Instagram announced last week that user profiles can now be accessed on the web. Instagram users are now able to share images on their smartphones and on the web. Well, this could be an opportune moment for most businesses to share their products in pictures with prospective customers and existing customers. Think about it, a branded Instagram page can be a great way to visually share your products and services with the public.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is a free photo-sharing program and social network. Take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and share it with other Instagram users. It doesn’t get simpler than that. Instagram currently has over 100 million registered users. That should get your attention.

HootSuite, the Social media management platform also recently added Instagram to its app directory. HootSuite users now have access to almost all of Instagram’s features, they can search, view and like content, add comments and share photos to other social platforms.

How Your business can benefit from Instagram

An Instagram web profile is now just like any other business profile you have. Think Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest profile page. You can now show a visual collection of your products, features, promotions, discounts etc on your Instagram profile page. You can show lesser-known products or even zoom in on a product and engage your Instagram followers. You can share your business profile with prospective customers. In addition, users can comment and like photos. Leading your users to explore your product visually can lead to three desired outcomes: likes, comments and shares.

Comodo, a restaurant in New York has even gone a step further and created an Instagram menu where customers can share images of the menu on the photo sharing app. By tagging their photos with #comodonyc, diners create a crowdsourced visual menu of the venue’s offerings.

If your business already have an Instagram account, you can easily locate your profile on the web. For example,  to view Nike’s profile, @nike, you’d navigate to on the web. New users would have to create a free account with the iPhone app or the Android app. Photos taken with the Instagram app automatically reflects on the web profile.

An Instagram page can lead to greater opportunities for exposure to new customers who would want to check out the products you offer. eCommerce companies will find an Instagram page particularly useful to showcase new products on sale.

This is also a perfect opportunity to invite user-generated content. Have fans submit their own photos demonstrating creative use of your products and post on Instagram with your company’s hashtag.

The new Instagram web profile page is quiet similar to your Facebook timeline page. That is not surprising because Instagram was acquired by Facebook earlier this year.