Advertisers and social media marketers everywhere are getting excited about the launch of Instagram’s new ‘carousel’ ads. The photo-sharing smartphone app, which was acquired by Facebook Inc for $1 billion, currently boasts 300 million monthly users. The development of the carousel ad feature marks a strategic move by the company to optimise the mobile service for enterprise.
The ad format was introduced due to marketer’s feedback, says the social media site on its blog:
“Since we began offering a way for advertisers to reach people on Instagram in 2013, we’ve heard from marketers that they want to tell sequenced stories in beautiful, compelling ways that lead to meaningful results for their businesses,”
The carousel ads will enable brands to post multiple images for users to scroll through. If interest is piqued then swiping right will take them through all the images in that carousel. The sideways swiping mechanism is an attempt to curtail disruptive sponsored ads clogging up a user’s news feed and affecting user experience. Users will also be presented with a clickable web link at the end of the ‘carousel ride’, whereby the social media platform can now generate valuable web leads where it previous could not (links are disabled in post text).
In late 2013, Instagram introduced photo ads, followed by video ads in 2014. It is evident that Instagram has been positioning its mobile service to harness online marketing capabilities. And rightfully so —studies have indicated that the audience seems to use the channel for shopping – with users sharing product photos with friends, making comments, liking and getting opinions. Iconosquare’s 2015 study reported that 70% of the 16,000 Instagram users have already looked for a brand on the mobile platform.
Check out the video for a preview of the feature.