Insights, Instagram's analytics feature, now available to users

instagram 600m users brands
Instagram on Tuesday began rolling out its highly anticipated Insights feature, which provides analytics about a user’s account directly in the app. After discovering he had access to the feature, photographer and writer Jason Vinson put together a detailed overview on Fstoppers. While the feature appears to be fairly straightforward overall, there are a couple of oddities causing some confusion.

To get started, Instagram requests that you connect your account with Facebook. Insights will then show your top posts, with information on followers, impressions, reach, and website clicks. In Vinson’s case, the website clicks section didn’t show up, even though he does have a URL in his profile.

At this time, it’s unclear whether this is a widespread issue or if it’s unique to his account. It could be a glitch, or it could simply be that Instagram hasn’t had time to gather enough information yet.

Diving deeper into top posts reveals more options. You can look at engagement, reach, impressions, likes, or comments over a specific time frame from seven days to two years. You can also select to view this information for photos, videos, or both. However, regardless of what metric and time frame is chosen, all that you get is a bar graph without numbers.

Perhaps — and this may be Instagram’s thinking — relative activity is simply the only actionable intelligence. Knowing when your account is most active is more important than knowing exactly how many impressions you had. Absolute numbers are good for bragging rights, but won’t help you schedule a post.

Still, it feels like an oversight to not be able to see exactly how many people you reached in a given time frame. This information could be especially critical for marketers using Instagram’s new business profiles, as more detailed analytics would be helpful when compiling a report.

Despitethese sisuues, Insights seems to be a very big step in the right direction, and it wasn’t the only feature introduced with today’s rollout. Instagram also snuck in a second feature: images received as direct messages from people you don’t follow will now show up as blurred. To view the image, simply tap it.

Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
Mobile

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."