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.


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Brands Connecting with the Instagram Community Online and in the Physical World

When brands ask us what makes Instagram unique, the first thing that comes to mind is the community and how Instagram enables people across the world to connect with each other through a shared passion for capturing the world’s moments.

What’s even more special is how people extend their interactions within the app into real time and space. Earlier this month, Instagrammers in hundreds of cities across the world gathered together for the 10th Worldwide InstaMeet (#WWIM10), the community’s most ambitious InstaMeet to date.

We’re really excited to see brands participating in this movement to connect face-to-face with the rest of the community. During #WWIM10 @queensland, the regional tourism bureau of Australia’s second-largest state, organized over 90 InstaMeets in Queensland’s cities, on beaches up and down the coast, and in the remote outback. The day started with the first sunrise gathering at 4:30 a.m., progressed through an afternoon of wildlife sightings, and ended with Instagrammers coming together for golden hour followed by some communal star-gazing.

On a more intimate scale, @madewell1937 recently hosted photo exhibitions for one night in 14 retail stores across the United States. The brand invited their account followers to stop by and view a curated selection of community photos they had selected on Instagram using #denimmadewell, a hashtag photo contest they promoted through the brand’s Instagram account. @madewell1937's social media team selected six winning photos—featuring beautiful compositions in stunning locations—and partnered with a print studio to produce a set of cards that were distributed to visitors to the in-store galleries.

"The contest was an incredible way for us to connect and engage with our fans," said Somsack Sikhounmuong, Madewell’s head of design. "I was blown away by the how creative all the entries were and thought it was important to celebrate that creativity physically with the gallery show in store. The result was a 360 experience across all of our channels, something we’ve never done before."

These are just two of many examples of brands extending the community’s love for their brands and for Instagram into real time and space. And it’s just one of the many reasons we’re continually inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm that brands bring to the platform.

We’re excited to see what you do next.


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Four Years of Brands on Instagram

Four years ago today on October 6, 2010, our team launched Instagram. Led by co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, a small team of employees had been hard at work on an easy way for people to capture and share the world’s moments.

By the end of 2011, the Instagram community had grown to one million users. Some of the first people to use Instagram were the world’s most famous skateboarder, a celebrated chef, and a handful of the world’s top brands including Billboard, Marc Jacobs, National Geographic, Red Bull, and Starbucks.

These brands were early adopters who over the last four years have experimented with different ways of visually expressing themselves on Instagram. They’ve inspired us and the rest of community through clever compositions, shots of daring stunts, and rare scenes of life behind the curtain.

Today Instagram has grown to more than 200 million monthly actives, 65% of whom are based outside of the United States. We’re lucky and grateful to have these brands and countless others in our community. Here’s to another amazing year ahead.


Mercedes-Benz USA turns to Facebook and Instagram to launch its new GLA

When it comes to marketing, Mercedes-Benz is known for using creative that’s just like its vehicles — smart, forward-looking and meticulously crafted. That’s why when it came time to launch the new GLA compact SUV, Mercedes-Benz chose to use Facebook and Instagram together to tell its story to a targeted audience and create a campaign worthy of the company’s proud heritage. The results of this campaign show that advertising across both Facebook and Instagram can garner stronger results than a campaign on one of the two platforms alone, especially when branding and direct-response are combined.

Thinking Thematically
With the GLA, Mercedes-Benz is entering the compact SUV segment for the first time and sought to boost awareness of the vehicle and spark conversation about the model in the months leading up to launch. Mercedes-Benz started developing its creative by looking at popular themes on Instagram to learn how it could participate with the community in a way that was relevant, authentic and, of course, visually stunning.

In the Instagram theme #ThingsOrganizedNeatly, people in the community post photographs of all kinds of items — books, flowers, pencils — organized in neat, interesting ways. Mercedes-Benz decided to use a custom mat in the shape of the GLA cargo area as a canvas for creativity and a tool to show the utility of the new SUV.

