Instagram’s COO talks about the evolution of the platform

Marne Levine on the new logo and her favourite Canadian Instagram campaigns

Instagram COOSpring brought about changes to Instagram. The social network rolled out a new logo, a redesign and a suite of new business tools including the ability to boost posts with ad dollars.

In light of all the changes, Marketing sat down with Instagram’s COO, Marne Levine, to talk about the state of Instagram, her favourite Canadian brands on the platform and how Instagram’s updates will impact marketers.

This spring Instagram introduced its first-ever rebrand including a new logo. What inspired the change?

Around the time of our fifth birthday we started looking at and thinking about whether we ought to consider a change for the logo. Instagram is different than it was in the beginning and we wanted to change the look and feel of the logo to better reflect where we’ve been, who we are today and also where we’re going.

We now have more than 400 million users globally on Instagram. We thought the modernized glyph with the radiant background better reflected the diversity of our community.

There was a bit of an uproar when the new logo was revealed. What did you make of the reaction?

People in the Instagram community are unbelievably passionate about Instagram, so if you make a big change like this, they’re definitely going to have a reaction – and there was a wide range of different type of reactions.

Instagram is in the process of changing its feed to be non-chronological. How is the change impacting user behaviour?

We recognized that people were missing more than 70% of what was in their feed. Our goal is to make sure people see the content that’s going to be the most important to them at the top of their feed, regardless of when it was posted.

Based on what we’re seeing, people are in fact seeing more of the content they like. What we’re seeing is good, but we want to make sure we have it right and continue to take feedback from the community, try different things and make sure the experience works for the people of the community.

Some have suggested the move to non-chronological feeds will be bad for brands because it will stop consumers from seeing organic marketing messages. What’s your response to that?

I think it’s going to be exactly the opposite. I think it’s going to be great for businesses. If businesses are posting great content and there is engagement with that content, it’s going to show up in the top of somebody’s feed.

As businesses, whether they’re big or small, post content that’s interesting and engaging, people will engage with that – and that’s a signal that content is important to that person, and that means more of their content will show up.

Should marketers expect a shift away from organic posts and towards paid ads on Instagram?
It’s going to be a mix for any business on Instagram. Every business has to figure out the right mix.

Have any recent Canadian Instagram campaigns caught your eye?

There’s a Canadian online retailer called Jewlr. For this past Mother’s Day, they ran a campaign on Facebook and Instagram and dedicated 60% of their marketing budget and saw an 87% increase in sales over the previous year.

I loved hearing about Chapters Indigo and how they used the 60-second video format to describe their new summer offerings, Summer Reads. They reached 1.6 million women between 18 and 40 and they were able to see a 7% increase in revenue from this ad campaign – using Instagram alone. They saw an unseasonal lift both in-store and online.

What are a few of your topline tips for brands using Instagram?

Give your customers a full look at who you are. That’s a great way to deepen your relationship with customers. That means behind-the-scenes, content you wouldn’t see other places, being visually creative and using different tools like video, Boomerang and carousel ads.

It’s important to experiment, too. One of the great things about Instagram is that you can experiment and now with the insights we’re providing businesses they’re going to be able to understand better how these tools are working.

Add a comment

You must be to comment.

Media Articles

30 Under 30 is back with a new name, new outlook

No more age limit! The New Establishment brings 30 Under 30 in a new direction, starting with media professionals.

As Prime Minister, Kellie Leitch would scrap CBC

Tory leadership hopefuls are outlining their views on national broadcaster's future

‘Your Morning’ embarks on first travel partnership

Sponsored giveaway supported by social posts directed at female-skewing audience

KitchenAid embraces social for breast cancer campaign

Annual charitable campaign taps influencers and the social web for the first time

Netflix debates contributions with Canadian Heritage

Netflix remains wary of regulation as some tout 'Anne' and 'Alias Grace' partnerships

Canadians warm up to social commerce

PayPal and Ipsos research shows "Shop Now" buttons are gaining traction

Online ad exchange AppNexus cuts off Breitbart

Popular online ad exchange bans site for violating hate speech policy

Robert Jenkyn is back at Media Experts

Former Microsoft and Globe and Mail exec returns to the agency world

2016 Media Innovation Awards: The complete winners list

All the winning agencies from media's biggest night out!