Instagram, once a simple photo-sharing app, has since become a perfect platform for businesses to sell their products.
A new report from Bloomberg explains the Facebook-owned app’s new role in the modern age of business, using it’s “visual nature and 1 billion active users have sellers salivating over its potential as a place to sell everything from dresses to furniture.”
Instagram is home to over one billion active users, where 150 million of them interact with the 25 million businesses that maintain a presence on the app. Bloomberg describes a recent meeting at the Instagram offices in Manhattan between executives and marketing managers from various fashion and beauty companies to discuss how the platform has evolved into something incredibly important in “social commerce.”
Franchises, small businesses, and Fortune 500 brands have all jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon over the past decade or so. According to a study by Zizzi, millennials aged 18 to 35 spend a cumulative five days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30 percent of those surveyed said they would avoid a restaurant if it didn’t have a decent Instagram presence.
Small businesses especially have benefitted from finding creative ways to sell their products on the platform, whether it be small bakeries, clothing brands, or restaurants. However, the platform itself does not facilitate these purchases — entrepreneurs have figured it out themselves.
This is the primary reason Instagram held the aforementioned meeting recently — to study expanding “social commerce” niches that will enable the platform to figure out how users see success.
Instagram’s creative lead, Kay Hsu, is one of the most important figures in convincing brands to use the platform.
“After Shah’s introductory remarks, she took the New York class in hand,” reads the report. “What works, then? She spent an hour explaining. You see, amateurs often have to create their photo-shoots from scratch, without all the expensive equipment, and since they don’t have to ask anybody for permission, they can constantly try new things, she said.”
Overall, Instagram is making a real effort to understand what fuels the consumer’s mind when browsing the platform, and figuring out ways to create opportunities to improve the social media giant’s image in regards to the ever-evolving world of online and social commerce.