Instagram Expands Ad Options

Instagram, one of the world’s most popular photo sharing apps, is constantly improving their reach and advertising integration. Instagram has had resounding success with the recent introduction of video stories, and they have realized the advantage of letting brands advertise within that feature.

Despite the relative immaturity of this new function, the demand and scalability exists to justify the move. The Facebook-owned app has already shown that over 150 million people are using Instagram stories on a daily basis. There has been a significant increase in users over the past few months, and this rise in popularity is expected to continue.

There are approximately 30 different brands that are open to advertising through the new full-screen ads. The ads will play at intervals in between Instagram stories, and companies like Nike, Airbnb and Capital One, are already on board with the new ad delivery system. The level of success will only be measured by the amount of users that are reached at first, but Instagram plans to expand their metrics to site visits and other measurements in the near future.

The VP of Instagram Business, James Quarles, commented on the level of excitement that marketers have when proposed with the idea of utilizing the advertising capabilities that Intagram has built over the past few years.

“They can target people that matter to them. They have the ability to reach as many as efficiently as possible. And they have access to a suite of measurement tools to see what worked." Qualres said.

The ads for Instagram stories will be sold on the app’s automated platform in the auction-style that Instagram is known for. The system charges based on the impression rates, which are comprised of a variety of demographics such as age, gender, and location. The new advertising delivery system is now open to the app’s 500,000 advertisers.

When Quarles was questioned about the frequency of Instagram stories users viewing the new ad format, he promised that the system was designed to uphold relevance to the user and that they will use a number of determining factors such as interactions, liking, and spent time to determine the effectiveness of the ad.

"Did someone move onto the next story, or did they leave the stories tray entirely? All of those are great signals and give us a great sense of people's behavior and the relative performance of the ad." Quarles said.

Many of the app’s top stories have already come directly from businesses. Mercedes-Benz employed the feature to take users in depth at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year. This is demonstrating a new side of Instagram and exemplifying how people want to use and share content on the platform. This new feature is similar to what has made Snapchat so popular, and it is expected that new applications will be found for this feature. Regardless of the advertisers, the app’s 600 million users will continue to use it to capture and share daily experiences.