Instagram for Business

Welcome to the Instagram for Business blog! Explore how businesses are using Instagram through tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news from Instagram HQ.

Announcing a New Suite of Business Tools for Brands on Instagram

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At Instagram, we’re always looking to inspire and empower brands to create beautiful and engaging imagery that resonates with our community of more than 200 million worldwide.

We’ve heard from brands that having more insight into how people engage with and respond to their photos and videos is an important part of evolving creatively. We’re excited to announce that over the coming weeks and months, we’ll begin rolling out a new suite of tools to help brands better understand the performance of their paid and organic content on Instagram.

The business tools provide value to brands in three main areas:

Account insights allows businesses to see how they’re increasing brand awareness on Instagram through impressions, reach, and engagement

Ad insights shows the performance of paid campaigns with brand analytics (impressions, reach, and frequency) for each individual ad delivered to the target audience

Ad staging allows advertisers and their creative teams to preview, save, and collaborate on ad creative for upcoming campaigns

The new tools will help brands monitor their posts and campaigns by providing information on reach, impressions, and engagement. For example, an advertiser will now have access to a real-time campaign summary and data showing how their target audience is responding to each of their sponsored photos. Also, brand marketers will be able to better understand the best time of day to post a photo or video.

We’ve worked closely with several of our advertising partners to make sure these tools meet their needs. We’re now making them available to all Instagram advertisers, whose feedback will help us improve the product before releasing it to additional brands later this year.

In the meantime, we want to thank our growing community of brands on Instagram. Whether you’re an advertiser working on the concept for your fall campaign, or a small business posting engaging photos and videos to your feed, we want to thank you for being an important part of the creative Instagram community.


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Herschel Supply Crafts a Brand Narrative of Stylish Wanderlust on Instagram

With a growing collection of popular travel gear, Canadian retailer Herschel Supply could easily use their Instagram account as a visual product catalogue featuring glossy shots of backpacks, wallets, and duffels to showcase the brand’s trademark style of chic ruggedness.

But Herschel Supply’s online marketing team, led by social media manager Allison Butula, knows it takes more than beautiful images of standalone products to build a brand. And more importantly, she wants to tell the brand’s story.

We recently invited Allison to Instagram HQ to share some tips for other brand marketers who are looking to use Instagram as a powerful medium for visual storytelling. “When we look for photos to feature on our Instagram account, we’re looking for photos that fit into our overall brand story of what it means to be ‘well travelled,’” Allison shared. “We’re looking for photos that tell that story in a single image.”

Soon after joining Instagram in October 2012, the Herschel Supply team created two primary hashtags—#welltravelled and #herschelsupply—to build a follower base and engage with consumers across different social media platforms. On Instagram, the team encouraged followers to add the hashtags to photos of inspiring travel scenes and Herschel Supply products as they’re toted into the wild.

Herschel Supply’s followers offer glimpses into that wild—and espouse the brand’s sense of adventure—from locations far-flung or closer to home. “We’re trying to promote everyday travel, as well as aspirational travel,” Allison noted. “We often say ‘well travelled’ which means exploring your surroundings, whether that’s across the world or in your backyard.”

For additional tips, watch this short video featuring Allison and examples of some of the great content published by @herschelsupply.


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Announcing the #InstagramCannes Contest Winners

To view all of the contest entries, browse the #InstagramCannes hashtag.

A little over two weeks ago, the Instagram for Business team asked you to show us your best photos for a chance to be featured in our exclusive gallery space at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

After receiving more than 5,000 contest submissions from all over the world covering a broad spectrum of experiences, we reviewed every single one of your photos. From outstanding photos of movement, life, colors and texture to captured moments of pride and achievement, despair and uncertainty, freedom and adventure, what we saw left us completely inspired.

Our three winners were selected based on the originality, technical execution and subject matter of their submissions. Their photos will be featured in our gallery space and each will receive a Leica C camera and travel kit, courtesy of Leica and Herschel Supply.

Congratulations (félicitations) to the following winners:

Thank you to all the individuals and brands who entered, to our partner Leica and to photographer Jesse Lirola (@jesselirola) who will be taking portraits using the new Leica T at our gallery.

If you’re in the area for the festivities and are a badge holder, we’d love to see you. Stop by La Galerie d’Instagram, located at Gare Maritime Promenade Pantiero 06400 Cannes or join one of our instawalks departing from the gallery at 4PM CEST on June 17 and June 19.

Bringing Ads on Instagram to More Countries

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Since Instagram launched in 2010, it’s been a place where people come to share photos and inspire each other. In four years our community has grown to over 200 million worldwide.

