Instagram reveals new advertising tools for businesses as it ramps up revenue

Instagram is rolling out major changes to how brands advertise on it.

The photo sharing app is mimicking its big brother Facebook by debuting custom business pages equipped with a contact button, an analytics dashboard and a flurry of new paid promotional tools.

One of the biggest changes is Instagram’s new analytics menu that gives companies more insights on how a post is performing. Rather than relying on the number of likes or comments, Instagram is now serving companies with the number of impressions and a detailed timeline of when the post was engaged with.

Here’s what it looks like:

instagram insights

So, if a post is performing well, the company can now pay Instagram to boost it to users that don’t follow the company or want exposure to a new demographic. The changes are arriving before Instagram’s upcoming algorithm and mirrors Facebook’s strategy of forcing publishers and brands to fork over money if they want prime placement within the News Feed.

The pressure to pay Instagram for placement within a user’s timeline could mean some brands will not use the platform anymore. “Brands with lower budgets and fewer engagements on their content will be squeezed out over time,” Noah Mallin, head of social at MEC North America, previously told Digiday.

Facebook has been focusing on turning Instagram into a moneymaking behemoth, and for good reason. EMarketer predicts the app’s global revenue will reach $1.53 billion this year, a 144 percent increase over last year. So focusing on small and medium-sized businesses is one way to boost the bottom line even bigger.

The tools will be rolled out in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand in the coming months.

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