Social Media

Instagram’s ‘Photos of You’ Brings New Opportunities for Brands

May 10, 2013

A new update from Instagram continues to blur the line between the mobile photo-sharing platform and Facebook, which acquired it last year.

Since being purchased by Facebook in April 2012, Instagram has consistently inched toward full integration with the Facebook platform. Instagram has expanded its mobile application to web profiles, dropped Twitter support (users can no longer view Instagram images within the feed) and even updated its privacy policy.

Last week, Instagram launched a new feature called “Photos of You” – marking its very own take on Facebook’s popular tagging feature. Now, users can tag their friends and those photos will show up in a separate section of the profile.

While the update itself isn’t particularly ground-breaking, “Photos of You” seems to indicate Instagram’s growing desire to appeal to brands and businesses. On its business blog, Instagram writes, “As a business or brand, ‘Photos of You’ gives you a new way to curate and share the photos that best showcase your brand as documented by your biggest fans.”

Though Instagram hasn’t yet established an advertising platform, that hasn’t stopped brands from finding ways to reach engaged consumers within the platform. As noted in Ad Age, brands have been able to increase reach on the Instagram platform via earned media and influencer marketing efforts.

The “Photos of You” feature gives brands an opportunity to do more than simply use word-of-mouth marketing to reach fans on the platform; it gives them insight into how their products are being used and experienced— and then captured by consumers in their everyday lives.

Knowing that Instagram is all about sharing memories, brands on Instagram are positioned to be featured in a seamless, lifestyle experience. As Instagram states on its blog, “Photos are memories of the people, places and moments that mean the most to us.”

The good news for brands is that Instagram is fully vested in providing a platform for them that to build out their communities. Now, more than ever, brands will be at the forefront of visual content – what they choose to do with that spotlight is up to them.

Cover photo via The Verge