80% of Instagram Users Voluntarily Connect With a Brand on the Platform

It wants to 'shrink the distance between businesses and customers'

Instagram's COO Marne Levine shared some insights on how the social platform is evolving.
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Instagram may just be seven years old but the platform is helping to redefine what it means to launch a business and what relationships with consumers look like.

In fact, 80 percent of people on the platform (there are 800 million monthly users) connect to a business voluntarily, according to Instagram’s COO Marne Levine.

“Shrinking the distance between businesses and customers and bringing you closer to the things that matter to you is really something that we’re focused on,” said Levine at Advertising Week in New York on Wednesday. “With respect to businesses, we’ve really only just begun.”

Since launching business profiles for brands last year, Instagram has seen how it helps brands and consumers communicate. “In the last month there have been 180 million interactions with businesses, with consumers asking how to contact them, asking them about a certain product, to give an idea, feedback, phone number, whatever it is,” said Levine. “I think there’s so much more that we can do in this area.”

The company is also looking at “ecommerce and trying to learn and understand about how people shop on the platform,” said Levine, adding that Instagram wants to figure out how it can make the shopping experience more accessible. 

One thing I’ve learned at Instagram is that there are no crazy ideas,” said Levine. “Everything is on the table.”

In a lighter moment, when asked if she goes down an Instagram rabbit hole like the rest of us, Levine noted that working at Instagram means you can surf the platform at work.

“I will be revealing something about the culture at Instagram,” said Levine. “It’s totally cool to be on Instagram all day long in our office. So I am on Instagram all day long. When you’re sitting in a meeting and saying, ‘Uh huh, uh huh’ but as somebody’s mentioning an account I’m looking at it. It helps me understand what the conversation is about because they are using these as examples.”