After having released a desktop version of the popular photo editing & sharing app Instagram, there’s new things to take into consideration. Previously, the Instagram website only let users edit their account information. But all that changed with the recent introduction of web profiles.
The new profiles act as extensions of the Instagram mobile app, with users now being able to comment, follow, like and view other photos from a desktop. Brands, marketers and regular users can use these web profiles to encourage engagement and interaction outside of the mobile app.
Community managers will want to use the new web profiles in conjunction with the Instagram mobile app to further enhance a profiles web presence.
While many features from the mobile app haven’t yet made their way to the web, Instagram web profiles do offer a decent amount of nice features, such as:
- A cover collage at the top of your profile that features a rotating selection of your Instagram photos.
- Follow and Unfollow buttons.
- Your profile biography.
- A website URL of your choosing.
- Your account’s number of photos, as well as follower and following counts.
- An infinite-scroll timeline of your photos, separated by month.
- A section where you can manage applications that have been given permission to access your Instagram account.
- Badges, which you can use to link to and promote your web profile.
The Instagram web profiles do come with some draw backs, they are lacking in certain areas when compared to the mobile app.
- There’s no search. Searching for hashtags and specific users isn’t available. Although usernames are links that allow you to hop from profile to profile.
- Twitter-like hashtags are the best way to get your Instagram photos seen on the mobile app, but their use is disabled with web profiles. You’ll still see them in photo descriptions and comments, but they aren’t links.
- You can’t see follower lists. Even though web profiles display follower and following counts, users are unable to see exactly which users these are.
- Photo maps aren’t available. Many Instagram users geo-tag their photos using the mobile app, but you won’t find these maps anywhere on the web. Although geo-tag information is shown within photos.
- There’s no Popular page. If you like seeing the photos on Instagram that are drawing the most attention, you’ll have to return to the mobile app.
With over 100 million users on Instagram, if your branded or personal account is one of them, then you’ll want to maximize and utilize your account’s new web profile the right away.
Start off by installing an Instagram badge on your main website. Instagram recently rolled out badges for users to promote web profiles. From the full site, pick the badge you’d like, then simply copy the automatically generated code and paste it on your website or blog. The badge will link back to your account’s web profile.
Verify your privacy settings. According to Instagram, if you have a private profile, your photos will only be visible to logged-in followers you’ve approved. This also means that only those followers can comment and like your photos on the web. It should also be mentioned that search engines are not allowed to index Instagram photos—whether your account is private or not.
Make sure you’ve added your main sites link on your profile. Not only does adding a link increase visibility for your website, it also provides SEO value, even though it’s a no-follow link, it still sends a signal to search engines.
Lastly and most importantly, recognize the increased importance of those image links. Images from Instagram used to appear within tweets until Instagram recently removed support for Twitter cards. (Sad Panda Bear) This means that Twitter users will be clicking these Instagram image links, and lead them directly to the Instagram web profiles.
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