I realize we are nine days behind the news of the Instagram web profiles, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about them!

First, let’s get this out of the way… I LOVE THEM! Not as much as I LOVE PINTEREST, but it’s pretty cool we can point people to our Instagram streams online now.

With that out of the way, we can talk about what they are and why they’re cool.

On November 5, Instagram announced profiles on the web.

In the blog post about it, they said:

Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web. It’s a beautiful new way to share your Instagram photos!

Not only is it a beautiful way to share your photos, it gives you a very dynamic page. The photos change in the header so people can see what you’ve uploaded without having to scroll (I know, I know…scrolling is such hard work!).

Find Your Profile

By now, everyone who already uses Instagram likely has the web profile. You can find it by going to instagram.com/yourusername. For instance, mine is instagram.com/ginidietrich. As a side note: I kind of love Jack Bauer’s face is front and center in the largest box on my profile.

However, if your mobile profile is private you won’t have a web profile. If it is, and you want the web profile, you have set it to public via the app on your phone.

While using Instagram on your phone is an awesome experience, being able to edit, move things around, comment, love, and play with photos on the web makes it easy to create another experience…and one that you can show off by providing a URL.

Unfortunately, you cannot upload photos so you’ll still have to do that from your phone. But it sounds like that may change in the near future.

So What?

As we know, Facebook Collections is making a play for Pinterest. Facebook has one billion users. Facebook has the masses. And Facebook owns Instagram.

Now there will be very little functional difference between Instagram and Pinterest.

The big play for Pinterest has been its incredible ability to drive traffic to your website, ecommerce page, or blog. Now Instagram can do the same.

With the money, experience, and leverage Instagram gets from Facebook, Pinterest could be in trouble.

Marketing Opportunity

I know, I know. Don’t let the marketers on Instagram! It will kill the experience!

But, let’s be real. If your business sells something that is visually appealing, the ability to drive people to your site and buy is a marketer’s dream.

Some really good examples include: Red Bull (they give you wings!), Starbucks, Innocent Smoothies (this one is awesome), Nike (if you have a body, you’re an athlete), and GE.

Just remember: It’s about them, not you. Make your photos engaging and interesting. Use the comment space to have two-way conversations. Keep it social.

The point here is to motivate people to share your photos. And the only way they’ll do that is if you post images that are interesting and compelling.

With these changes, how will you use Instagram as a tactic in your marketing program?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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