By @TheMarkDalton

Instagram has slowly started rolling out its new set of business tools which were announced back in May. In case you haven’t noticed yet, Instagram has become a big thing for brands, real big. 

So with brands getting on board the next obvious step is providing them with the tools they need to stay there. Stories will be a big pull without a doubt but businesses also need tools to help them with organic reach and give them an insight into what is happening on their account.

Business Pages Rollout

Business pages on Instagram will add elements such as a big contact button on the profile page which will allow you to call, email or text a business. There will also be a set of deep analytics which will show audience behaviours as well as demographics.

A promote feature will allow brands to target a demographic based on the data they see in the analytics. The model that Instagram is following is heavily based on Facebook Pages which of course have been a great success the past number of years.

The initial rollout according to reports appears to be mainly Europe and Asia based at the moment. Over the coming weeks Instagram will slowly rollout in US, Australia and Europe. The business features are expected to be globally available by the end of the year.

Improvements To Stories

Instagram has also made their first update to Stories. In case you haven’t noticed yet, Stories is the latest feature to come to Instagram which is basically a carbon copy of Snapchat.

However there is a lot going for Instagram stories such as the organic reach, the ease of finding new people on the platform and there have been plenty of articles over the past week singing Instagram stories praises.

Personally, I am enjoying playing around with it and seeing how people are using it at the moment. However the first update is here and as we should expect it is another one ripped right out of the Snapchat playbook.

You can now flip between the front and rear facing camera when recording video by double tapping on the screen.

You can also use the single handed zoom when recording a video in the same way you can do it on Snapchat.

Again, time will tell how these two platforms will battle it out, Instagram has a lot of evolving and catching up to do to reach the functionality of Snapchat. The big question then is how fast can they grow stories to really start putting pressure on the competition.

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