Instagram, a social media site owned by Facebook, has added a new feature to its popular platform – carousel-style ads. Instagram is letting brands create longer commercials through its new triple sequence video ads. Because of this newly introduced format, advertisers are no longer being tied down to the one 15-second video limit that was previously in place. Large brands such as Gap, Netflix, and Paramount are already jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of this social site’s new format.
For those who are unfamiliar with Instagram, it’s a social media site that allows you to post photos using a variety of filters. Users can then share their photos to other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Although it was still a relatively new company. Instagram was bought out by Facebook for a whopping $1 billion dollars in 2012. Instagram originally had no business model to make revenue, but since its purchase by Facebook, it has successfully opened its doors to advertisers.
With more than 500 million users, Instagram is the second most popular social media site in the world (unless you count Youtube), and because of its seamless user experience, marketers are in love. Instagram’s platform is designed to allow users to continue to scroll through content and photos. With photos and videos being the main sources of content, it is a perfect platform for marketers to display creative ads. Instagram now has the same powerful advertising tools as Facebook, so advertising on Instagram is both easy and effective.
With the new carousel format, advertisers can post their ads through “Instagram Stories,” allowing them to create a series of up to three vertical video ads that disappear in twenty-four hours. This new format lets brands have longer ads while blending in with the rest of the stories rather than looking like a commercial interruption. In addition, the fact that almost 60% of Instagram Stories’ ads are viewed with the sound on gives brands another creative advantage over Facebook ads, which are usually viewed with the sound off.
Although its buyout in 2012 was a surprise to many, since Instagram had no profit margin at the time, it has been a key platform for Facebook in numerous areas. Instagram has been a countermeasure against the popularity of Snapchat with younger demographics. The site also seems to be immune to the bad rap that Facebook has been receiving due to political posts and “fake news.” With its recent algorithm changes, many people have moved away from Facebook, and are spending more time on other social media sites. But because of Instagram’s popularity, Facebook hasn’t lost much revenue. Rather, that revenue has simply moved to a different location. While Facebook hasn’t disclosed financials on Instagram’s success, it was estimated by eMarketer to be about $8 billion in ad sales for 2018, accounting for close to 18% of the company’s revenue.