As Instagram builds its business, we’ve put our community first every step of the way. And since introducing ads last November, we’ve worked with a handful of top brands to draw creative inspiration from the community and create ads that were engaging and felt natural in people’s feeds.

We gave people the ability to provide feedback on ads so we could learn what people liked—and didn’t like—and improve over time. (If you gave feedback on an ad, thank you!)

So far, our community-focused efforts are working. The results for advertisers have been positive—and in some cases, well above the ad industry’s average for performance. We’re excited to build on this momentum, and in the coming months we will extend the same level of care and consideration as we introduce ads on Instagram to our global community.

As with our initial roll-out, we are committed to learning as much as we can while building Instagram as a sustainable business. Later this year, we’ll start by introducing ads on Instagram in three countries—Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In the future we’ll also look to introduce ads on Instagram to additional countries across the world.

With this and future expansions of our advertising platform, we remain dedicated to building Instagram into the best possible experience for our entire global community. Thanks for continuing to inspire us each and every day.

Introducing New Creative Tools on Instagram

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Today, we’re delighted to bring you a set of new creative tools on Instagram with the ability to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and more.

Inspiring creativity is incredibly important to us—and as the Instagram community grows, we’ve been excited to hear requests for more ways to creatively take hold of how your photos look and feel.

When you go to select a filter, you’ll now see a new wrench icon. Tap it and you’ll find a tray of photo editing tools ready for you to explore. You can also now adjust how much of a filter you apply to a photo by double tapping the filter icon.

You take a photo to capture a moment, but often what you see in the photograph doesn’t feel the same as what you remember. From brightening up a photo of your dinner party to better capturing the warmth of a sunset portrait, these new creative tools help you bring out and share the beauty of the moment as you remember it—right inside the same simple Instagram you already know.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll share next.

To learn more about these new tools, check out

Instagram for iOS version 6.0 is available today in Apple’s App Store, and Instagram for Android version 6.0 is available today on Google Play.


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Announcing #InstagramCannes and La Galerie d’Instagram

In June, thousands of creatives from all over the world will descend on the French Riviera for The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an annual, global gathering that honors the best work in advertising and visual communications from the past year.

Both Instagram and Cannes Lions celebrate the world’s best visual imagery. The Instagram for Business team is planning to bring that connection to life at the festival with La Galerie d’Instagram, a gallery space showcasing a small collection of photos representing the stunning, original work we see in the Instagram community each and every day.

It would be impossible to reproduce every breathtaking portrait, moody landscape, or perfectly balanced still life on Instagram that we find inspiring. But hard as it may be, we’re going to choose some of our favorites and exhibit them at an exclusive gallery space, located at Gare Maritime Promenade Pantiero 06400 Cannes, for festival-goers to enjoy.

Here’s where we need your help: Between now and June 13, add the #InstagramCannes hashtag to up to three of your best photos. We’re only accepting the first three submissions per person, so choose wisely.

We’ll select three winners based on the originality, technical execution, and subject matter of submissions. In addition to having their #InstagramCannes photos featured in the gallery and announced on the Instagram for Business blog, each winner will receive a Leica C camera and travel kit, courtesy of Leica and Herschel Supply.

The #InstagramCannes contest is open to everyone in the community, including brands. Winners will be notified on June 15, the first day of the festival. Bonne chance!

Download a high-resolution (12MB) or web-resolution (505KB) file of the #InstagramCannes contest poster


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How Yogurt Maker Chobani Uses Instagram to Open Minds

When asked why Chobani saw Instagram as a natural fit for the brand’s marketing strategy, the answer is simple. “We want to be where our consumers are,” says Hilary duPont, Content Manager on Chobani’s Brand Communications team.

“We’re on the platform every day so we know what’s trending. If our consumers are posting about smoothies, we are, too. We want to be doing what they’re doing.”

Before joining Instagram in 2011, Chobani had been tracking mentions of their product—now the top-selling Greek yogurt in the U.S.—across different platforms.

The social team uncovered a trove of photos by the Instagram community of artfully-arranged breakfasts and clever smoothie concoctions. By using the hashtags #creationaday and #chobani, people sought to both inspire other yogurt-lovers and engage with the brand in direct conversation.

Chobani’s social team fed off of the community’s creativity to help build their following and inspire new uses for their product.

The result is a feed that uses the power of simple imagery to push beyond the common perception of yogurt as a breakfast staple and showcase it as a core ingredient—and healthy substitute—in donuts, cheesecake bars, even pasta and "FroCho".

It’s by design and through the power and creativity of Instagram that @chobani makes the possibilities feel endless.

