Instagram Rolls Out Carousel Ads

As its star continues to rise, Instagram is rolling out another way for advertisers to reach its young users. The new ad units encourage users to swipe left for additional images, and -- later in the “carousel” -- a link to a brand's mobile site.

Carousel ads, so-called, are a new way for brands to tell their stories on Instagram, according to a company spokeswoman. “Sequenced stories … give the community a deeper way to connect with and learn more about brands and products,” she explained on Wednesday.

“Brands have the potential to bring the multi-page print campaign experience to mobile phones -- with the added benefit of taking people to a Web site,” the spokeswoman said.



Instagram has been testing carousel ads with a few brand partners, but refrained from naming them on Wednesday. The Facebook unit also declined to discuss the unit's pricing information.

Sensitive to user tastes and privacy concerns, Instagram has taken a cautious approach to advertising.

“Instagram’s ad business is still very new and has a lot of growing up to do,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst with eMarketer, recently told Social Media & Marketing Daily. “For example, its targeting capabilities are still very limited.”

Among other efforts, Instagram recently rolled out verified badges for brands, as well as celebrities and athletes. Williamson said brands would surely respond well to the authentication initiative.

Meanwhile, at the risk of alienating users, Instagram parent Facebook has been steadily introducing new opportunities for advertisers to show off their wares. Last month, the social giant unveiled Product Ads -- a format for brands to show off multiple product offerings, and in some cases, their entire inventory.

Analysts say the initiatives make good business sense. "Facebook has clearly learned from Google's product listing ads by including automatic product feeds so that retailers can keep ads aligned with real-time inventory," Yory Wurmser, retail and ecommerce analyst at eMarketer, told Social Media & Marketing Daily last month. "With the wide-scale introduction of product ads, Facebook is creating a full menu of direct response advertising for retailers."

1 comment about "Instagram Rolls Out Carousel Ads".
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  1. Taylor Enriquez from Arizona State University, March 8, 2015 at 12:53 p.m.

    I think Carousel advertisements would be a great way to integrate brands into Instagram’s cite. I find it true that Instagram still has more room to grow and is underdeveloped compared to the other surrounding social mediums. This would bring good business for retailers and other small businesses without causing too much clutter on the site. It would still be contained in one small square shaped box with the ability to swipe to the side, making it easily accessible and informative; giving people more than just one pictures worth of information. I think this would be the most efficient way to advertise on any sort of social network. I hope they take the time to further explore their options with this, because this could be something big for Instagram to come out with. It would give users something new to experience bringing more traffic to the site.

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