Mercedes-Benz partnered with photographers and brand ambassadors to create a new theme, #GLAPacked, which asked the question, “What would you pack in your GLA?” The photographic results were beautiful, whimsical and engaging.

Fueling the Campaign
Looking to boost consideration among young buyers and drive traffic to the GLA website, Mercedes-Benz also leveraged the power of Facebook and Instagram together – a first across the two platforms. Ads on Facebook highlighted the GLA’s progressive design, premium interior and versatility and linked directly to the GLA’s webpage so that people could explore the vehicle further. Mercedes-Benz used consistent messages on both platforms, highlighting visual inspiration on Instagram and using Facebook to drive action.

Early indications show that advertising across Facebook and Instagram is more powerful than running a standalone campaign on either of the two platforms alone (controlling for even frequency across cells):

  • People who saw ONLY branding ads across Instagram and Facebook (and received no ad driving click through to the website) generated 54% more clicks to the GLA site vs. the control group
  • But when we added Facebook direct-response ads into the equation, people who saw a combination of Instagram and Facebook branding ads followed by Facebook click-through ad saw a 580% lift in visits to the site (vs. control who saw no ads at all).

We’re excited to learn more about how Facebook and Instagram can complement each other, and are currently working with other brands on cross-platform campaigns. We look forward to sharing more of what we learn.

To view the case study, click here.


Visit the Instagram Gallery at Advertising Week 2014

Join the Instagram for Business team at the Instagram Gallery and Portrait Studio next week at Advertising Week 2014.

Instagram Gallery
The Instagram Gallery at Advertising Week is a celebration of brands using Instagram to inspire their community through beautiful and engaging imagery. The gallery will include a curated selection of images, each an example of how brands use Instagram to express their values and communicate a distinct point of view.

#MakePortraits Studio
Stop by the #MakePortraits Studio inside the Instagram Gallery and have your portrait taken by music and fashion photographer Jesse Lirola.

Gallery and Photo Studio Hours:
Monday, Sept. 29: 2:00 – 5:00pm
Tuesday, Sept. 30: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday, Oct. 1: 11:00am – 1:00pm
Thursday, Oct. 2: 11:00am – 6:00pm
(Photo Studio closed on 10/2)

Andaz Hotel
485 5th Avenue at 41st Street
New York, New York 10017

We look forward to seeing you!


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Taco Bell Lives Más on Instagram

In the early 1960s, when burger stands dominated Southern California, Glen Bell refused to follow the trend and created Taco Bell. Today, a half century later, Taco Bell serves more than 36 million customers every week in over 6,000 restaurants nationwide.

In preparation for their breakfast line launch, Taco Bell turned to Instagram to build awareness of their new menu items among 18-44 year-olds. The brand’s creative team produced a series of sponsored photos depicting breakfast among friends, each image capturing the brand’s youthful, free-spirited ethos through natural staging and a retro, sun-bleached color palette.

“We let the concept drive creative production and paired that with what we knew about how people engage on Instagram,” said Chris Brandt, Taco Bell’s Chief Marketing Officer. “What resulted was a powerful visual narrative…that was a perfect fit within the Instagram environment.”

Key Results

  • 12.5 million 18-44 year-olds in the U.S. reached across a four-week period
  • 29-point incremental lift in ad recall for people who were repeatedly exposed to the campaign—nearly four times higher than the control group and nearly five times higher than Nielsen’s average for online advertising

Read the full case study here.


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A Yogurt for All Occasions

Born from a single yogurt plant in New York State in 2005, Chobani has risen to become the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the United States. With a goal of shifting people’s perceptions away from yogurt being a breakfast-only item, Chobani launched an Instagram advertising campaign to build awareness of yogurt as a delicious option for any time of day.