“We use Instagram for inspirational and aspirational content that’s still relatable,” duPont emphasizes. “We’re a leading and innovative brand and we want that to show through our content.”


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Nike Builds a Global Community of Runners on Instagram

One of the insights that has made @nike so successful on Instagram and beyond, is its understanding that being passionate about a sport means being part of community, regardless of whether that sport is basketball, football (aka soccer), or running.

These communities are not defined by country borders, but are instead composed of fans and athletes from around the world. So with this in mind, in addition to its primary @nike account, the company created Instagram accounts that reflect these communities, including @nikebasketball, @nikefootball, @usnikefootball and @nikewomen.

While we could have featured any one of these in our Handbook for brands and brand video, we selected @nikerunning for the extraordinary way it brings the global running community together and gives them even more reasons to run, with hashtags like #werundirty that get runners out on the trails, or posts inspiring followers to “trade daylight for streetlight.”

The team behind the account is part of “The Run Dept.” at Nike, a community in its own right, which oversees everything running related at the sports company, from hosting events like the Nike Women’s Marathon to designing the shoes they sell.

All of this is brought to life on Instagram, with photos and videos that capture events, products, and inspiration, while remaining part of a larger story—one with lots of neon (or “volt” as Nike calls its signature color) and the message that as runners, we’re all in this together.


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General Electric Shows a Different Side on Instagram

If you were asked to picture General Electric’s Instagram account, you might imagine photos of light bulbs or videos of washing machines.

Try fighter jets and locomotives.

The team behind @generalelectric isn’t here to push appliances. Instead they tell a broader story of building, powering, moving and curing the world—which just happens to be their company mission.

Of course most people don’t know that. But with Instagram, General Electric saw an opportunity to shift perceptions by showing a different side of the brand. That’s one reason we selected @generalelectric to be featured in both our Instagram brand video and our Handbook for brands.

“We do so many things, something we were looking to solve is how to explain that to people,” says Katrina Craigwell, Global Manager of Digital Marketing at General Electric. “It’s about developing an understanding for what GE does, beyond what you think it does.”

While building awareness for its innovative technology—helpful for attracting young engineers and big contracts—General Electric has also established itself as one of the most admired contributors to the Instagram community, with its majestic shots of powerful engines and remote wind farms.

"Our theory was that there was a way to present our big machines in way that was beautiful, a way that people could geek out on science and technology and jet engines,” says Craigwell.

So how does General Electric craft such a compelling story out of massive machines? Very thoughtfully.

First, they start with messaging priorities that align with the business objectives for the year. Then they commit to a high bar for content, with a mix of images taken on iPhone and DSLR cameras. One especially effective technique is the use of scale—showing people as they build and service these industrial mammoths.

Craigwell explains, “Most of our content is created exclusively for Instagram, and other channels pull from the account. The content production is a group effort but there is always a focus on quality and a unique experience.”

General Electric also makes sure not to overdo it, typically posting once a day, although that number might increase to two or three times if there is an event taking place, such as the Instawalk they hosted last September, when then invited 12 Instagram photographers—some professional, some amateur—inside a jet engine test facility.

The images posted from the walk offered new angles on the technology, as seen through the eyes of the different photographers. Keeping the account fresh is key, Craigwell says. “We like to be unexpected and to add value. Instagram is place where we can do that.”


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Ben & Jerry’s Secret to Success on Instagram

If watching the Instagram video for brands made you crave a sweet treat, that’s because @benandjerrys is an expert at bringing its ice cream brand to life on Instagram. Focusing on its key themes of flavors, fun, values and community, Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first brands to join Instagram in February 2011.

“It’s our visual storytelling platform,” explains Ben & Jerry’s digital marketing manager Mike Hayes.

Ben & Jerry’s Vermont heritage is also a key part of their story, but now that the brand has a global presence, they use Instagram to connect with people around the world and to source photos from Instagrammers enjoying their ice cream in far away places.

In fact, at least half the photos that Ben & Jerry’s shares through their account today are from community members, many of whom compose their shots using the framing techniques modeled by the brand. One favorite: a shot of a cone or cup from the POV of the person about to enjoy it, with a fun backdrop that identifies where they are.

As Hayes sees it, “We’re a curator of our brand story now.”

Ben & Jerry’s does all of their account management in-house, from shooting images and videos, to reviewing Instagram photos posted with Ben & Jerry’s related hashtags, to selecting the best of the best to share in their own feed.

Hayes doesn’t point to a complicated formula when asked how the brand has become so successful on Instagram.

"Other marketers ask us what the secret is,” he says. “It’s helped being on the platform from the beginning, but the secret is respecting the community and providing value to them.”