Facebook is starting to stamp Instagram with its seal. The photo sharing app is now spreading its wings into the web sphere after iPhone and Android. Instagram profiles are being rolled out on the web now according to an update by the company.
The web profile launched is very, very similar to your Facebook Timeline’s appearance. So much so that you may get confused there: are you seeing your Facebook Timeline or your Instagram account?
Your web profile will include:
- A tiled cover picture with applied filters
- A profile picture
- A brief profile bio
- Follower stats in the right
- A bird’s eye view of the photos you share on your Instagram account arranged in chronological order:
Added advantages are, you can click on a photo to enlarge it for viewing, follow people directly from the profile page, like photos, comment and editing your profile from the web is a piece of cake!
To check out your own or a friend’s profile, all you need to do is, go to Instagram.com/(username). The rollout of this update is going to take a few days, so if you don’t see your profile now, you can be sure to see it in a few days.
Regardless of this similarity between Facebook Timeline and Instagram profiles, you can’t upload pictures from the web onto Instagram. This option is still with Facebook since Instagram says it wants to focus on production of images from mobile phones and so users won’t be able to upload pictures from web.
For businesses, this update presents opportunities for better brand showcasing especially for those that adapt best to such visual marketing.
The new tiled cover pic is a great space for brands to display a lot more than they can in one single cover pic (like the one on Facebook). For example, if you are a clothing brand and you want to show different clothing styles from one collection, this cover pic design is much better than squeezing all styles in one cover pic. You can also use the cover pic to bring together different aspects that make up the totality of your brand by showing a brand image coming together through a unique puzzle of sorts.
You can use the bio to reach out to potential/existing customers with a small introduction about your company/your products.
The statistics on the right side tell page visitors about the reach and prowess of your brand. You can build these statistics and gather more business clout among customers.
An apt profile picture helps customers connect your brand with the image. This brand connect is vital for brand retention and later remembrance.
For more visual marketing tips for Instagram, you can check out this article, Instagram – Visual marketing promotion for businesses (Part 1) and also its second part.
One more important thing to remember is that if your accounts are not set to the “private” setting, anyone can see the photos in your account. If you make your account private, you can limit access to your photos to only those users whom you’ve allowed to follow you.
To change your Instagram account to private:
- Go into your settings on the iPhone or Android app
- Tap the profile box icon in the lower right corner of the screen
- On your profile page, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner
- At the bottom of the menu is an on/off switch to make your photos private. Slide it to the right to turn “privacy” on.
Whether this update on profiles is a step towards more seamless integration between Facebook and Instagram or if it’s a change to bring about similar user experience for Facebook users using Instagram, only time will tell what can be accomplished by this update.