In late 2014, Instagram announced it had topped 300 million accounts. The social network also said it would eliminate about 3-4 percent of those accounts as spammers AND it intends to add verified business accounts.

While Instagram already offers select advertising programs, perhaps these latter two moves are a tell that owner Facebook is preparing to turn the network into a primary business vehicle. If the parent network’s history is any indicator that means businesses will get less value for free Instagram account activities, and a significant boost for paid promotions.

As a result, users should expect an upturn in business activity in their stream. It’s no coincidence that the announcement was made on Instagram’s new “Instagram for Business” blog. Visitors are invited to “explore how businesses are using Instagram through tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news from Instagram HQ.” Perhaps they should bring their media buyer, too.

Should businesses care about the Instagram developments? Absolutely. Analysts say that Instagram is rapidly rivaling Twitter as a news-breaking venue.

Its ability to serve as a place for brands to engage fans and reveal news is augmented by the uniquely square photo network. One only has to look at how Lebron James mastered Instagram to see how consumer communities can be maintained and revved up with simple pics and short videos.

What do you think about Instagram’s new 300 million strong achievement and its efforts to woo businesses?

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