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

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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.

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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.

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