It should come as no surprise that Instagram’s been not-so-quietly thinking about monetization in recent months. But beyond the hysterical chatter about algorithm changes earlier this year, it appears that Instagram’s focus has been on developing solutions to help make the platform more business-friendly. “After hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear—stand out, get insights and find new customers” says CEO and co-Founder Genevieve Monroe.

Instagram’s answer to these needs? It (relatively quietly) unveiled new business profiles last week. Highlights of the new feature include things like a “contact” button, access to insights, and the ability to turn well-performing posts into ads from within the app itself. All of these were unveiled as a suite of “Business Tools” and expanded upon individually on Instagram’s Business blog.

Business profiles themselves are free accounts which offer features such as the ability for users to get in touch with the business via call, text or email using the “contact” button. Business profiles also offer directions to help customers find the business.

 

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One undoubtedly welcome feature of the new business accounts is access to insights within the Instagram app. Marketers the world over are doing the happy dance right now.

 

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Advertising can now live within the app itself as well — albeit in a limited capacity. Businesses can choose to promote existing posts by adding call-to-action buttons, and either adding targeting manually, or adopting suggested targeting. This is a pretty major development, since up until now, it was only possible to advertise on Instagram from within parent company Facebook’s advertising platform. We’re willing to bet that this will make advertising a whole lot more accessible to small businesses or DIY-ers who might not have access to marketer or agency know how. An immediate concern is obviously quality control, but we’ll have to wait to see this product in the wild to gage the effects. Stay tuned for more on that!

 

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Instagram confirmed that “business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.”

We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited to play with this one!

 

Note: Featured image via memegenerator.net, all others via blog.business.instagram.com