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Instagram to Release a New Update to Help Businesses Using this Platform

instagramWhile many updates to different social media sites, include updates that help make different items much more user friendly, many social media sites have begun to work on making their social media sites appeal much more to businesses as well. Most recently, Instagram announced that they would be adding a new update that would allow users to schedule appointments with businesses from Instagram pages. This update is one that will allow customers and businesses to connect more easily.

 

There are at least eight million businesses that have accounts on Instagram, so adding an update to help these businesses thrive makes a lot of sense. The idea of this update is to make it so that businesses can easily transfer people looking at their pictures to actual customers. People who see things that they like within the business Instagram account will not only be able to like pictures, but schedule appointments based off of them.

 

The main benefit of this new update is that businesses will be able to see the way that their Instagram campaign actually contributes to their business itself. They’ll be able to track customers coming from Instagram to see how sharing photos on this site can turn followers into paying customers. This will also allow Instagram to compete with websites like Yelp and OpenTable as many of the features they offer will now be similar to ones on these websites.

 

While the new update is not intended to change the focus of Instagram as a platform, the intention is to allow businesses new ways to connect with customers. By providing an easy way for customer to make appointments after seeing photos that inspire them to go to a certain business, Instagram is extending the way in which people and businesses can interact on their platform.

The Facebook Trinity: Newsfeed, Timeline, and Graph Search

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press event today to unveil a new feature known as ‘Graph Search’ that, while currently in its beta stages, will soon be included alongside the Newsfeed and Timeline currently offered on the popular social networking website, which features over a billion users. The Graph Search will fill in the blanks leftover from the Newsfeed and Timeline, the two aspects of Facebook that are currently available. Each of these sections of the ‘Facebook trinity’ will feature a certain aspect of the connections available between Facebook users.

The Newsfeed is a collection of statuses and updates to Facebook user pages of all of one’s Facebook friends, so it essentially can tell Facebook users what’s currently going on in the lives of their Facebook friends. The Timeline is the feature that allows Facebook users to know a bit more personal information about one of their specific Facebook friends. Each Facebook user has a Timeline that displays all of their interactions with other Facebook users, the statuses and photos that they have posted, as well as plenty of other information.

And now comes the Graph Search, which should fill in the blanks between ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What are you doing?’. Though the Graph Search will still adhere to current privacy settings that are set up on Facebook profiles, it can be used as a search function to get broader information and find select individuals. For instance, Facebook users will be able to easily search for which of their friends (or friends of friends) speak Spanish, live in Dallas, went to University of Florida, or all of the above.

The intention of Graph Search is to further connect Facebook users. In Facebook’s earlier years, it was easier to find connections to other Facebook users, based on one’s favorite movies or what groups the Facebook users both belonged to. In recent years, this connectivity has been replaced as Facebook has been updated. As Zuckerberg has stated, the Graph Search feature is a call-back to Facebook’s roots of being used to make new connections.

Though the Graph Search is not a full-fledged Internet search engine, it can be used to easily search for things like “photos I’ve liked” or “friends of friends who are single in San Francisco” with instant results. Additionally, Facebook will be featuring Bing results in Facebook searches; while Facebook and Google do not have the same functions, it is unsurprising that the two act as competitors and that Facebook would affiliate itself with Bing, considering Google’s attempt to directly compete with Facebook with the mostly failed Google Plus service.

The market’s reaction to the announcement of Graph Search has been fairly low-key, as Facebook’s shares fell 2%. However, some market critics are saying that Yelp, Inc., a company focused on online reviews and recommendations, may suffer from Facebook’s Graph Search feature, as users will be able to easily see restaurants and other services that their Facebook friends have ‘liked’. Thus, Yelp’s shares falling more than 6% was a predictable turn of events.