It has been a year and a half since Instagram rolled out the welcome mat to all advertisers. Remember that as you read the next sentence.
Instagram now has more than 1 million monthly active advertisers, the company announced on Wednesday. That’s five times as many advertisers as the Facebook-owned photo-and-video app claimed 13 months ago and twice as many as it had six months ago, though it’s only a quarter of Facebook’s 4 million advertisers.
It probably helps that Instagram has been able to prove itself not only as an advertising channel, but also as a conduit for customers to contact businesses.
More than 80 percent of the 600 million people who use Instagram each month follow a brand. And in the past month, more than 120 million people — or roughly 20 percent of Instagram’s monthly audience — have used Instagram to visit a brand’s website, get directions to a business location or contact a company by phone, email or direct message.
The rising number of people using Instagram like it’s the new-age yellow pages is bolstered by Instagram’s adoption of business-specific accounts. In late May 2016, Instagram rolled out business profiles that, among other things, added a button to brands’ profile pages that people could use to contact the business and an option for businesses to buy ads within Instagram’s app. Roughly nine months later, 8 million companies have converted their accounts to Instagram’s version of Facebook’s Pages.
And Instagram is adding to the ways that people can communicate with businesses through its app. Later this year, it will add a way for people to book services, such as scheduling a haircut, through a business’s Instagram profile, according to the company.