Matt McGee via Flickr CC

Instagram announced Wednesday that they've reached the 1 million advertiser mark, up 200,000 advertisers in a year. The company credits its growing ads accounts to small businesses, which they've been strategically courting for a while with free "business profiles," and a new "Insights" feature, which lets business access real-time account analytics.

Next up: Instagram plans to evolve business profiles with the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile later this year. It will also add more business insights on stories, posts saved, and multi-post images.

Why it matters: With roughly 80% of Instagrammers following a business and more than 20% of Instagrammers engaging with business accounts, Instagram has set itself up to be a top e-commerce social platform, which is key in drawing advertisers away from Snapchat, its less commerce-friendly competitor. RetailDive notes that Instagram's relationship with Facebook makes e-commcerce growth easier, by allowing retail advertisers to plug product information into Instagram's shopping platform that's already stored on Facebook.

Go deeper

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

53 mins ago - World

Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.

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