Get ready for even more ads in between all the filtered sunsets and celeb selfies – Instagram is expanding its advertising capability on a global scale. Previously only open to a number of U.S brands, now any business in 30 countries can advertise on the platform and that’s not all; Instagram have also unveiled a new 30-second video ad format.
For a digital marketing agency like ourselves, this is exciting news. For those who get irritated by ads in between their inspirational quotes and arty shots of other peoples’ dinner, perhaps not so much.
Fortunately for Instagram’s 300 million users, the ads they see should be relevant and pretty finely-tailored to their individual interests. Unlike most mobile advertising platforms, the photo-sharing service can target its ads to very specific audiences, thanks to technology and data yielded by its parent company, Facebook.
This is probably the reason that Instagram’s clickthrough rates are so impressive. According to marketing software experts Kenshoo, users are two and a half times more likely to click on ads on Instagram in comparison to other social media services.
In a post on the Instagram blog, the company said “We’re thrilled to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to reach people with more relevant ads on Instagram. We will continue to improve the feedback mechanisms within Instagram to give people greater control and improve the relevance of the ads they see.”
Good targeting means that the company is able to charge more to their advertisers; Instagram’s worldwide ad revenue is estimated to be $595m this year alone, according to research group eMarketer.
Advertisers also have more options; Instagram have launched landscape-shaped photo and video in the hope of giving ads a “more cinematic feel”. The videos can also be up to 30 seconds long and can include five different “calls to action,” including links to shop or install new apps. Interestingly, at the moment individual Instagram users can still only post 15-second-long videos.
James Quarles, Instagram’s global Head of Business and Brand Development said “People come to Instagram for visual inspiration, and advertising has the power to touch, inspire and move people”.
They also have the power to move people away from a social network – and with the risk of overwhelming consumers with ads an omnipresent one, Instagram need to be careful not to over-do it. Data company Upstream identify that already 66% of adults feel they’re being exposed to too many ads, and that their smartphone was the most unacceptable place to see an ad.
It’s a tough call, deciding how much advertising is too much. We’re a digital marketing agency that pays close attention to audience reaction – so we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on this one.