Instagram revealed strong growth in monthly active advertisers and the number of users accessing information on businesses, as it announced new services which could pitch it into competition with directory service Yelp.
In a blog post, the company announced active advertiser numbers topped 1 million so far this month, up from 200,000 in March 2016. In addition, some 120 million users accessed information about businesses via its platform during February.
Instagram revealed the figures as it announced plans to beef up its services by adding the ability to book services with businesses directly from their profile. The service is due to be deployed later this year and could potentially rival services like Yelp.
In the blog, the company noted tools including Boomerang and Hyperlapse coupled with a mobile-first platform help businesses develop compelling content and create an ad directly from a business profile.
The app now has 8 million business profiles, with the greatest adoption coming from the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and the UK. Of its 600 million total users, 80 per cent follow a business.
Through 2017, Instagram said it plans “to do more to help people meaningfully connect with businesses they care about on Instagram.” This includes providing more insights on user actions so businesses can gain perspective on followers.
Instagram also recently added the option of saving live video to a phone at the end of a broadcast.