Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo app, has become a lucrative shop window for many small entrepreneurs. So what are the secrets of its success?
When Facebook bought the photo app Instagram in 2012 for a cool $1bn (£760m), eyebrows were raised at the value the tech giant had placed on this 18-month-old start-up.
Fast forward to 2017, and while Instagram may still be Facebook’s little sister, it has built a sizeable community of 700 million users – dwarfing both Twitter and Snapchat.
With improved photo filters and the addition of Instagram Stories, a feature that lets users upload short videos that disappear after 24 hours, the platform has become a big hit with freelancers and small organisations looking to reach new audiences.
So how can you use it to make money?
“Instagram is your shop front,” says Donna McCulloch, a fashion stylist who works under the name Sulky Doll.
“People don’t ask for business cards any more – they ask for your ‘handle’ [Instagram nickname]. It’s instant – you both get your phones out, and you’re connected.”
By Zoe Kleinman
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