Working with their creative team, Chobani focused the campaign on highlighting the versatility of their yogurt. One image shows Chobani yogurt as the base for an appetizing dip complemented by roasted vegetables and tortilla chips. Another depicts the yogurt in a late night concoction, smothered with brownie bits, pretzels and peanut butter.

“[Instagram] allows us to show how people actually use our product and inspires new ways to savor,” said Jessica Lauria, Chobani’s Director of Brand Communications. “This campaign showcased delicious creations…[while] effectively changing people’s perceptions about enjoying Chobani throughout the day.”

Key Results

  • 4 million 18-49 year-old females in the U.S. reached across a four-week period
  • 22-point incremental lift in ad recall for people who were repeatedly exposed to the campaign; nearly four times higher than Nielsen’s norms for online advertising
  • 7-point incremental lift in shifting perceptions away from Chobani being only eaten at breakfast for people who were repeatedly exposed to the campaign versus the control group

Read the full case study here.


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Communicating a Brand’s Unique Point of View with Hyperlapse from Instagram

Last week, we launched Hyperlapse from Instagram, a new app to capture high-quality time lapse videos. Since Hyperlapse is all about capturing objects, people and places in motion, we’ve been keeping an eye out for how brands are using the app—and taking advantage of its unique video stablization technology—to show a different, more creative side of their businesses that people don’t normally see.

Here are some of our favorite examples of Hyperlapses representing a few themes we’re seeing emerge among brands in the community:

1. Behind the scenes: Flying through the narrow corridors of their New York City office, @voguemagazine gives a sneak peek into the day-to-day world of an editor at a top fashion magazine. An employee at @burtonsnowboard captures a coworker heading into the skate park at their Vermont headquarters.

2. Products in the making: In a Hyperlapse of a ceramicist trimming a clay cup while it’s still on the pottery wheel, @shopmazazma gives viewers a chance to appreciate the artistry and precision behind their hand-made homewares. @ohhappyday takes a playful approach to enlivening their storefront in San Francisco.

3. Services in motion: A @jetblue plane pulls away from a gate, reinforcing the airline’s message of on-time departures.

4. A unique vantage point: Diners probably wondered what was going on when the owners of @russanddaughters carried a ladder into their new cafe to capture their famous smoked salmon being sliced from above. A flight technician at @3drobotics mounted an iPhone to a 3DR x8 drone and set it free above the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to these examples, be sure to check out many more great examples from the community here.


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Introducing Hyperlapse from Instagram

Since launching Instagram nearly four years ago, it has been a priority to bring the community simple yet powerful tools that let people capture their moments and express their creativity. Today, we’re excited to announce Hyperlapse from Instagram, a new app to capture high-quality time lapse videos even while in motion.

Traditionally, time lapse videos depend on holding your phone or camera still while you film. Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilization technology that lets people create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality and feel.

Since Hyperplapse is all about capturing objects, people, and places in motion, we’re really excited to see how businesses will use the app. Whether shooting products on an assembly line, actors behind the scenes, or a buzzing restaurant scene, we think businesses can use Hyperlapse to convey a side of their brands on Instagram that people won’t be able to see anywhere else.

Some tips to get you started:

  • Even though Hyperlapse is new, it shouldn’t require you to change your content strategy. Think of the app as another tool to help your team create compelling videos on Instagram and to visually express what’s most unique about your brand.
  • Consider capturing a man-made or natural process that’s core to your brand, normally hidden from public view, and becomes even more compelling when conveyed through video footage that’s sped up by several times.
  • For inspiration, check out what others in the community are doing. Over the next several days, we’ll feature some amazing examples on the Instagram and Instagram for Business blogs.

We’re thrilled about the creative possibilities Hyperlapse unlocks for your brand. And we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

To learn more about what stabilization looks like in Hyperlapse, check out this video.

To learn more about Hyperlapse from Instagram, check out

Hyperlapse from Instagram is available today in Apple’s App store. It is currently only available for iOS.

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.