Instagram has steadily become one of the most used apps today, not just by photographers but by businesses too. As more businesses use Instagram to promote their services and reach out to their audience, there is a higher demand for deeper consumer engagement and analytics. Likes and comments just aren’t enough.

After interviewing hundreds of businesses, Instagram found three main insights into how the app should be redesigned. As a result, three new Instagram Business Tools were announced: Business Profiles, Insights, and Promoted Posts.

Business Profiles

One of the most requested features by businesses on Instagram is a new way to engage with customers. While some have tried communicating through comments, it can be hard to keep track of them all, particularly if you have a large brand that caters to thousands of customers each day.

Instagram Business Profiles allow users to set up a contact button to call, email, or get directions to a business.

Source: TechCrunch

With Instagram Business Profiles, you can register your account as a business. If you already have an Instagram account, the upgrade is free, provided that you already have a Facebook Page for your business. Instead of just going through pages of comments, a business profile lets you set up a button labelled “Contact” on your page, where users can Call, Text, or Email your business, and even get directions to a store or business location.  


When Instagram asked for feedback from an Austin retailer, they heard that “many analytics are overwhelming and hard to apply to its marketing.” In other words, there needs to be a simplified analytics view – easy to understand but still actionable.’

Insights for Instagram Business Profiles let you see Impressions, Reach, Engagement, and follower activity.

Source: Mashable

Insights on Instagram is just that. Straight from the mobile app, you can view the total impressions of each post (not how many times or how long a photo was viewed, but how many times it was served to a user), the most active times of the day, and the demographics of your audience (right down to the age, gender, and location).  


Promote feature on Instagram Business Profiles showing off the Action Button options.

Source: PetaPixel

If you have a post doing particularly well, you want to make sure it stands out. That’s why Instagram came up with the new promote feature. With a few taps, you can turn any well-performing post into an ad. Once a photo is “promoted,” you can select what the action button will do, whether it will redirect to the website, call a business number, or provide directions somewhere. You can set which audience to target and how long the post should be promoted, or you can let Instagram set it for you.

From Vintage Camera App to Commerce Hub

With these recent additions, Instagram hopes to expand the app beyond its current photo-sharing community and open it up to businesses and content marketers. Soon, Instagram will become as important of a channel to maintain and promote as Facebook. Until then, businesses should observe how these changes affect (or reveal) customer behaviors.

Instagram Business Profiles, Insights, and Promoted Posts will first release in US, Australia, and New Zealand over the next few months, with a global release before the end of the year.

To learn more about some useful tools and tips for Instagram, be sure to check out Arcalea’s Complete Social Media Reference Guide for Summer 2016, where you’ll find some useful resources and data on other social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more.