The News: Instagram has made official what has been rumored for a few weeks now and introduced new and improved tools for businesses using the photo/video-sharing network. Business profiles will allow for better identification of a brand’s profile as well as provide contact information the audience can use to get in touch. Meanwhile “Insights” will give network managers a better look at how posts are performing as well as audience demographics and more. Finally, brands will have the ability to turn a well-performing or other post into an ad without leaving the app.

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PNConnect Insight: This will be a big improvement for anyone looking to make the most of their Instagram brand profile. Native analytics on Instagram have been essentially non-existent beyond surface-level follower count and such. So getting more information on the audience as well as how posts are performing in real time will help managers make smarter decisions in the moment as well as boost those that are either performing well already or which are strategically important (not always the same thing) in order to bring in more eyeballs.

It’s important to remember, though, that hot-off-the-presses analytics aren’t always the best. Yes, they can help you make in-the-moment decisions based on what’s working and show someone at an event that hey, that picture you almost didn’t let me take is doing really well. But just as, if not more, valuable are longer-term numbers that look at a month, quarter or longer period’s worth of data. Quick metrics help you make better decisions this afternoon but slow metrics help you make better decisions over the course of the next year.

Because of the big difference in how the numbers are presented, this shouldn’t compete too directly with established metrics providers like Union Metrics or SimplyMeasured, which specialize in more high-level reporting. It does, though mark another point in the evolution of Instagram as it seeks to not only become more brand-friendly but also open up more ad revenue opportunities.