A picture is worth a thousand words. Since the camera was invented, photos have become significant reminder special occasions and treasured memories. Back in the day, sharing stories through photos were done through photo albums.

But with the advent of social media, especially Instagram, sharing different types of content has become significantly easier. Whether you’re having a good hair day, or celebrating your birthday, Instagram has become an avenue to share those minor and major moments. Several years after it was released, it became an application for entertainment, for communication, and even a platform for persuasion.

Although it’s relatively young compared to other major social networking sites such as Faceboook, Twitter or even the video-sharing platform, YouTube, Instagram continues to prove that it has unique strengths as a photo/video sharing and social networking service.

Boost personal brand

You are the core of your social media accounts. And yes, whether it’s a photo of your books, or a selfie before work, your photos create an image of who you are. Your Instagram profile which, is largely comprised of photos you shared tells a lot about your hobbies, interests, skills, and even background. It’s a platform that promotes individuality, and also the user’s followers to get to know the person.

Uniqueness

While both Facebook and Twitter make use of long and short forms of content, mainly through words, Instagram gives more focus on images. The service inspires its users to be creative while also giving their users a chance to improve their images through filter and edit options.

Aside from photos, Instagram also allows its followers to:

  • post videos that are up to 60 seconds long,
  • allot a separate area for tagged photos that anyone can see, and
  • two notification sections for you and the people you follow.

Integrations with other social networking sites

The service allows its users to be easily found by people they know through other social media accounts. Whenever a user’s Instagram account is shared on their Facebook profile, the person’s Facebook friends automatically receives notifications about the person’s Instagram account making it easier for them to connect on Instagram as well.

Also, users have the option before posting a photo to share their posts on Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and even connect it to SwarmApp in order to be more visible even across different social networking sites. This method saves the person time having to post the same content on different platforms.

Engagement Algorithm

Apart from its integration options to other major social networking sites, Instagram also allows people to boost engagement on their posts through hashtags, location tags, and even emojis. Hashtags, emojis, and location tags are searchable and now being prevalently used by many marketers and social media enthusiasts to get likes and comments. Instagram revealed that the number of posts with emojis have now exceeded the number of posts without emojis. Posts with tagged location have been found to receive 79% higher engagement than other posts.

Aside from its users, Instagram has also been used by major brands for marketing.  According to Hootsuite, in the past year alone, Instagram was reported to have raked in $595 million on mobile ads, and such number was forecasted to increase to $2.81 billion by 2017.

Instagram was also  dubbed by Forrester as “The King of Social engagement” last year after major brands saw a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% which is 58 time higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter. With its current performance and unique features and services, Instagram is shaping to be a must-have for anyone who is social media savvy, it is also one that has made a mark in the advertising industry.

So, why haven’t you joined Instagram yet?