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Become friends with an Instagram advertiser thanks to new business tools

There are 200,000 advertisers on Instagram, and they’re all dying to be your friend. And with the app’s new business tools, they just might succeed. It’s going to get harder and harder to think of Instagram as nothing more than an innocuous tool for sharing the filtered version of your life with friends and family. This social media platform is quickly becoming a marketing machine.

Two months after initially announcing features like business profiles, insights, and the ability to promote certain posts, the Facebook-owned app is now rolling this new toolkit out en masse. Now, businesses can set up a profile that contains a “contact” button that allows prospective buyers to call, email, or text a seller without ever having to leave the app. See a dress you love? Email to see if it’s in stock. That dessert making your mouth water? Call and make a reservation at the restaurant.

There’s also the new Insights feature, which promises to give businesses “actionable information about who their followers are and [whose] posts resonate better than others,” Instagram said. “By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.”

And finally, sellers will be able to promote posts, turning “well-performing posts into ads right within the app.” A business simply has to select an existing post, add an action button, and then select a target audience (or let Instagram suggest an audience on its behalf). From there, you’ll have an ad ready to run for as long as you’d like.

The new business tools are debuting first in Europe, but Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. will be privy to the full suite in the “coming months.” And the whole world, Instagram says, will be able to access these tools by the end of the year.

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