When Kevin Systrom launched Instagram back in 2010, it was intended to be an online photo album where the average Joe could share moments from their life. 9 years later, and Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users, 25 million business profiles, and a cleverly formatted service that positions prospective customers right at the front door of your business.

Instagram has become so integral to the modern business landscape, that some brands are able to run, or at least launch, solely off of the photo-sharing platform. One such case would be my company, Gradient Longboards, which was launched via Instagram. The audience interaction was so plentiful, and insights so comprehensive that we did not launch a second social media page for another 6 months.

We not only sell from the app, but use it to promote creatives across the world. Like-minded photographers, artists and skaters send us their content, we put it in front of our audience, the creator gets more exposure for their work. Its a system that has allowed many young people to launch careers as ‘Influencers’ in every industry and country. Beauty influencers from Brunei and vloggers from Vietnam, the scope for branding on Instagram is simply enormous.

Of course 10-15 years ago was vastly different, and business owners had to resort to more trying methods of reaching customers. Billboards and print advertising are examples of great ways to promote, but you cant show them to specific groups and demographics with the same ease as when on Instagram. Not only this, but the user-friendly demographics that come as part of every business account does the job of a basic marketer, just minus the wages! Streamlining the service, alongside offering evolving tools and widgets such as the demographics, have made Instagram the go-to tool for starting up your business, even if you’re just a chump in a Uni house. Just like me.