Instagram Rolls Out Web Profiles

On Monday, Instagram announced they would begin to roll out Web profiles. If you’re a little behind, essentially, the profile you see on the Instagram app on your smartphone will now be displayed on the Web as well.

This sounds hardly like news, but as Instagram has been almost stubborn in its refusal to move outside the app world, this is a dramatic shift for the company.

But what does it mean for us as businesses?

In short, nothing much. Your Web profile will roll out over the next week if you don’t already have one. You don’t need to request Instagram to give you one as the process is completely automated. But in case you haven’t had time to explore a Web profile, I’ll break down what you need to know.

The Design

As you can see from the screen capture above, your Web profile is designed completely from your Instagram photos. You don’t need to add any graphics or elements to complete your profile. Your profile picture is automatically drawn into the design. At this time, you cannot upload images through your Web profile. That remains a phone-only function.

The Header

You’ve probably noticed the Instagram Web profile looks strikingly like the Facebook Timeline. As Facebook now owns Instagram, this comes as no surprise.

But can you change the header? At this time, no. Your header appears to be a collection of your most recently uploaded photos. You can’t choose which make it to the top or which take up that massive photo in the center. This could change over time, but as of now, the best way to keep your header looking fun and interesting is to keep uploading fun and interesting photos.

Next Steps

As I’ve continued to mentioned, there isn’t a whole lot your business needs to do to prepare for your Web profile or optimize it. However, if you haven’t filled out all your profile information yet, now is a good time to head over to your account settings.

UPDATE: You can check whether your Web profile is set up by visiting Instagram.com/[Your Instagram Username].

You’ll also want to update any links on your website that link to third-party Instagram Web substitutes like Ink361.com and direct them to your Instagram account. Be sure to also add your Instagram link to your Facebook, Google+ or any other social network that gives you several outbound link placements.

Now that you’re linking to your Instagram account across all your Web properties, it’s important to remain active on Instagram. You’ll want to make your Web profile look fresh and new to give your fans a reason to return frequently. So keep your smartphone at the ready and snap some great photos.

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