Five months have passed since Twitter made its entrance into the world of online video with the introduction of Vine, a video-sharing app that lets users shoot and share 6-second social videos.

With Vine, it looked like Twitter had created something that was pretty unique and unlike anything being offered by any of the other social networks.

That of course was until this week.

Video has arrived on Instagram. With over 130 million users sharing 16 billion photos every single day, Instagram has already changed the way many of us think of sharing photos. Now, it’s time to see how video will work on this social network.

Read about these top stories and much, much more in this week’s marketing news roundup.

1. Introducing video on Instagram

At a press event held at Facebook headquarters on Thursday, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced a feature that could change the way you think of the photo­ sharing network…video on Instagram.

Described as “everything you love about Instagram — and it moves,” video on Instagram works similar to Vine and other short-video services. It does come with a few major differences:

  • Video on Instagram can be up to 15 seconds long (Vine offers up to 6 seconds.)
  • Video on Instagram comes with 13 different filters (Vine does not currently offer filters.)
  • Video on Instagram comes with editing capabilities (Vine does not currently offer editing features.)
  • Video on Instagram lets you choose your cover frame (Vine does not let users edit the cover frame.)
  • Video on Instagram has stabilization features to improve video quality (Vine does not currently offer stabilization features.)
  • Video on Instagram will not loop or play continuously. (Vine does offer loop-playing abilities.)

Want to see these changes in action? Check out our first Instagram video!

Bottom Line: While it’s unclear how the introduction of video on Instagram will impact the folks at Vine, one thing is for sure — Instagram has introduced a video-sharing tool that users and brands should be excited about.

To find out more about why video on Instagram matters for small businesses, I reached out to Erica Ayotte, Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing here at Constant Contact:

“Being able to share quick 15-second videos could be really useful for both small businesses and nonprofits. Plenty of businesses have already started using Instagram to create images that they can easily share on their social networks. Now, they will be able to do the same with videos which can be edited, customized, and shared from their mobile device. If you’re a café, you may want to snap a video of someone brewing a special coffee or if you’re a retail store you could snap a video of your staff to give people a look behind the scenes. There’s a lot of different ways businesses can use Instagram to improve their social media marketing.”

Find out how you can use Instagram to market your small business.

2. Instagram: 16 billion photos, 1 billion “likes” per day, 130 million users

Along with announcing the addition of video on Instagram, the company also announced some impressive numbers about the type of activity taking place on the photo-sharing network.

Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said that:

  • 16 billion photos have been shared to date.
  • 1 billion “likes” happen each day.
  • 130 million users are now using the service.

Bottom Line: It’s no secret that Instagram has undergone quite a transformation since being acquired by Facebook back in April 2012. It has evolved from a cool photo-sharing app to an entirely new type of social network where users and brands can build an online community through visual content.

Its userbase isn’t just huge, it’s active and presents a huge opportunity for businesses looking to try something new. With the introduction of video, Instagram should be in store for even greater growth in the second half of 2013.

Find out how other businesses and organizations are using Instagram.

3. Facebook Page managers more actionable data with latest update to Facebook Insights

Instagram wasn’t the only Facebook asset that got a major improvement this week. Facebook Insights also got a major upgrade, bringing new reporting information to Facebook Page managers.

One of the biggest improvements that will soon be coming to Facebook Insights is the ability for managers to take a more in depth look at the People Talking About This (PTAT) metric.

Users will now be able to see:

  • Page “likes.”
  • People Engaged (the number of unique people who have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared your posts.)
  • Page tags & mentions.
  • Page check-ins.
  • Other interactions.

Managers will also get more insight into the negative interactions.

Now users will be able to see:

  • Hide posts.
  • Report as spam.
  • Hide all posts.
  • Unlike page.

Bottom Line: Research plays an important role in the decisions you make about your small business marketing. Facebook Insights allows you to research what your Facebook audience has been responding to, what they’ve clicked on, and what times they are most active. Facebook provides all of these metrics and more for free.

With the introduction of more granular data, Facebook is providing users with a deeper look at what works, what doesn’t, and what you should be doing differently to improve your results on the social network.

Find out how you can use Facebook Insights to grow your presence on Facebook.

4. 1 in 4 people worldwide use social media

According to a new report from eMarketer, a quarter of the world’s population is now on social media. This equates to a rise of 1.73 billion social media users from 1.47 billion in 2012.

The Worldwide Social Network Users 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates found that this global audience is expected to jump to an incredible 2.55 billion within the next five years.

Bottom Line: At this point, you probably don’t need studies like these to understand the influence that social media is having on our everyday lives. This year, 67.7 percent of internet users around the world will use a social network at least once per month. This figure will increase to more than 3 out of 4 internet users by 2016.

But, while all of this social media activity is certainly exciting, what should be most important for your business or organization is building a social media community of your own. While you may never have millions or even thousands of Facebook fans or Twitter followers (or at least not any time in the near future), you can still build a thriving network of customers, supporters, and prospects that care about what you have to say and are engaged with the content you share.

By engaging your customers, you’ll make them a part of your marketing team. It’s this visible engagement and positive endorsements that will bring you tomorrow’s customers. Overall, you’ll have the ability to strengthen relationships with the people who matter most to your business and have more opportunities to bring new customers through your door.

Check out our free guide, Building Your Social Media Presence!

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