. The bottom line is that getting more views and more engagements can translate into real-world likes and purchases. A great illustration of this concept is the service http://liketoknow.it/ This site teams up with fashion Instagrammers – if you like one of their posts on Instagram, LIKEtoKNOW.it will send you an email with where you can buy the pieces the person is wearing.
3. Character limits aren’t a factor.
Visual content is key, but but having enough words to describe it is vital, too. It’s happened to all of us – you go to write a Tweet, but that pesky character limit keeps you from expressing all you want to say. With Instagram, you can type all the description you want. Instagram’s overall character limit is 2,220, and Instagram lets your viewers see way more than 140 characters before they get to the […] mark in the text under a picture that indicates they have to click to see more.
5. Mobile dominates, and Instagram was born as a mobile app.
A recent study said that 90% of U.S. mobile users’ internet time is spent in apps. It’s safe to say that apps are a key part of how consumers interact with content. Instagram was born as an app, while Twitter and Facebook were designed as browser-based platforms. That’s not to say both companies don’t have tremendous mobile applications as well, but Instagram’s design has been conducive to being successful as an app from the beginning – which is where the mobile internet market appears to be heading.
6. Instagram has unique features.
Instagram has features that are distinctive to it – the ‘Explore’ and ‘Search’ tabs can be used as great marketing tools. Explore’s algorithm helps you find relevant content based on what’s trending with hashtags, and what followers are liking. You can look up hashtags on Twitter, but Instagram has tried to streamline this feature and improve upon it. The Search tab can help you find what content is doing well in locations you’re interested in.