How is Instagram Different

Instagram was created for visual content — images and videos. So, unlike Twitter, it is not as popular a source for getting news. It is better suited for showcasing products and services. And it has much higher levels of engagement with brands.

Engagement is what distinguishes Instagram from other social networks. Whereas Instagram has fewer users than Facebook, and YouTube, it is much stronger than these platforms in terms of engagement. A much higher proportion of Instagram users search for brands and follow brands on the platform. And once they start following, they tend to be much more engaged.

Instagram does not filter out any posts. It prioritizes posts based on relationship (affinity), interest and relevancy, and timeliness.

Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram does not allow users to place links in their posts. They can only add links to their profile and their Stories.

The exclusion of outbound links in posts may be intended to reduce users’ options and inclination to exit the platform. It motivates users to stay engaged within Instagram, with the content that interests them.

Since Instagram posts cannot be linked to a landing page, marketers should ensure that the visual and the caption suffice in communicating their message.

Links, however, are required for drawing traffic to websites where conversion takes place. So, it is important for businesses to place one in their profile. They may also consider updating their featured URL to align with their most recent posts.

NOTE: While engagement rate is generally a positive indicator, a reduction in the rate may not always be undesirable. For instance, if a platform eliminates steps to make a task easier to complete, the engagement rate declines, even as user experience improves. Similarly, excluding outbound links can reduce bounce rates and increase engagement, but it limits the amount of information available to users. Therefore, it is important to view the engagement rate in the context of qualitative measures that account for the user experience.

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